Trevor and I loved the street life in Zambia-- countless people cruising the roads by foot and bike at all times of day, in town and way out in the bush.
Still, we yearned for our friendly and safe neighborhood back home, both when we lived on a walled compound (locked in with our argumentative and often drunk landlords) and when we lived on a family compound in the village, where we could only escape constant scrutiny by hiding in our dark little hut.
In America, we live in a funky old house with a huge yard, around the corner from my parents and a mile from a flourishing downtown with an impressive public library. Now that we're home, I walk the dogs around the block and chat with the friendly neighbors, feeling very Mr. Rogers. We eat dinner at the picnic table in the front porch and greet the strolling passersby. All last week, folks stopped by in to welcome us back to the neighborhood, bringing fresh strawberries, lettuce, and flowers from their gardens.