Flying from Iquitos to Houston has been a long and exhausting string of flights. Yesterday, we flew from Iquitos to Lima. Then, very late that night, we boarded a plane that took us from Lima to Mexico City that touched down a little after midnight, getting us to our apartment at 2:00am.

The best news is that the afternoon later that day, we took a flight from the smoggy Mexican capital to Houston, a city in the United States of America to say the least. The instant we landed in our home country, all the weight and extraordinary features of this year came crashing down on me. We had officially made our way east around this world, across five continents and over 20 countries.

I can not stop jumping up and down shrieking mostly out of all the emotions that go with the statement of “We are in the United States of America!”

American flags were hung around the airport, and everybody that worked there spoke American English. I kept saying Gracias, Spanish for thank you, to the employees at the airport. Uugh. We’re in a new country now.

And this isn’t like Hawaii, in the sense that we are in the continental United States (though it is Texas), and that we have zero international flights ahead of us. For a while, we will be in the USA for good. We have two more flights, both national, until we are back to Seattle after such a long time away.

That night, Alex returned home from the probably huge American supermarket with a peculiar local brand of macaroni and cheese. It was called Annie’s. I call it “peculiar local brand” because I had not seen it anywhere, much less eaten it, in just over 11 months. Though actually it was the exact brand of macaroni and cheese that I had eaten with Grandma all the time in Seattle. I just ran around the house yelling “Macaroni and Cheese! Macaroni and Cheese! Macaroni and Cheese!”

Tomorrow night, we will see many members of our family that live in Houston, connecting and getting used to the simple fact of the country we are in and what we call it: home.

Below: Getting on the flight that will take us to the USA

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Below: What’s that flag up there?

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