Home, Sweet Home

It has already been more than a week since we arrived in the USA.  I have been meaning to write this post days ago.  Where did the time go?!  Yes, we front-loaded our schedule to handle as many things as possible before our son leaves the womb sometime in mid-May.  I understood the concept, but when put to practice the world seemed to spin ten times faster than expected.  Some highlights from this past week include:

-Settling in to our new home for the summer.  A cozy, one-bedroom basement apartment.  In some ways, it makes me feel younger as I am reminded of my years spent living in attached, studio in-law apartments.  The family above us have been kind and generous, and we feel like we lucked out with this living situation.

-The morning after our arrival in Billings, I went to see a specialist regarding my nagging shoulder injury (6+ months of pain).  Turns out I have an impingement and bursitis.  Received a cortisone shot, will get one session with physical therapist next week, and a follow-up exam in 6 weeks.

-Shopping at Target.  Sorry Carrefour Tunis, I like Target better.  ;p  I was looking at a vacuum cleaner box for further information and kept turning it from side to side, scanning over the text.  Angie walked up to me while I said, “I know what this says, but where’s the English on this thing?!”  She pointed and answered, “It’s right there!  The large, white letters on the box!”  Turns out I was translating all the smaller text in Spanish and French, while completely overlooking the English text.  We both got a good laugh out of that one.

-Missing our Volkswagen Polo.  Angie’s parents have been kind in letting us borrow one of their cars for the summer.  It’s a compact car, automatic transmission.  For the first couple of days, I kept feeling for the clutch.

-A relief from hyper-awareness while driving.  People drive within the lanes.  No one makes six lanes out of two lanes at a traffic light.  No one honks when the light turns green for 1/1000th of a second.  People take turns in a logical manner.

-We toured the birthing center where Angie will deliver our son.  Standing in those patient suites confirmed the reality of our situation.  Baby is on his way!  This is really happening!

-We began our series of “Welcome Baby” classes.  It has been comforting to see other first-time parents who are experiencing the same joy and concerns about parenthood.

-Angie performed (flute) at her brother’s faculty recital. It was great to see her playing music on stage with our baby in her tummy.

-We drove to Bozeman for an afternoon (~300 miles, round-trip) to visit one of Angie’s brothers and his family.  I got to drive through snowfall (extremely light) for the first time.  The way the snow collected and swayed over the surface of the asphalt reminded me of the sand over some roads in North Africa.  I had a large tumbleweed crash into the front of our car on the highway while driving 80mph.  That was also a first.

-I have seen deer hanging out in peoples’ front yards in Billings.  Awesome.

-My mom is flying up for eight weeks beginning in early May.  Her airbnb host canceled her reservation this week, though the booking was done months ago.  Stressful situation in finding a solution with so few options this late in the game.  Long story short: drama for my mama; we’re all good now.

-Angie and I found cell phone service through Consumer Cellular.  We had a few hiccups with activation, but their live-operator support made it easy for us to get it working.  We have been loving the service, price, and greater sense of control over our cell phone bill.

Time is flying over here.  Before leaving Tunis, I had imagined that life would be fast from the moment we set foot on US soil. I was concerned that we may not even remember our trip from Tunis to Billings very well.  So I decided to document our journey through video.  After putting it together, Angie and I shared in smiles and laughter when viewing the footage.  Thank you to all our friends and community we left behind in Tunis.  May we cross paths again someday!

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