In a couple months, we’ll be going to the US for vacation. On the one hand, we’re really settled into life here, have found great communities to be a part of and are enjoying this time in life so don’t want to leave. But on the other hand, hot-season-is-coming-get-me-out-of-here.

We did the math and figured out that over the last 10 years, we’ve spent 9 months in the US. That’s not much. (Just ask the grandparents!) The result is that we don’t really know each other in America and after a while, life in America has changed to such a point that we no longer know it either.

10 years ago, working at the clinic in Saint-Louis
10 years ago, working at the clinic in Saint-Louis
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10 years ago, working with a medical team in a Puular village

When we go to an American restaurant, I have no idea what my husband will order. Well, that’s not completely true – red meat usually wins. But does he want a baked potato or sweet potato? Butter on the side? Garden or Caesar salad? I know here in Dakar he’d order a Schweppes Tonic with lime. Will he ask for that at the food court, or go for something we don’t have here, like Mountain Dew?

I recently read an article about things that have disappeared in the last decades and that our kids will never know, like the sound of a cassette tape rewinding or AOL dial-up. (You’ve… got… mail.) I feel that way when we go back to the US. All these things that I feel like are supposed to be there are gone, replaced by new things that – even though they are often more convenient and better – make me feel totally out of it and clueless.

Maybe there’s a movie idea in here somewhere… Recent college graduate time-travels ahead 10 years and has to figure out life in the future. And for bonus humor moments, she’s now married and the mom of a toddler. Oh, what a knee-slapper!

(Now holding auditions for the role of her spunky best friends who will coach her through using those fold-out diaper changing tables in public bathrooms and choosing what kind of PB to buy.)

The role of 'energetic toddler' has already been cast... and with flair.
The role of ‘energetic toddler’ has already been cast… and with flair.
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