We live in Mwanza, Tanzania, serving with Emmanuel International helping local churches in physical and spiritual ministry.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

So Much

Blogging from the UK now feels a little bit strange! Especially as I am now in close proximity to so many of you who follow us! But I will try to keep occasional updates posted and perhaps take the opportunity to share the odd reflection on cultural adjustments!

Cultural adjustment is a funny thing. So much seems so familiar but yet so foreign. Everything feels so comfortable and easy, yet at the same time uncomfortably complicated. There is the odd feeling of living a double life. But it is like flicking a switch inside myself to get from one life to the other. I can't equate the two lives, it is impossible to compare, almost impossible to imagine one when living in the other.

I was forewarned about entering a large grocery store, and yes, as much as it seemed so "normal" in its context, it was rather overwhelming! So much food, so much choice, so much money! Clean, shiny floors, freezing cold air conditioning, clear glass doors, unnatural lighting and organised rows and queues! Yellow lemons, orange oranges, perfectly shaped fruits and vegetables.

I drive along the smooth roads, feeling rather like I'm in either a sports car (I'm not racing, it just feels fast!), or one of those toy cars at Legoland (low on the ground with a tiddly gear shift!) Traffic lights, parking lines (which our land cruiser would never fit inside!) and oh so many cars!

We are enjoying the food immensely! Sausages, cheese, fromage frais, crisps (chips), parsnips, apples, blackberries, croissants ... So many treats, it just feels completely decadent. So many things feel completely decadent: lying back in the chair getting my hair washed and cut at the hairdressers (noting again how clean and shiny everything is!) So, so much. Everywhere, so much! It is good to appreciate it all so much more.
Finally! A much-needed haircut!
Meanwhile the girls are adjusting to school which is proving easier for Amisadai than Louisa. Louisa doesn't remember anything about life in England, and there is a lot to learn! But they are both enjoying it and making friends. Things like shoes are rather a bother and as Louisa said it is now difficult for us to find her as her class is full of other blond ponytails! But the school is great and has welcomed us warmly back!
Ready for school
Back with friends!
As we make all these cultural adjustments we are so grateful to Tim's parents for having us to stay here with them! And so grateful for the lovely welcome we have had from Tadley Community Church! So many friends were gathered on Sunday for the service and following lunch. Our hearts feel so full with so much to share, so much to thank so many people for, so much to catch up with, it's hard to know where and how to begin! But begin we have!
Our Dar-es-Salaam toes! (Amisadai has the Tanzanian flag)

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