14 July, 2007

Today's Scotland update

...plus a few memories that his adventures bring to my mind.

Our dear boy (who is not a boy anymore) e-mailed his update today. Things seem to be smoothing out at camp for him, and he is excited about the teen camp starting today. He is in charge of his own cabin of three boys and asks that we be praying for them--Ian, Euan, and Jack--as they settle in together and get to know each other.

I asked him how the food is and he replied, "The food is funny, but some of it is good :-)." His tale comes on the heals of my long lunch and cappuccino with Queen Shenaynay from the Beehive Clan. What a lovely time we had while we shared stories. She asked about J and then told me about her first introduction to the food in Scotland when her family traveled there last year. She shared about their long flight with no sleep, a feverish child, and how the cold weather when they arrived just added to the difficulty of their first hours there. Food items in the first shop she and her family visited in Scotland were unrecognizable, especially by the packaging.

That reminded me of my first trip to live in Germany for the summer of '83. The new and different food was interesting. Sometimes it was really delicious - Some favorites were hafer flocken, muesli, and vollkorn bread. German and Swiss butter, cheese, and yogurts were (and still are) fantastic! Other times we ate things that were not very healthy or filling, so the body had to get used to the new cuisine and meal routine, for example, leberwurst for a type of "light" open-face sandwich for dinner. Their main meal is lunch, and of course, I was used to big suppers. When I'd visit a bakery, general store or shop, I had to learn what was in all that packaging, which was either a lot or just a little different from the products here in the states. One snack example: a Milky Way and a Mars bar were in fact just the opposite of each other in Germany in the 80's.

Thankfully, the German family that I lived with introduced me to some really good products and would keep their tiny fridge stocked with coffee yogurt and other yummy things I'd never had before but came to love. About three weeks into my first summer I had a vision (LOL for lack of a better term). While resting with our mission team up at a gorgeous and remote campground eating Nutella on Kaiser rolls, or Nutella on bananas with peanut butter that a German church member had gotten from an American military family just for us, a very overwhelming feeling came over me.

I was just homesick for Mom's homemade biscuits and gravy. It was such a strong wave of emotion, enhanced by a dreary, rainy day, that I wrote a long letter home. It was a wave of "culture shock" that I'd been ignoring, I suppose. Things got better after that, but I still remember desiring biscuits...fluffy American biscuits-complete-with-bacon-gravy (don'tchaknow!). It was so clear in my heart and mind that I almost couldn't stand it. I went for a long walk after that among the hills, where I could view all the distant, tiny villages from afar, as the clouds moved away and the sun burned through.

The feeling passed on and I never had to
pray about and deal with such a strong reaction to the cuisine (while in another country) again after that point that summer - and only once the summer after that (in what used to be East Berlin, a story of endurance for another time!!). I was able to completely enjoy the interesting qualities of flavors and meals of international cuisine of all sorts after that. In fact, I fell madly for Greek food that year, and great coffee and cheeses that I'd never heard of before.

Well, there you have it, another flashback from my young adult life, as I now hear of my own child experiencing some of the same challenges and adventures!


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