What a Difference a Year Makes! / by Joshua P Jacks

A Year Ago…

We were celebrating Noah’s first birthday, and he wasn’t even walking yet.  His favorite movie was “Horton Hears a Who” , and he loved eating Tomi Seymore’s spaghetti!

Today…

Noah runs everywhere, he would live outside if we let him and he loves eating sticky rice!

A Year Ago…

I had 12 duffel bags spread out all over the Moore’s living room and was packing up everything we owned.

Today…

We live in a house where the refrigerator looks like a toy fridge. Dogs, Roosters, and our neighbors singing have become our alarm clocks. The furniture is made out of solid wood and at least 5 different times in a day someone is knocking on our door!

A Year Ago…

We left hot, humid, and rainy Pensacola.

Today…

We live in hot, humid, and rainy Luang Prabang.!

A Year Ago…

My lunch was a giant Moe's nacho plate with Josh and Ben.

Today…

My lunch was sticky rice, bamboo soup, grilled fish, and fresh pineapple for dessert.

A Year Ago…

I got in my SUV and drive to one of the 4 Wal-Marts or 3 Publix that were all less than a 20 minute drive to get clean packaged beef, readymade meals, and anything else my Pinterest recipe called for.

Today…

I run to the open air market for fruit and veggies (where I am bound to walk in the rain and/or a few mud puddles), then the little house store by my home to buy eggs, milk, and diapers. Last stop is the Western store where I pay twice if not three times more than I would in the states for an expired box of breakfast cereal!

A Year Ago…

When I drove down my nicely paved roads I would pass hundreds of cars with windows up A/C on and the people driving being lost in their music, conversations, or text message.

Today…

When I drove down my mostly paved road I pass hundreds of motorbikes with 1 to 5 people on one and they are holding umbrellas to block the sun, while being lost in their music, conversations, or text messages.

A Year Ago…

We were leaving Pensacola surrounded by beautiful beaches!

Today…

We are in Laos, surrounded by beautiful mountains!

A Year Ago…

We had the privilege of traveling to many different places in the states and spend good quality time with all our loved ones.

Today…

We use Skype to talk with our American loved ones and our house is daily filled with kids, friends, and students.

A Year Ago…

Josh was at the computer preparing and shipping eBay packages to raise extra money for Laos!

Today…

Josh is at the computer doing doing lesson plans and studying!

A Year Ago…

I sat in my hotel room scared, not knowing how I was going to live in a different culture and raise my son in the midst of all my new challenges.

Today…

I realize I have had different challenges then I thought I would, but I know I can live in a different culture. I reread my journal and noticed things I have learned in this past year that are priceless to me!