Archive for January, 2012
Since I have nothing particularly earth shattering or spiritual to say today let’s do another Top 10 Things That Amaze Me About Africa list. After 3 years on the ground here I don’t even pretend to think I am anywhere near understanding the culture here and learning new things is a constant source of entertainment for me.
10-Deadlines “Just now” versus “now now”. I learned this one rather quickly. One would think they are pretty much synonymous, guess again. “Just now” means: whenever I darn well get around to it…could be anytime between tomorrow and next June. “Now now” on the other hand means just that, it needs to be done immediately. Oh and incidentally, immediately to most Africans means within the next couple hours. Once you learn this it’s an immediate reaction when you are told “OK, I’ll do that just now” to say “ No, it needs to be done now now”. Then you can usually expect a crestfallen look and a mumbled O.K. once they realize you know better!! Needless to say, timeliness is not of major importance here to many people…drives me crazy but that another whole blog post one day.
9-Black and white I am in a definite minority class as around .4% of the population here share the same skin color that I happen to have. The white face is sometimes an advantage, sometimes not. I have learned that getting things done around here can definitely be a factor of what color you are. Don’t like it but it’s just a fact of life that sometimes I need to take a local with me if I expect to get anything accomplished.
8- Bug Spray It’s the real deal here. Not sure what’s in it but it’s probably banned in most countries. It even works on snakes, I sprayed a snake in the face with some and it died literally “on the spot”. Couple of squiggles and it was over. It may even work as lion repellant? Think I’ll let someone else prove that theory.
7- Public Urination I’m sure I have mentioned this before but I never cease to be amazed where you can find someone taking a leak. Mostly men but its not uncommon to see the ladies also. It’s always great fun to honk the horn at them while passing. Almost always makes them turn to look and pee on their feet.
6-Flowers The variety and beauty of the flowers here are a constant source of amazement. Always something new of Gods creation to enjoy.
5-Terminology Car horn = hooter, car hood = bonnet, pigs feet = trotters, gasoline = petrol, napkin=serviette, day care=crèche….I could go on and on.
4-Full service gas stations A thing of the past in the U.S. I do believe. I have not pumped my own gas since arriving here. Sometimes you even get your windows washed and tire pressure checked. I actually got the pressure checked in my spare tire one time. Not sure if he was really that zealous or just looking for a tip…it worked, he got one!!
3-Eating chicken bones Enough said on this. There are folks here that actually do this. It’s quite amusing to watch
2-Bugs Never a dull moment here. Always some new and exciting critters to be crawling or slithering on you. That’s what the African bug spray is for!!!
1-The Kids I suppose number one because they are why I am here. Kids are kids….all over the world. No matter what the circumstance they live in, many are in total squalor, poverty and hunger. They just want to have fun and someone to love them. So glad I get to play some small part in their lives, helping to ease the hunger in their little bellies and show them the love of Jesus.
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