two homes and one good cup of tea

"Home" is sort of a funny thing for me. When I am in South Africa, I refer to America as home; when I am in America, I refer to South Africa as home. I don't think that's a bad thing. While I have definitely settled in South Africa, and that nation has truly become home to me, I am still American and America will always feel like home as well. You know what they say -- "Home is where your heart is." Well, my heart is in both countries at the same time.

I've heard some missionaries say that after living so long in their new country, their home country just seems so foreign to them. Some have said that it's hard to go back for visits because their own country/culture disgusts them now. That just amazes me. I don't feel that way at all. Yes, there are aspects of American life and culture that I disagree with -- but I would disagree with them even if I lived here full-time. I cherish every opportunity I have to be back in America and to connect with my family and friends across the country.

That said, while I am in America, there are things I really miss about South Africa. I miss my friends and our TV line-up nights; I miss my African grey parrot, Starbucks; and I miss my own house (or, as Niel would put it, our couch!). I also miss my tea.

South Africa has made me a tea drinker. Before I moved there, I had been working a job that demanded long hours and a lot of energy; I, therefore, drank a lot of coffee. Then I moved to South Africa, where most people drink and serve instant coffee. I struggled through it a few times until I decided it wasn't worth the effort. I quickly switched to tea.

We now have a "regular" coffee pot in our home, and I'll occasionally indulge in a cup o' joe, but really, I have to admit, I am now a tea drinker. My South African hot drink of choice is Five Roses Lemon tea. I drink at least one cup of this a day at home in South Africa. In the winter, I probably drink 3-4 cups a day, easily. As we traveled around America over the past 2+ months, I was really missing my lemon tea...

Now that I'm back in New York, I've been raiding my mom's old stash of lemon tea that I had sent her in a care package. I love being able to enjoy a cup of my favorite tea while answering emails, reading a book, or watching TV.

Hurry home, Niel! My stash is running low!