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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

along the road . .

Highways, galore.  Multiple ways to go from one city to another, concentric rings of bypass options, always options.  A bewildering transition from a country with paved roads in about five basic directions total fanning out from the capital, to this one with more miles of pavement in the average county than we have in the whole country.  Maps and directions are rather passe now, the new way to navigate is by gps.  In every car, on many phones, a constant ability to check in.

Billboards that light up in computer-screen precision graphics, and change as we drive by.  

The ease, of knowing that within five minutes of about anywhere you are you can find a decent bathroom (with plumbing and privacy) and even a decent meal, served in minutes.  No planning ahead for the ONE stopping place on an 8 hour trip, instead you choose from thousands.

Large people.   We read the nutrition literature, and the American obsession with obesity always seemed so far outside our experience in Africa where under-nutrition is the issue, that we shrugged it off.  But the change in a decade is noticeable.  And it is the poorer strata of this society that are the larger, the wealthier people attend to health and social mores and pay for exercise and high-protein food.

Americans.  Yes, this place is FULL of Americans. People who speak English, with familiar accents.  It still shocks me to overhear conversations and realize that it is NORMAL to run into Americans we don't KNOW. Everywhere, in the rest areas, bathrooms, gas stations, restaurants.  

Pies.  Probably shouldn't mention that in view of the item two above.  But I am known to love them, and Wendy had a hot apple pie in the oven on our way north, and JD had a hot berry pie in the oven on our way south.  I felt very loved by these two friends who went to great efforts, in a way that was meaningful to me.

Books on tape-a new variety, the private head-phone set, so that there is complete silence from the backseat, and no arguing over which book to listen to or complaints from older brothers.  From the library.  And they even insisted on giving us extra batteries.  Very nice.

Roads smooth enough to read on.  Or type this email.



4 comments:

Nikki said...

I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I enjoy seeing America through your eyes. I can only imagine how alien everything seems to you even though you grew up here, too.

Debbie said...

Everything goes better with pie!

Karen said...

I had been looking forward to those smooth roads, a car quiet enough to hear the radio/headphones, plus older children to travel with! Yippee!

I've gotta say, driving up and down the smooth bit of Mundri road in a new car is a taste of it, like riding on a cloud.

Edward said...

Does your son know Jonathan Bonk, Overseas Missions Study Center, at Yale. He's a special man at a special ministry.