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Week 37-2: Laundry’s a Bit Different

Friday, I woke up and did my laundry.  It took about an hour and a half.  I sat by our washer and dryer the entire time and watched them do their magic while eating a Reeses and partaking in a glass of milk.  I was happy and sad at the same time throughout the experience.  I cannot describe what it feels like, but I definitely feel something very strongly…

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Weight and Food

When I left for Kenya I weighted 170.4 lbs at 6’5 which is pretty light weight.  I knew I had lost some weight while in Kenya because when my mom and seminary friends have hugged me throughout the year the first thing they’ve said is, “You’ve lost weight.”  I never weighed myself in Kenya, but believed them.  Here’s the answer:

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15 lbs!  Impressive.  I’m fine, hukuna shida (no worries).  I’ve been walking a few miles a day and living on a different diet for nine months so it makes sense that I’ve lost weight (not sure about 15 lbs.).  Any who, the beauty of being underweight means that I can have the unusually fun goal of putting on weight in the next three weeks.  My goal is ten pounds.  We’ll see what happens.

I have been conflicted on how to talk about food since returning.  I have just left my Kenyan home where I eat mainly rice because it is inexpensive.  States home, I am eating a lot of food like a King which is not inexpensive in the Kenyan sense so I feel a bit out of place and self.  I kept telling myself that I would post pictures of all the food I eat while home.  Then I considered how unusual that would be.  Finally, I told myself, “Well, you’re eating the food whether you post pictures of it or not so you minus well put pictures up.”  By the way, it is my M.O. to take pictures of my food.  I love food so I think it should be photographed… like other loved ones.

Chik-Fil-A (My Kenya YAVs asked me to eat some Chik-Fil-A for them, I done did it!):
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Homemade Pizza and Dr. Pepper (doesn’t exist in Kenya) from Josh and Laura Reese:
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Mom’s famous steak dinner:
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Dinner with the Montana’s (Dad’s side):
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Breakfast on the go:
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Pizza Hut Finally!:
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Huninghake Graduation Party (Mom’s side):
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Memorial Day Lunch:
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Week 37: Homeward Bound to the States – Round One

The Week Begins

I must say that it is a rather unusual feeling returning home after nine months in Kenya.  This is further compounded by the fact that it is only for three weeks and then I head back which makes the trip feel awkward.

Monday and Tuesday I went through my usual routine, coaching basketball at the boys and girls high schools and teaching computers at ByGrace.  It began as a very normal week as my previous 36 had been.  Then as I semi-frantically packed to leave by means of head lamp because the power had gone out (note to self: always pack for trips in Africa when the sun is up) I realized it was not going to be a normal week.

Tuesday at ByGrace:
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Wednesday night, I was eating dinner by myself before my flight because the Foxies had gone to a school, Cosmas walked in out of the blue which was really nice.  Rodgers, Cosmas, and I loaded in the van, which has taken me all over Kenya inthe last nine months, and headed for the airport with a few detours.  The first was to the school to pick the Foxies up and the second was to get Rodgers’ wife, Carol, from school.  So, we were a full van of eight people.  They all saw me off at the airport which was really nice.

Plane One

It took me a while to remember plane one which is because I took my PM as we were boarding, sat down, put on my blinder, and woke up in London.  Not bad.

London

I had a nine hour layover in London so I wanted to go into the city and do something.  I took the Heathrow Connect in as I begrudgingly grumbled at the Pound.  My goal was to go on the bus tour of London.  However, it was going to take longer than I had anticipated and drop me back at the station right when I was planning on leaving the station.  This would have been beautiful providence to old Robert, but Kenyan Robert did not believe that the bus would return on time or anywhere near on time (I also tried to bargain down the tour ticket price at which the seller gave me a curious look).  Not in Kenya anymore!   To make a short story long, I ended up hanging out in the vicinity of Paddington Station and having a nice lunch before heading back to Heathrow.

Thursday in London at Paddington Station
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Plane Two

Now that I had slept an entire plane ride, I felt the need to take advantage of the movies on flight number two.  Fate had it that I sat by a nice 23 year old Iowan, Sneha, who had been living in Florence for the past year and was in my situation returning to the States.  We started talking and as I attempted to remember and pronounce her name correctly, I informed her of my love of chick flicks.  Not like 27 Dresses or Princess Diaries, but more in the line of the Notebook.  This led to us looking for a chick flick and watching P.S. I love you and Benjamin Button.  P.S. was her choice and Button was mine.  The most entertaining part was that I continually attempted to sink our little TVs so we would laugh at the same time and not be staggered.  It was a beautiful event and I really liked P.S. I love you.

Chicago

Let’s see, what did Chicago have… well, I ate a Chicago style pizza which was amazing and expensive.  The coolest part of Chicago and its food court was that this is where the Kenyan YAVs sat on our way over to Kenya and played the “get to know you” game.  It was really surreal to sit and reflect upon us then and us now, individually and as a group.  Also, Chicago is where I was a bit shocked by the site of people in shorts again.  I kept looking at people thinking, “I can see their legs, huh.”

Plane Three

I was really tired by this point obviously.  I sat by a very nice woman who is a social worker and lives by my parents’ home.  We had a good conversation, but I’m not sure how my focus was.  It was really interesting to hear all of the Oklahoman accents.  Before I left, I would claim that Oklahomans don’t have an accent (everybody does), but we do and I definitely enjoy it.  It was unusual to sit and listen to all of my state people talk.  They sound like me…

Home

The family was at the airport.  Patrick drove up from Dwight to pick me up from the airport which was really nice.  We drove home as I kept saying, “This is so weird.”  I sat on the couch, ate a Reeses and drank a glass of milk (my happy place), hopped in the spa (as I promised myself I would do in London when I was freezing), and then passed out in my brother’s waterbed.  I woke up a few times throughout the night wondering where I was and why.  Then, bright and early at 11 AM I got up and greeted Oklahoma and my house properly.  It was good, but very weird to be home.

Thursday Mom and me at the Tulsa airport:
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The 6’5 Hug:
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The Quiring Males:
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Me in front my home for the last 26 years (I’m 25… ):
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London

I’m in London right now.  My hands are so cold that I can’t type properly.  I think I define cold as a Kenyan now.  I need to be broken back in to my Oklahoman self!

We are the World

I’ve had a few discussions about this song recently and I love it.  Enjoy!

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