Four months after we arrived in Bolivia (now two and a half years ago), Lindsay was reading The Return of the King and discovered some insights into culture shock from the perspective of a hobbit. It really seemed to explain what we were feeling at the time.
Well, last night we were watching The Muppet Show and Gonzo put into words what we are currently feeling:
This was Gonzo’s final act on The Muppet Show, and he was leaving immediately after for India, where he had an offer to be in a movie.
Gonzo- “I just don’t wanna go.”
Kermit- “But you’re going to go on to make movies.”
Gonzo- “I want to go there. I just don’t want to leave here.”
Kermit- “You had a choice to make, Gonzo, and you made it and it was a good choice.”
Gonzo- “I know…”
As our time remaining in Bolivia quickly ticks down (now only 7 weeks left), we’ve been feeling more and more what Gonzo said: “I just don’t want to go.” Our home is here, our lives are here, we have close friends and a great church here. This is the only home that Caleb has known.
“But you’re going on to InterVarsity!” Yes, and we’re excited about that! We want to go there, but we just don’t want to leave here.
“You had a choice to make, Hans and Lindsay, and you made it and it was a good choice.” Well, more than that, it was God’s clear guidance that is taking us back to Michigan Tech. We did make this choice, and know it is a good and correct decision. We know… But just because we’re following God doesn’t mean that there will be no pain. This is a really hard time for us. We know we’re doing the right thing, but we’re giving up a lot to do that.
Ok, so maybe it’s not as profound as what Tolkien had to say about culture shock, but it clearly put into words what Lindsay and I have been feeling lately, and I’m sure it will grow stronger as we get closer to June 22.
Well, we arrived in Cochabamba, Bolivia at 9:00am Friday morning, after about 30 hours in transit (including a 10 hour bus ride to cap off the trip). We’ve begun exploring the city and our Spanish is definitely improving! We’re being kept busy as we’re with the short term group we came down with. It’s been an incredible experience so far, but there’s a lot to come! We’ll write more when we get the chance.
Thanks for your prayers and support!
Love from Bolivia!
Hans and Lindsay