We've grown to expect and understand the adjustments and readjustments needed when traveling between countries and cultures, but that only makes the process slightly easier. We are a week into our readjustment to life and ministry in Kawasaki, Japan. What a week it has been!
1) The jetlag (14 hrs. difference from Chicago time) is one of the first and largest obstacles. For the first several days no matter how hard we tried, we were wide awake at 3 and 4am. And dead tired by dinnertime. They say it takes one day to adjust your body for every hour of difference. That would mean it will take another week yet. I'll have to say, though, I've never gotten so much done before breakfast before in my life.
2) The climate here is another adjustment. It is insufferably hot and humid right now in Japan. It saps your energy and makes you wish for a midday nap, which would no doubt only complicate number 1 above. Today, a mild earthquake hit the area. We thought at first that it was the heavy equipment at the construction site adjacent to our house. A large steel structure is going up (skeleton for new 4-story apartment). The noise would stop us from napping anyhow.
3) Then, of course, there are the many language and cultural adjustments. It seems the new and trendy words I've learned while in the States have displaced in my head an equal number of important and common words in Japanese (I might need a RAM upgrade soon).
On top of this is the work of reconnecting with things in a myriad of small ways that are necessary for everyday life (important stuff like restocking the fridge with my favorite ice cream, for example). And unpacking, cleaning the house, etc. etc. All that needs to be done in the middle of an already busy schedule for us. We've hit the ground running in several ways that make 1, 2 & 3 above a bit more challenging. Tomorrow we leave with some teens for a 3-day camp near Mt. Fuji. It will, at least, be cooler in that area.
Keep up your prayers for the Lavermans as we work through these adjustments over the next few weeks!