Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Missionary Kids and Other Strange Species, Part One

Our children had the rarest of opportunities in life - to be both "pk's" and "mk's" at the same time. That's "preacher's kids" and "missionary kids" for the uninformed. Our family served on the mission field for a number of years. It did not matter that we were "home" missionaries. We were in Louisiana, and by all accounts, we were in a foreign land. The weather was foreign (Whoever heard of sunburns in February?), the food was foreign, and most people spoke with a French or Cajun accent. Our daughter, who had looked forward to speaking with a southern drawl, was most disappointed. The rest of us were merely confused. Shortly after we arrived, I noticed a bumper sticker touting the New Orleans Saints football team. The sticker read "Geaux Saints" - a sort of French fried way of saying "Go Saints." But not being familiar with French spellings, I could not translate it. I stared at the bumper sticker for a moment, turned to my wife and asked "Who wants to Gee-ox the Saints, Honey?" There were other things to learn in the state dubbed "America's Banana Republic." We learned that fire ants can build a mound around anything at anytime and spring up over night. We learned that the mosquito is Louisiana's state bird. (Our neighborhood was sprayed regularly every Thursday by a pickup truck armed with a cannon full of bug spray that hung in the humid night air like thick, deadly fog.) We learned that Cajuns will eat anything that moves and can be seasoned with five gallons of pepper. We learned that we had moved into the bug-and-critter capital of the universe. The cockroaches live in the ground before they decide to move into your house and take over. They are humongous, and they fly. The Wright brothers could have saved themselves a lot of money and flown one at Kitty Hawk. Then there were the lizards that moved into the house to eat the mosquitoes and fight a turf battle with the cockroaches. All of this did not faze our kids, who thought it was great fun to be sharing the house with the wild kingdom. Most of our visitors, especially those from up north, were put off by all the roving critters, but our family accepted this as part of the mission field, and delightedly shocked our guests by our not being shocked. When we invited another missionary family to visit us for a week of meetings, the other "mk's" - who had spent lots of time in Brazil - were equally delighted. Rather than being put off, they joined our kids in chasing around the house after all the lizards. Missionary kids can be strange like that. There was one notable exception, however. One night when our older daughter woke up to drink from the glass of ice water by her bed, the night air was suddenly split by her shriek. We dashed into her room to see what had happened, and there, on top of the ice in her water glass, sat a cock roach the size of a battleship. All Angela could say was "IT TOUCHED MY LIPS!" To this day, she cannot bring herself to drink anything in the dark.

1 comment:

  1. haha I love the lips thing!! That would totally be me!!