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As you may know, my homeland is not the grand country of England – but rather the small and discreet pocket of the world called the United States of America.  For those not familiar with this country, it is broken up – not into districts – but states and my home is in a somewhat large state on the west coast, in a humble area natives like to call So Cal {short for Southern California}.  In this region there is a strikingly rich heritage of sun and we endeavour to see that this tradition continues to be celebrated by successive generations into our future.  The traditional fare is vast, but the most notable are the burrito and burger and I have yet to find a comparison.  Our people are uniquely kind and courteous and have a unequivocal way of making themselves known to the world – primarily through their modest and demure temperaments.  Hobbies include laying on the sand, staring in movies, going to the local gymnasium and perusing the Gap on a slow Monday morning.  Somehow the natives make do.

California beach sunset

Although I find the above amusing and slightly true – California is a bit more diverse and 3D than I allowed for in my description – {somehow} over my three-year stay in England, I am not as embarrassed of my State as maybe I once was.  Just last night I was talking to Mark about how I may not like all of the aspects of my culture – yes, aspects of it are blatantly uncaring of other people in the world, the environment, and my general moral standards – but my culture is something I know and find predictable and because of that I really like it.  I am starting to miss that particular aspect of life – knowing what to do and how to interpret situations.  I guess that’s how most people feel in a different culture when they are missing their own.

So, I am looking forward to moving back to the west coast of America.  We’ll be moving to Oregon in the north west, a place I’ve never lived but have visited a few times as my family are there now.  Hopefully sometime in August of this year we will be hauling all our earthly possessions onto a large bird across the Atlantic {and many other states} to our new home.  The thing that I am hoping to find when we settle in there is a renewed confidence in my surroundings, maybe some missed comforts, and to be able to draw on my experience in this culture here in England.  I am hoping my time here has made me a more dynamic Californian.  I will find it interesting to see which cultural values I have gained whilst being in England in contrast to Oregonian and Californian values.  Its not easy to see that from my vantage point now, but I am expecting bits to come out as we adjust there.

Whilst ‘proud’ is not usually my favourite term to use when describing my patriotism…I am feeling slightly more in that direction as I look forward to slipping back into some of the norms I am used to.  Just as I said that last line, REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK came catapulting through my head…any tips?!

Until next time…have a nice day! :)

Mark and I are into diy.  Well, maybe I could say that I have enough diy-desire for the both of us…although I think Mark {usually} likes to ride along on the project bandwagon…!  I really like the clock featured below…and actually it reminds me of the time I’ve had here in Enlgand.  Can you guess why?

Yep, you guessed it – its always Tea Time in England!  Although neither Mark nor I drink proper tea – its a very real tradition here in this country.  I have enjoyed my time here in England over the last three years…and I am happy to announce that I have gotten my approval for UK citizenship in the last week.  I have given them 3 years, lots of £££ and my paperwork…!  Now all I need to do is swear an oath to Queen Elizabeth II in April and I am in!

I have to say that it really struck me how reassuring it is to have this processed and to know that I have the support of two countries behind me.  And by extension all of the EU – which I now feel is a great advantage.  I have never {strangely} felt that any country has felt like ‘home’ – so maybe for that reason I am especially happy to have dual citizenship.

Anyway, I saw that tea time clock and had to ponder my journey for just a moment and share with you all the delight of becoming English…

Vintage Cowgirl

Yes – I am back!  Although still a bit jet-lagged and behind the times…  It is sweet to be home.

Here’s a snippet of our journeys in Burkina Faso this July – I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…

Dry Lands

Lake

Kids having fun

Women at the well

DSCF0398B&W

Meeting together

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photos {Mark Woodward}

Its been a fun-filled Summer for my husband and me! We’ve had family visiting from the States for the first time on two occasions and a 4-week trip to West Africa sandwiched in the middle… We’ve been busy little beavers hosting in our small bungalow and being hosted in one of the warmest parts of Africa (both the weather and the people)! We are so grateful for the opportunities we’ve had and the bit of rest we’ll have going into the end of this season!

But now I feel like I am officially back into the blogging world. I honestly haven’t properly checked my feed reader in over two months and I haven’t even thought of posting for longer. But my routine just went back to normal mode here in my little home, and I am looking forward to seeing what has been going on around me in the creative world out there…and even more, I can’t wait to join it once more.

Upcoming project:

Pinwheel Baby Quilt at Moda Bake shop by Jodi at Simply This and That

Pinwheel Baby Quilt at Moda Bake shop by Jodi at Simply This and That

So, we’re just about ready to hit the road to Burkina Faso for the month of July! My hubby and I will be leading a team of 5 student-aged people into Ouagadougou {Ouaga for short…} and then around to a couple other village areas to spend time with some of the local communities and experience some of the culture…  The team is so excited…and it brings me back to my first time going to Africa about 11 years ago when I was part of a medical team to Ethiopia…I remember not being able to sleep for nights before out of excitement…  Oh Africa, here we come again : )

Neither of us have been to the west of Africa, only the east, which I gather is quite different…  So we’re looking forward to learning about some of the differences and will surely find some similarities in contrast to our native countries…

So, I think its probably safe to say that I won’t be blogging at all in the next month or so…and definitely won’t be making anything crafty worth posting…although I will be reverting to my MacGyver role in Africa and will no doubt come up with some pretty impressive gadgets… : )  I will be keeping my eye out for the beautifully colourful fabric from Burkina Faso that I have only seen pictures of …  And will hopefully be bringing some of that home with me to make something with!

Will take lots of photos and will look forward to showing them off…  So, have a good summer until I return from the far off land of Burkina…

Our Little Family

today at the nest

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