Only today I've been asked that twice, if not three times. My aunt, my two cousins and my cousin's wife came to pick berries in our garden today. Last time I saw them was last summer when they came to pick berries... They are not Christians, as far as I know, so they may not be interested in what I'm doing in Japan, and it's difficult to know what to say.
-It's good to be home, isn't it?
I'm supposed to say "yes", of course. But to be honest it's not that easy. My life is in Japan. I had to leave many friends there. I had my own flat there, where I could invite my friends, and because I lived alone, I didn't have anyone to get on my nerves, and I didn't irritate others either, I think.
I didn't have anyone who decided what I should do and in what way I should do it. Of course there were times I wished I had someone to tell me what to do and how to do it, but usually I had to find the way on my own.
Earlier when I came home, my mother was here, and she made my favourite potato cakes. Now she's not able to make any food any more, and I'm not a kid any longer, either. Now it's she who needs me. Or I'm not sure if it makes any difference for her that I visit her at the nursing home, but I hope so. However it's not so easy to find anything to talk about all the time. And I feel bad when I feel bored and want to go home so I can get on the internet to talk with friends...
And I'm a missionary, you know, and that makes it even worse. Even if my mother is a Christian and has supported my work all the time, it's not so easy to share personal thoughts. It's most difficult with your family, I think. I envy people who have an open relationship with their family. But envying is not a Christian virtue...
Of course there are many good things with being back home, but the question is not easy to answer only "yes!". Another question is "WHERE is home?"
Next week I'm going to attend a conference for missionaries having come back "home". Hopefully I will learn something that could be helpful in this process.
Let me finish with some pictures.
One thing that is good by coming home is to have the possibility to eat fresh fruit and berries from the garden, and to have home-made jam on your bread. However, somebody has to make the jam, and that's me...
I've picked not only red currant and black currant, but also raspberries.
Another thing that is good, is to see friends. Yesterday I visited Tove, a friend from college. During the rainy afternoon I showed her more than 400 pictures from Japan, but I think she had seen most of them on my blog during the time I was in Matsue.
Tove cooked delicious Thai food for me! She teaches Norwegian language to foreigners and gets many exciting recipes from many countries.
And see what they have in Norway!
BOIL-IN-BAG rice - have you seen that in Japan? I've not. But a good idea if you don't have a rice cooker, which most Norwegians don't have.
Yes, another good thing by being back home, is that I can still have rice. Even if Thai rice is not like Japanese rice :(