5 Things I've Missed about the USA, and 5 Things I Haven't

After three months in South Africa, Tony and I landed back in the States last Thursday. Since our arrival, I've been saying "oooh" and "ahhh" in response to the things I've missed (and "ughhh" to the things I haven't missed) about the USA. Hopefully while we're here, I'll be able to soak up as many oooh's and ahhh's as I can... and avoid as many ughhh's as possible.

 Tony and me in Washington DC at the South African Embassy, where we had to apply for my spousal visa.

Tony and me in Washington DC at the South African Embassy, where we had to apply for my spousal visa.

5 Things I've Missed about the USA

1. Mexican Food
Oh my gosh, this is probably the thing I've missed most! In the five days we've been here, we've shared four Mexican meals. Ohhh, so yummy.

2. Central Heating and Air
Most places in the world don't offer this luxury, and in Cape Town, I often find myself longing for it. Here in the States, it's nice to escape indoors when the frigid cold or the unbearable heat come for a visit.

3. Southern Summer Nights
Lounging on the porch, watching lightning bugs illuminate the atmosphere, roasting marshmallows, and sharing a cold brew with best friends—ahhh, that's what I'm talking 'bout!

4. American Wifi
When it comes to wifi, America is in a league of it's own. It's fast (really, really fast), and it's unlimited—no more wanting to throw my laptop against the wall.

5. Driving
I don't drive in Cape Town because the vast majority of cars in Africa are manuals. So until I learn to safely operate a 6-speed, I'll be chauffeured around by my kind husband.

 Enjoying a delicious Mexican lunch on our way to Knoxville. This, of course, was my carnivorous husband's choice.

Enjoying a delicious Mexican lunch on our way to Knoxville. This, of course, was my carnivorous husband's choice.

5 Things I Haven't Missed about the USA

1. Expensive Everything
Sticker shock has made me go, "ughhh" one too many times since I successfully got my African husband through JFK's Customs and Border Protection. During our first day in DC, we paid $38 for lunch, $100 for a parking ticket (oops) and $37 for five miles worth of taxi fares to and from the South African Embassy. There went our grocery budget for October. (You can support us here.)

2. Product Options
I spent at least 20 minutes browsing the shampoo aisle at Walgreens a few days ago. I ended up leaving the store empty-handed and completely overwhelmed… with a parking ticket.

3. Creative Inspiration
America takes the prize for comfort and efficiency, but when it comes to all things creative, hipster and trendy, Cape Town (World Design Capital 2014) for the win. #FTW 

4. Advertising
Advertisements are very "in your face" here. In Cape Town, the best places to eat and visit often blend into their environments, as if they're "tucked away" and kept for those who are truly seeking what they have to offer.

5. Waste
The amount of food and resources that go to waste in America (and in many wealthy societies) is great. We encounter starving and impoverished people on a daily basis in Cape Town, so we abide by the "only take what you'll use/eat" rule. We give the rest to someone in need.

Click the image to the right for some staggering statistics about food waste. Then check out this video developed by Barilla. It addresses ways each of us can combat excess waste and feed the hungry by: 1) reducing waste, 2) reusing leftovers and 3) redistributing surplus.

Tony and I look forward to the rest of our time in the States! We know God has us here for a purpose, and we're pumped to watch Him work in the lives of the people around us. We'll be busy meeting with churches, supporters, family and friends while we're here, so if you'd like to connect or chat about ways to get involved with YEBO Life, please contact us!

Love,
Julie