Wednesday, May 25, 2011


On the way home from Antelope park, while driving on very dark roads (the car swerving to miss animals and people walking and NO street or city lights), I was nursing Lazzy and realized something. The biggest difference between Americans and Africans (besides the obvious one: Americans are individualists while Africans are community oriented) is that Africans are extremely flexible people.

Numerous times I've heard our Zimbabwean friends say things like “It's fine”, “Ah, well, that's life” and the more known phrase “This is Africa”. Nothing shakes them. They are up for anything and know that at any point, plans can change. Still, they know that everything will be okay.

Lack of resources like electricity and water have influenced Africans in a major way. Whether you have these things or not is rarely ever in your control. But there are other things that can complicate your plans like transport, food availability, even your government. These are all things Americans trust in. We put total faith in these things being at the same place and the same time every single day, because usually, they are.

I am thankful for my two years spent in Malawi, because before that time, I was not a flexible person. I'm not sure that I would consider myself one today, either, but it is something I am prayerfully hoping to become.

Being in the midst of a flexible culture makes for very relaxing enjoyable days. No one is complaining because everyone knows they aren't entitled to anything. People take things as they come and change plans if needed. Frustration still exists but over matters that deserve such attention. It's no fuss and I really appreciate that about Africa.


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