We are back in England. For those of you who read our prayer updates, thanks for the support, we had a fairly uneventful flight home, albeit with very little sleep – as expected with two children under the age of four!
We are now relaxing in my parents home, trying to enjoy the sacred art of rest, as we prepare for a month long road trip across America. Its amazing just how vibrant and green everything is here, and there’s no sand!
Lots of people talk about culture shock, and reverse culture shock. Thanks to some very supportive friends, our worryingly insightful CRM mentors and some good reading preparation, we seem to be coping well currently. That said, its early days, and we are off to America in 2 days, so that’s going to be very disruptive.
Since its an evolving experience, I thought I would share a brief list of ways we have found ourselves strangers in our passport culture:
- We’ve repeatedly, accidentally, greeted people with “Sayu Bona” or agreed to things by nodding along and saying “Sharp!”
- Katherine jumped away from a stick, on the floor, at night – then realised it really wasn’t very likely to be a snake.
- I’ve shaken hands with several people, and each time automatically held their palm, then their thumb, then their palm again in the traditional Zulu manner.
- A computer fan turned off suddenly, so I assumed there was a power cut. The fan kept turning on and off, and I being surprised, each time, that there wasn’t a power cut.
- Joen saw some horse manure on the road and said “Elephant poo!”. It comes as a shock to realise that we saw enough elephant poo that he learnt what it was!
Most of the time, the surprises just bring back a fond memory of 9 months in a beautiful country, and some sad thoughts of the friends we have left behind. Here’s to long standing friendships, and making more of them in the month to come!