Tomorrow, Danny and I will officially be getting on a plane and heading back to America for the first time in 18 months. Seriously, I can't believe we have been away for that long! To us, that means we are heading back to the land of normal... or at least our normal, but really what is "normal" anymore? To me "normal" is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and lawns, and people who have different color eyes and hair, but to Korean kids none of those things are normal in their minds.
During our summer camp, our Korean students got the opportunity to make peanut butter and jelly for the very first time and it was fun to watch. Can you imagine seeing PB&J as a strange and foreign food as all of those kids did?! It blows your mind, huh? Then I realized that PB&J may be my normal, but it's not everyone's normal. Korean kids are used to kimchi and chopsticks, and I grew up with mac n' cheese and forks : )
Even though it has been difficult at times, I am really glad that this experience is helping me realize that not everyone grew up the way I did. It makes learning about Korea that much more interesting and it allows me to share some pretty cool stuff with students to help them expand their global views too.
It may seem strange, but I feel like when I get to share a game like "steal the bacon" that I always played growing up at Camp Elim, or when I get to make Rice Crispie Treats with these kids for the first time ever, I am sharing a bit of "Americana" with them. They get to try something new, and I get to feel even more proud of where I came from.
I know now that nobody's "normal" is better than anyone else's or that because I grew up in the "land of the free and the home of the brave..." that I know the best way to do things, but I do know that I am pretty stinkin' thankful to be an American. No matter what problems we are having in that country, it is a pretty amazing place, and there's nothing like living in Crazy Korea for 1 1/2 years to make you miss where you came from! It may not be the 4th of July, but I hope this makes you feel a little patriotic today... no matter where you are from!