As we were preparing for this trip in 2016, I realized that this was going to be a different one. Why? Because Nancy, Mark and Nicole have never been to the states. Traveling with a bigger family and overcoming the barriers most non-Americans going to America face, can be quiet a challenge.
As I look back, this trip allowed our family to come together in a new way, since we needed each other and needed to learn to cope with the language barriers as well as cultural differences. We learned a lot about each other.
Getting Mark, Nicole and Anahi into a great Christian School made all the difference. Their circle of friends increased overnight and their comprehension of English improved dramatically.
One of the highlights was snow skying with the kids. It was the first time for Mark and Nicole to see snow. They loved it. Our friends at St. Joseph took us out for a wonderful day on the hills covered with snow.
For Nancy it was a learning experience as we met with family and friends. The US has been part of my home for a number of seasons in my life, not so for Nancy. Going to the stores provided for a learning experience as well. Buying groceries and learning to make meals with new ingredients was very interesting. Paraguayan meals seem to take less sugar, fat and processed ingredients.
We visited a large part of our US based family and got to renew and connect with friends, although we know there are lot of people we were not able to see.
We covered approximately 10 thousand miles with a minivan, which was provided at no cost by a dear friend. Our journey took us between Florida and Michigan and everything in between. I never get tired of driving the interstates in the US, since they provide such a break from our daily two lane driving in Paraguay.
We are getting back and used to living in Paraguay again. Sharing the only paved road crossing our state, with motorcycles, buses, semi trucks, cars, farming equipment, pedestrians and stray dogs is something I will probably never fully adjust to.