Monday, July 12, 2010

The Many Errors of International Diplomacy Explained

(Rob writing) After only a few hours in country, I have discovered an obvious explanation for all of recent history's errors in international diplomacy. I feel so stupid and thick-headed with jet lag that I could do or say almost any thoughtless thing imaginable. I could easily and carelessly insult anyone. I could make decisions in defiance of all common sense, up to and including selling the family farm for a song. If any or all of our leaders and diplomats have felt the way I do over the years, it would explain so much.

For example: I'm not sure whether Truman traveled to Yalta by jet, but if he did, then there's the Cold War explained. Certainly anything after that qualifies. In light of jet lag, the long years of ineffectual posturing at the UN are no longer mysterious. Every word that comes out of Joe Biden's mouth is easily understood. I really think I'm onto something here.

We Christian folk like to think of ourselves as spiritual beings, as we should. But for all of that, we are still intimately tied to our physical bodies, and when those are upset and uncomfortable, so are our minds and spirits. I find that I depend very much on my material comforts. An inner-spring mattress may be old technology, but it beats the pants off of the bed we used last night, which more closely resembles a cheap chair seat in construction. By learning from the mistakes of others, graciously shared, we were at least able to avoid buying selzer in the place of water, buttermilk in the place of milk, cheese that tastes like mayonaise, etc. I realize that testing produces endurance, and that's good. No doubt I need more testing, but still I seek peace and comfort.

That's what makes Aaron and his fellow orphans some of the world's poorest people: their complete lack of material possessions. They own nothing: not one toy, not one article of clothing to call their own. We understand that they share even their underwear. Aaron will  leave that institution (Lord willing) owning absolutely nothing. Fortunately, his new Mom knows all about this and has already supplied him with lots of good things. Someday soon, hopefully, with his material needs satisfied, his mind and spirit can begin to grow.


  1. Ugh Jet Lag! It took me almost a week to get used to Ukraine time. NIET GAZ was our first phrase in Russian. :)

    We bought Pelmeni, but had no idea what kind, so dinner was always a pleasant surprise. :)

    When we took Erika from the orphanage, she was stripped of her clothing in front of all the other children and we dressed her right there in her new clothes. They decided to leave her underwear on, because it was so hard to get her braces off. After we got back to the apartment we removed those and put on new ones. We looked at each other and said, "burn em". UGH they were awful. I think they were older than me!

  2. Hello Nalle family,
    I am thrilled to hear that you are THERE! How fun to read your posts, yet I am sorry so much sickness, and so many planes!!!oh dear..don't let me start my plane riding stories, its the hardest part of adopting for me :)
    I can so relate to being there and understanding why countries remain so oppressed in poverty. After all our visits to Nicaragua, wow, its so hard to believe that we live the way we do and yet others suffer so under their governments hands.
    I will be praying for your family and we are all so happy that the Lord has blessed you and you are such an encouragment to those who will follow the road of adoption!
    Melody Wright

  3. Just wait Rob, the politics here will keep you entertained, until your ready to strangle someone. I hope I get to meet you guys,

  4. International travel is not easy and traveling to basically a Third World Country nets you what you have experienced and will experience in Ukraine. Read up what the Ukrainians have experienced throughout history and you will understand more about why there is basically zero middle class in Ukraine. They are a struggling people, for sure. The adoption process alone will seperate the men from the boys! As a Five time adoptive parent, anything and everything I endured was worth the Gifts I have been given. Everyone should experience walking through the process of adopting and seeing the orphanages and effects on Institutional living. Afterwards, I will dare say no one is ever the same. Blessings to you in your Journey. God's speed.

  5. Uncle Rob, you need to write more, like your wife says! Funny AND poignant? From hot dogs to Yalta? Don't hold out on us, now! Keep 'em coming!

    So sorry your bodies and accommodations aren't up to par. I'll be praying for rest.

    Is it really 10 pm there now? God willing, that's one day closer to your boy... all our love.

  6. Nalle family,
    We continue to hold you guys up in prayer. Thanks for the updates.
    The DeLaurier family

  7. Even with jet lag that unmistakable Rob Nalle humor comes shining through! I can't imagine how wacked out you must feel. My one brief experience was not even a bad one but it makes me feel weird just to recall it. And learning a new language in that mental state... much harder than negotiating a Cold War!
    We'll be praying.
    Nancy Nalle

  8. So glad you are there. I can relate to the jet lag (it took me a long time to get my body clock even close to right) but it cracks me up to think of it as the cause of so many political problems.
    Hopefully, soon you'll be with your boy.

  9. Loved reading what you wrote, Rob. With all our international travel we find jetlag to still be a trial but some trips are way better than others...

    Thanks for the peek into your heart, mind, and experiences.

    : )

  10. My son and I loved reading Rob's blog. Very funny...and true! Boy, can I relate after our 3 trips to Russia for our adoption. My husband and I just thought we'd keep our mouths shut and "blend" on the first trip (being slightly nervous and not wanting anyone to know we were there adopting). Of course, our LL Bean windbreakers in August while they all thought they were experiencing a HEAT WAVE (65 degrees) gave us away. We just screamed "American Tourists"! I think the carry on full of baby clothes and diaper creme for the orphanage was a giveaway too:).


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