Hey guys.

Sorry about about the sketchy writing lately.  This is due to a myriad of busy things happening, you know, like suddenly traveling to Myanmar out of nowhere and then moving across the country…, but mostly due to a lack of dependable internet at my house right now.  That should be fixed soon, but I’m just warning you in case I show up sporadically.  But thanks for hanging in there with me, you guys are troopers.

Chicago is magical so far.  We’ve been to a couple of summertime backyard barbecues and met some fun people at those.  I made pink lemonade pie, of course.  And I might have already found a church.  But I’ll hold the details on that until I’ve gone a few more times just to make sure I’m fully decided about it.  I feel like I have to date the church for a little bit to see if we work out as a couple or something.  Ha ha.  But it’s true.  So I’m dating a church right now, and there may soon be announcements as to our engagement/me wanting to become a member soon.  Yay.

I think the most interesting days I’ve had were yesterday and today.  Those were Bosnia days.  I’ll explain what I mean by “Bosnia days” like so:  There are about 20 million ethnicities in Chicago.  About 19 million of them live in our neighborhood. Thus you can go for a nice walk and hear any language BUT English as you walk.  It’s really fun.  Anyway, across the street is a Palestinian (I think) family.  On Sunday, their daughter got married.  Apparently the tradition is for all the women to gather in the house with her to make her beautiful, while the men of her family sit outside and smoke cigars in their suits and kiss each other on the cheeks a lot.  After awhile, the groom’s family comes to her house to pick her up.  They are dressed all fancy, and honk their car horns loudly and jubilantly as they arrive.  Then the groom’s father and mother go inside and do something ceremonious, it appears.  All of this is based on Charlotte and I’s conjectures from sitting on our (cute, cute) front porch sipping tea and unabashedly staring at the neighbors for 3 hours.  They were great–they waved and smiled at us.  We waved and smiled back.  Jack even shouted a few things in Toddlerish at them.  They said something Palestinian back at him and everybody smiled.  It was really fun to watch, and I’ve made up my mind to become friends with them so I can eat their food.  Oh yeah, and get to know them, too. :)

This has to do with “Bosnian days”, because it reminds me of what traditional weddings were like in Bosnia (If you remember, Jack and I were missionaries there last summer). The one thing that was different from Bosnia was that there were no kids lining the streets with ropes and sticks.  You see, whenever a wedding party would pass through in Bosnia, all the kids would line the streets and hold ropes or sticks across the road so that the cars would stop.  If they got a car to stop, people would throw candy out the window at them, and then they could pass.  They have smart kids in Bosnia.

The whole Palestinian wedding reminded me of Bosnia so much, I got a hankering for find Bosnian food on Monday.  I remembered a Bosnian bakery Nate had told me he’d gone to a few times when he lived here, and found a place that I thought might be it.  So I called my mother-in-law unto me (she had a vacation day yesterday), gathered up Jack in the folds of my skirts, and pioneered into the heart of the city to find this restaurant.  We found it, it looked all quaint from the outside, walked inside…and we were the ONLY women in the whole place.  It took us awhile to discover this because of the thick cloud of smoke (there’s no smoking allowed in the restaurants in Chicago).  This also reminded me of Bosnia.  There was many a time when I would walk into a cafe, only to find upon entering that it was “man time”.  Really uncomfortable.  So my mother-in-law and I left almost as soon as we arrived at the not so quaint little Bosnian restaurant.  But driving down the street to find another place to eat…we discovered another Bosnian restaurant – this one attached to a butcher shop.  YES!  Nothing like a restaurant/butcher shop.  So we went in and ate and had wonderful bean stew and kajmak cheese.  Yum…

All of this is to say I am very pleased that I am in a place where I can sit on my (cute, cute) front porch and watch a Palestianian wedding show, get a hankering for a rare ethnic food, then travel to a Bosnian restaurant, then go to another Bosnian restaurant I randomly pass after I’ve left the first.  Makes me happy.

Okay, hopefully it won’t be too long before I write again! Love you guys.

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