Returning Home Highlights: #8-10

Time has gotten away from us and it's just under two weeks until we leave for the United States. The McLaughlin feet (8 instead of 6) will be back on American soil on September 9th. We wanted to reflect mainly on the things we will miss in Kenya instead of the things we WON'T miss...but the flip side of the coin is that we are also very excited to be coming home. A home that Maggie doesn't remember and Ben's never been to, but a place that's been home to Eric and me for many years, and will always be so. Because time has gotten away from us, we don't have the luxury of separate posts for each of the “top 10” things we're looking forward to about returning home, so we're doing a bit of lumping here. Our apologies. And we're limiting our list to things instead of people. Obviously, we hope it goes without saying that the absolute best part of coming home will be the chance to see all of our family and friends, and be a part of your lives again.

#10: Stick margarine: No, really. I have done more baking here in Kenya than ever before in my life, and I'm recognizing how many conveniences are available in the US. One thing I am so looking forward to is sticks of butter and margarine that have convenient little markings on the sides delineating tablespoons and cups. Wow! Here in my kitchen I have a variety of mismatched measuring cups and need to scoop margarine out of a big tub, fill it into the cup, hope there's not a big air bubble, scrape it out...it's all over my hands, hard to wash, etc etc. I never appreciated the stick margarine (and Crisco sticks) until my arrival here. Can't wait to try them out again

back home!

#9: Public libraries: Stop and think about how amazing your local library is. You walk in, and get to take home books, movies, and music … for free. AND if they don't have the book you're looking for, they'll order it for you from another library, and it's STILL free! We were total library junkies back home and the only books we bought were discounted used books at the weekly library sale. Since Tenwek has a lot of long term missionaries with their own home schooling libraries, we've made do here (getting closer to that Newbery goal!), but look forward to being able to walk into a giant building full of books on all topics, waiting for us to take them home and read them! Perhaps we'll be able to locate those difficult to find Newbery winners, like “Gay Neck, the story of a Pidgeon.” No one seems to have that one around here.

#8: Flavored coffee and creamers: This is something we have sort of gotten around since our arrival. Eric has been making our own flavored creamers out of sweetened condensed milk, milk, and flavorings for over a year now. It's been great, but we are looking forward to a wide array of new flavors to try. And oh, the coffee aisle at the grocery store. Walk down the aisle and breathe deep the wonderful smells of grinding coffee. Ah, heaven.