Gabby's RE-Entry#1

"Where am I?"

We stepped off the plane on August 10th in Austin, TX and my feet haven't touched the ground since.  We have been really busy preparing for our first concert, our "tour" and getting all our doctor and dental appointments.  We haven't had much time for reflecting and doing all the things I am sure that the experts recommend upon re-entering your culture of birth, but as they say, such is life...

The first difference I noticed was that everyone was speaking to me in English, not Spanish.  How dare they!  I still find myself looking longingly at all latino-looking people, wanting desperately to go up to them and speak Spanish.  I have, up to this point, had enough self-restraint to avoid a fist-to-cuffs with a stranger.  Then there was the whole idea of the speed limit not actually being a LIMIT but more of a suggested starting speed.  What a difference a year makes.  Before Guatemala, I was all about yelling at people for going too slow when they adhered to the posted traffic signage.  Now, I have been given the gift of relearning my driving habits at age 34.  Things are a little different now and my perspective so much clearer than it was when I was 16.  Just yesterday, in fact, a woman honked, shook her first with an inappropriate finger protruding at us on the highway.  I just laughed and commented on how stressed out she appeared to be.

At our Goodbye Party - Guatemala

In Louisville outside PC(USA) 

We decided Chuys (for those non-Texans, a fantastically hip and tasty Tex-Mex joint) should have the place of honor as our first restaurant to visit upon hitting American soil again.  We had dreamt of the chips, the salsa bar embedded into the front of a 1950 Chevy, and the queso.  What we totally forgot about was the efficiency with which things occur here.  We sat down and were immediate attacked by the waiter.  In rapid fire English, he spews, "Hey-how-are-you-guys-what-wouldyaliketodrink" all in one breath before my butt cheeks could push the air out of my seat cushion.  I was dumbfounded.  I'm sure he thought I was a bit slow.  Jeanie, I am reminded of your purple overalls airplane story.  But hey, you got some really sweet attention and a nice glass of milk and cookies if I remember correctly. 

In Guatemala, it would be at least five minutes before we would see anyone and all they might do at that point is say, "Hola.  Buenas tardes."  Interesting, this desire to serve with such tenacity and velocity.   The meal was great and our family - Ker and kids, with friends, Miranda, Chelle and Matt, with a surprise appearance from Joel, all graciously ate what was likely for them lunch #2, without a second thought.  Very generous, don't you think?  I know it was a chore.  

After settling in at Miranda's you'd think we might've felt back at home because our bed has been stored there in her spare room, but not really.  Not because we don't love Miranda and Jeff and the girls but it's so different here!  Then, we went to see the dogs again, Dexter and Bailey, and those ingrates didn't even seem to recognize us or care that we were home.  Whatever.  I'm not hurt.  I can take it.  Maybe it's just a small preview of years from now when our teenagers will be the same way.  So our dogs didn't remember us and now we're back spending quetzales like we got 'em, and feeling like sell-outs just for living in our own society.  I have yet to figure out how to fix this and maybe I really don't want to, but either way, it makes life harder.

We are looking forward to getting home from our tour because we have big news for everyone!  God provides!  He's sometimes quietly planning your life without you know and then one day BAM! you are included in the meeting about your life.  I think I have to start at the beginning with this one.

SCENE: We are still in Guatemala.  It is the Monday the week before we are to leave.  We are having another despedida (goodbye party) at the Insituto where Scott worked all year.  I am outside, the sun is shining, my corte is sliding down off of my hips because I didn't tie my faja tight enough, it's about 10am and Herman, our Guatemalan compadre, is asking me about our plans.

Where will you live when you get back home?  In your house?  With family? I reply, "No.  We're going to live with friends."

Herman: What about jobs? Do you have jobs?

Gabby: Well, we don't have those either. 

Herman:  Where will you live? in Austin?

Gabby: We WANT to live in Austin, but we are really listening for where God is calling us to be.  We hope he wants us to be in Austin, cuz that's where we want to be, but we'll just have to see.

Herman:  God will show you.

SKIP AHEAD ONE HOUR.  Herman has invited us to his home (an honor and also a Guatemalan custom, or so it seems with the Guatemalans we know) in Totonicapan (TOE TOE neek a pawn).  He is one of the only friends we know that owns his own car and is driving us to his house in a nearby town.  We are driving up this steep dirt road with a wall of dirt on one side and a sharp drop-off on the other.  It is only big enough for one car.  Birds are singing, the  sky is bright blue with a few puffy clouds and the sun is shining brightly through his sticker tinted windows.  My face is getting sunburned through the glass and my hair is all over the place because the windows are down.  It's a beautiful day.  My cell phone rings.  It's Chelle. 

She is calling to tell me that a friend of ours, Lisa, is moving overseas with Dell and needs someone to live in her house for two years -- FOR FREE -- and wants to know if we might be interested!!!  I am NOT even KIDDING!  Can you believe it!  She lives in Round Rock somewhere.  I say of course, and Chell says she will let Lisa know and she'll call me.

We get Lisa's call about an hour later during our despedida lunch.  We almost pee our pants in all the excitement but since we aren't sure if it will really happen yet (even the faithful have doubts) so we try to remain calm and decide not to say anything for now.

FAST FORWARD 2 WEEKS. We are home and get in touch with Lisa.  We are going to her house to meet her and her husband, Doug.  We all agree it's a good idea and we got the keys before we left Austin. 

I guess God is giving us a kick in the pants to make this ministry a reality so we're in Nashville now, and will be going to Louisville this weekend for our second appearance.  We couldn't be more blessed.  Thanks to all of you for your love and prayers.

PS. Got my hair cut too!  Check out my before and after shots!

At home -  with Josesito

In Ohio - Amy, Gab, Ker & Miye