Today is July 8 which means we landed in Kingston 1-year ago. I can hardly believe it. Halfway done with our tour. Time goes by really fast when you are only in one place for 2 years. The fact that we only have as much time left as has passed is blowing my mind.
Sometimes I have to stop and make myself remember that this is real life. I live in Kingston, Jamaica. It’s funny how we’ve been here a year and I still have this thought. How did I even get here? I think about everything that led us to being here. One night sitting watching House Hunters International talking about how neat it would be to live abroad led to Scott signing up for the FSOT which turned into us packing up our house and driving to Washington DC. Several small decisions along the way and suddenly I’m on a plane to Jamaica.
I’m starting to feel quite Jamaican. I greet people by saying “a pleasant good morning to you”. I can maneuver potholes on skinny roads like I’m Princess Peach on Mario Kart. I eat jerk everything. I sing along to reggae on the radio. My thumbs are now called “big fingas” and thank you has become “thanks much”. Anything below 70 sounds really, really cold. Guinep, sorrel, and ackee aren’t unknown to me anymore.
Anyone in a similar situation can relate to the feelings of missing home so much hurts and yet enjoying the adventure at the same time. Jamaica has taught me lessons that I would not have learned if we had stayed in Utah or Idaho. If we hadn’t come, I wouldn’t really understand how truly rich I am. If we hadn’t come, I wouldn’t comprehend it was possible to have next to nothing but yet full of joy. If we hadn’t come, I wouldn’t have my heart stretched beyond it’s borders with compassion. My definition of sacrifice has evolved. My ability to view people as children of God regardless of circumstance. We are all very different but I can see more clearly that we are more alike than different. We are brothers and sisters and we are all loved. Jamaica has changed who I am.
While it’s hard to miss birthday dinners and football games and family time I’m still glad we came. I’m happy for everything I have experienced. I’m heartbroken when I learn that a bag full of cookies I was going to throw out becomes the only food a mother has for her 4 children. But these are the things that change me.