It’s only half true. I detest the amount of time we spend away from home, but I know it’s necessary. I abhor losing contact with friends and family (though tech makes it better), because it means if something happens, I’m not there for them. I’ve missed the births of my cousin and a dear friends baby. Heck, I’ve missed the first few weeks of school four years in a row, and every time I come back, I feel like the new kid. This time around we’ll be gone for 2 months, and over those months, I’ll slowly lose touch with friends.
But the traveling itself? It’s amazing! We see sights that people spend their entire lives trying to see! Stuff like the Coliseum in Rome, the Parthenon in Athens, and the Tower of London (take a guess as to where that is)! I hear and learn parts of languages that I might have never heard, like Indonesian or Icelandic. I experience things that help me grow and learn.
If you have been following us for a while, you all know that we try to serve others on these trips as well. These past few years we have been spending that time helping at a YWAM base in Bad Blankenburg, a little town in Germany filled with refugees. This has led to some memories that I will cherish forever, and will be eternally grateful.
I may have my grievances with parts of it, and while I’m not completely thankful of being told ‘Pack a bag, we’re going to _____!’, I’m glad that my parents take me with them.
Anyways, at this point I’m just rambling, so I’ll be going now.
It’s Wednesday afternoon here in Bandung. Sitting here at our favorite western-style-coffee-donut chain not named Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks, neither an Iced Hazelnut Latte nor a Choco Forest J.Cronut (see Wikipedia under “chocolatey, croissanty concoction created by the Devil”) can break my funk. I’m irritable. I’m snapping at Laura and the kids for the dumbest reasons. Frankly, I need to get a grip.
What’s the deal?!
It wasn’t the 3-mile walk we just took through back-alleys, a graveyard, and countless stares from the locals. We’re quite used to sticking out like sore thumbs and we’ve really come to love and appreciate the beauty in that which we once considered messy.
It wasn’t the nasty snarl of moto and mobil (car) traffic. While crossing the street was particularly hairy this afternoon–no doubt due to the many people scrambling in preparation for Lebaran (or Idul Fitri, a major Indonesian holiday)–it was way more fun than stressful. Kamaile even mentioned how much she prefers traffic here over what we experience in Seattle.
It wasn’t the overly persistent street vendor trying to sell me something despite the fact that I had no clue what that something was. I could’ve sworn he said it l was for weed, but that would make zero sense around here. According to this guy that I met while hiking recently, not only is weed illegal, but it’s really hard to get. But I digress…
Heck, it wasn’t even the heat. If you’ve been following this blog for the past few months, you know how much I like to complain about heat, humidity, and my sweat. The high today was 82F with 81% humidity. Funnily enough, I didn’t even mind.
As I write, I’m suddenly realizing that I’m grouchy because this SE Asia leg of our Family Sabbatical is about to come to a close. 4 sleeps and we head back to the states.
I’m excited to go home and see family and friends. I’m excited to eat decent Mexican food. I’m excited to sleep in my own bed and shower in my bathroom. I’m excited to have people over for BBQs and s’mores by the fire. I’m excited for some of the creature comforts that my comfortable First-World life affords (e.g. Hi-speed WiFi, my huge 4K HDTV, playing Destiny with Trey, etc.).
On the flip side, I’m sad to leave Waldemar and Rosemarie Kowalski, Pauline, Josie, Friska, Pak Asep, Ibus Assih and Apong, the Street Kids at Stasiun Hall (more in a future blog), and the many other new friends we’ve made during our time here in Bandung… I’m also frustrated that we didn’t make more progress connecting with potential local partners for the Kowalskis.
Finally, I’m a little scared about what happens next. We remain on track to keep this train moving from a financial perspective, so that’s not the issue. We’re still planning on heading to Europe, but in the absence of firm plans or even plane tickets, we’re facing at least a solid month of uncertainty. In the meantime, I will undoubtedly wrestle even more with that voice of doubt that I’ve somehow managed to keep tucked away in far reaches of my mind these past few months: “Are you insane? Shouldn’t you be saving money? You’re throwing away your career! What about your family’s future?”
So, yeah… this is more of a vent than a blog, which at least would have the potential to be valuable to you. Regardless, I’m trusting that if you’ve read this far you can handle it. I’m also trusting that we’ve made and will continue to make the right decisions. For as long as Laura and I have been together, things just have a way of working out. God is good. All the time.