This post is about neither ravens nor writing desks, but I couldn’t get that phrase out of my head, so there it is. Actually, what I was thinking about was how being here is sort of like college in some ways but really not in some others. Since I love lists, here’s a few of the reasons I was thinking of:

Why it is like college
— I often don’t get back to my room until midnight or later
— Mail delivery days are the most exciting days ever, especially if you get a package. This hold true even if it is a package of things that you have ordered yourself, but especially if it’s a care package
— I live, work, and eat with the same people every single day
— I eat a lot of junk food because it’s in my office
— Everyone gossips about everyone else’s clothes, friends, and potential love interests
— I don’t have a car and can’t get around without it being somewhat of a hassle

Why it isn’t:
— I have to be in the office before 9:30 no matter what time I went to bed
— Unlike in college, mail only gets delivered twice a week, on Sundays and Tuesdays, and it takes at minimum two weeks to get here
— The people I live, work, and play with are not my same age and mostly have kids and families at home (or stepkids and exes, as is actually more common here it seems)
— I eat the junk food because it’s in my office, and I’m in my office, for almost all of my waking hours seven days a week
— The people whose love interests we’re gossiping about are often married or at least engaged to someone back home
— I get driven around for my own protection

I’m not sure what the point of all that was, exactly, but for some reason today I was struck by how much life here does sometimes remind me of college except with mostly 30 and 40 somethings instead of people in their late teens and early twenties.

The other thing I was thinking about was the importance of mail, which is I suppose what got me thinking of college in the first place. I promise this is not a shameless plea for care packages or letters, but it is hilarious to me that I get so excited about receiving a package of, say, prescriptions that I refilled just because it’s mail. Nothing is so exciting as opening up the e-mail they send around on Sundays and Tuesdays and seeing my name on there as someone who has received a package, even if I know that it’s just something very utilitarian that I myself ordered and paid for three week prior. My mom has signed us up to receive prayer cards from the Care & Concern and Prayer Ministry at their church, and even though it’s somewhat hilarious when we get three or four at one time because our mail sits in a warehouse until it makes a big enough pile, it’s so nice to get those little cards. I pretty much didn’t pay attention to our mail when we lived in the States, but now it’s like a little lifeline or something. I’m just sad that it won’t be safe to mail chocolate until September or October because of the heat, because the aforementioned junk food supplies in my office, where I live most of the time, are running low. Very sad indeed.

I promise, that was NOT intended to guilt anyone into sending us a package. We actually just shipped ourselves a ton of foodstuffs during our R&R at home, so we have plenty of food. It’s just that weird thrill of receiving something, I guess. My sister gave me a gift certificate for 5 care packages of whatever I wanted during this tour for my birthday back in January…I got my first one in May, and have been relishing what I’m going to ask for in my August care package pretty much since we got back here last month. That and our next R&R in September are the most exciting prospects in my life for the next few months!

Tomorrow is the big Embassy 4th of July party…should be quite a zoo from what I’ve heard. I think there are something like 1000 people who have been invited and have not declined (not sure if that means they’ve actually accepted or if they’re just counting everyone who hasn’t said no), which should make for quite a crowd. I can almost hear my mother and sister laughing right now as they think of my slightly irrational aversion to crowds…that’s right, guys, I’m going to be mingling and schmoozing for two hours straight. I might be catatonic afterwards, but I will be cheery and friendly during the event itself. 🙂

The real fun will be when the have the mission 4th of July celebration on the 7th — especially since that’s when we’re formally opening our new outdoor pool! Very exciting stuff…and should hopefully make for a less sweaty alternative for exercising during the hot months here. At any rate, I think I’ve rambled on quite enough for one evening.