Tuesday, September 17, 2013

America Through the Eyes of an African Man

Owen has been in America for exactly one week today.

It took about 3-4 days before he truly adjusted to the time change. At first, I thought maybe he was bored here or sad about leaving home, and then I remembered the 6 times we've made that journey...yeah, he's just living in a fog. It will pass.

We've all loved having him here. Catching up has been so much fun! The boys are thankful for fresh meat in the house: "Uncle Owen, look at this!" is said about a million times a day. And what do ya know, uncle Owen has the energy to engage them every. single. time. THANKTHELORD!

One of the funnest things about having Owen here is seeing America through the eyes of an African. For years, he's walked American's through African culture, guiding them, explaining things, translating phrases and signs. Now, it's our turn! Here are the top 5 things Owen has noticed about America that is either funny, shocking or strange:

1. Driving on the right side of the road. All week, Owen has been coming to the wrong side of the car, kicking his feet into the ground as if to break and nervously looking around at the traffic...he's not used to being on the right side of the road! I remember having similar "we're going to crash!" thoughts while driving through Malawi at first. It passes with time and when he's back home, he'll have to adjust all over again.

2. The food! It's everywhere and it's delicious. Owen especially loves the doughnuts although I think he is afraid of returning to Africa fat, ha! We do eat a lot of doughnuts and ice cream around here.

3. The TRUCKS. Owen cannot believe how many big trucks (and other SUVs) drive around town with only a few people inside of them. Most people would agree that a large vehicle which transports only 1 human is pretty wasteful, but to an African, it's absurd. All that room inside the car being wasted? And all of that space in the truck bed, just empty? Ah! It's crazy!

4. Dogs! His first full day here, Owen spent some time walking around downtown. He was at a coffee shop and suddenly saw a dog sitting next to him at a table. He almost grabbed a rock to throw at it, ha! You see, in Africa, dogs are not anything you'd want near you, let alone in your car, in your house or sitting at your table in a restaurant. They are animals. Period. So, you can imagine his surprise when he saw a dog in the passenger seat of a car for the first time!! Oh and the calendars, ha! That really did him in!

5. Target. Owen has heard about Target for years from American missionaries. Malawi does now have a shop similar to Target where you can get home items, but the prices are crazy high and the quality is crap. Watching Owen walk through Target was seriously the highlight of my entire week. When we got home, he literally said to me "Thanks Beth, hey! I really enjoyed that!".

He'll be thrilled when I announce this afternoon that it's time for another Target run :)


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