Working. We've been struck by how much Americans work. Joel's first job he worked 60 hours a week and was asked to work more. He changed to a job where he works 4-10+/- hour days and I found a part time job. A part-time job that turned into a full time job, sapping my energy, my sleep and any chance I have for quiet reflection. It was supposed to be 24 hours a week. It's now 38 hours; Joel and I overlap working about 5 hours. I like my job; I just wish it was fewer hours.
Is this what life is in the US? People running ragged to just pay their bills? We have modest bills. Our 'extravagance' is going out for ice cream with our kids once a month. We feel disconnected with people. We miss the family our friends provided to us in Moz (once we found friends, they became family), regularly getting together with friends.
For the first time in years, we're planting flowers, a vegetable garden. The daffodils, tulips and hiasynths that came up in the spring were welcome colors in the brown dirt. Now we're waiting for daisies, day lilies, sun flowers, zinnias, cosmos, cleome and lavender to bloom. The local farmers market has started up again and what a pleasure it is to buy fresh vegetables in the open air from small vendors. They dote on Nadia--offering fresh peas, strawberries and radishes to try. She tells them we have radishes in our garden already.