Returning Home Highlight: #1

Feeling Culturally "At Home":

First things first: We are people who love traveling, and we love experiencing new cultures.  Two food choices:  One you've had, one you've never heard of.  We go for the latter almost without exception.  And we have loved the opportunity to get to know a new culture at a deeper level than ever before.  There is still a thrill in meeting a new visitor and realizing how many things used to be new that are now second-nature.

However, there is a sense that Kenya (or Burundi for that matter) will never be our home.  And in that regard, we are looking forward to being in our home culture for two reasons especially.

First is the notion of relaxed interactions.  You walk up to a grocery store.  You exchange your own culture's versions of pleasantries.  You pay.  You get your groceries and go out.  Note that at no point to do you have to stop and be intentional about any of this.  You also don't have to repeat yourself several times because of your strange accent.  And perhaps most significantly, you are quite confident that you did not act offensively or rudely without even knowing it.  There is something good in this, and we are looking forward to it.

Second is anonymity.  Have you ever wished that you could just blend in to the crowd?  That you could be so at home in a place that other people don't notice you?  Being out of your home culture (and in particular looking very different from the people in your new culture) means that people are liable to stare at you, follow you, make you the center of attention.  You might feel gratified.  For about a week.  There are some times when this may play to our advantage, but it can become a burden sometimes, and we look forward to walking in a park without anyone coming over to get a closer look at our children.  Or if they do gawk at them, we will be thinking that it's because they're so cute, and not because they just don't see white children very often.

Well, that concludes our Top Ten Lists.  And it may be the last blog we post here before we board the place in 2 more days.  Bags are being packed, and the kitchen is cleared out.  Pray for our journeys, our goodbyes and also our hellos, as another big transition is on the horizon.


susan said...

blessings on the journey, and a pleasant landing, in all respects!

Lois Rimbo said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Love to you both, and to Ben and Maggie. We will pray for your safe travel, and for joyous homecomings. Welcome home - we can't wait to see you again!