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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

CLUELESS IN SOUTH AFRICA. . .

If you’ve ever been in a cross cultural situation, then you’ll probably relate to today’s blog. Over and over it seems, we find ourselves having to laugh at different situations because, for whatever reason, we miss things.

For example, when we first arrived in South Africa, the kids had a sports day at school, and we were supposed to bring lunches. So I packed my peanut butter and jam (as they call it in South Africa, as opposed to jelly which is American Jello) sandwiches and threw them in a plastic bag along with some chips and orange slices. What I didn’t realize was, South Africans have the art of picnicking down to an art.

When I got to the field, people were setting up canopies, lawn chairs and BBQ (braii) grills. The smell of grilled meat wafted by me, and I looked down at my sandwiches and found of spot of grass to sit on, (no blanket of course) knowing I had a lot to learn about the culture here.

A similar thing happened to us this weekend. Scott was invited to speak at a missions’ conference for one of the nearby churches. We knew it would be a great time for the whole family to get to know some of the members better. There were a few things, though, that we missed. Like the fact that we were supposed to take food and bedding for the weekend. Thankfully, when we met the people we planned to follow out to the retreat center, we learned about the food and were able to stop by a grocery store. But it’s hard to plan a weekend of meals for five people in fifteen minutes.

At the retreat, everyone one put their food away in the refrigerators. I started to put our food into one, but Scott stopped me and asked if it was a freezer. I shrugged my shoulders. Several others had put their fruits and vegetables inside, so it must be a fridge.

It wasn’t.

The word iceberg lettuce might imply that you can freeze it, but trust me, you can’t.

And then there were the warnings. “Watch out for scorpions in your bed.”

Is that really what I want to hear when I go off to bed?

One of the teens did get bit by a scorpion and the group of kids found a puff adder by the pool and tried to catch it. Nothing like a bit of excitement.

I am thankful for the weekend though, and Scott and I have come to the point where we can laugh over incidences like these. We got to know some wonderful people who are on fire for the Lord and that was such a blessing!

Have a great day!

Lisa

1 comment:

  1. Great blog. I really enjoyed hearing about your cultural experiences!

    ReplyDelete