Sunday, May 4, 2014

Shocking!

What is this?
As I stepped off the plane in London on the way home from Kampala to Colorado, I noticed a strange site. It was 2 places where you put your head to get water out of the side of the wall. There was a sign next to it that said 'Drinking Fountain.' I thought, "What a strange thing. Who would drink unfiltered water? They might as well call it 'Typhoid Fountain.'" When I arrived at my friends house where I'm staying, I drank water out of the faucet for the first time in almost 2 1/2 years. What an experience!

There have been many strange and shocking sights as I've reentered the US. I admit that I am very accustomed to driving on the left side, and I have been wondering how it's going to be driving on the right side here. I've been scared a few times as a car was coming in my lane until I realized they were driving correctly; I just expected them to be in the other side in my mind. I've been tempted to turn early or late in order to be in the left lane. So far, I haven't driven on the left side here in America- yet. Whew! But I do keep trying to use the gear shifter as my turn indicator (all the controls are switched except for the brake and accelerator pedals).

As I'm in the land of the great Walmart, I had to venture into it's bowels and rediscover what lies within. I didn't remember its enormity, breadth, and depth. The choices of so much stuff under one roof. I went to check out, but then I saw something that I had completely forgotten: self checkouts. I thought to myself, "Oh, this would never fly in Africa. Too many people would receive 5 finger discounts. No store owner would ever allow this!"

Another thing has shocked me. I can easily understand everyone here, which I'm not accustomed to, but here people don't greet you. In Africa, it is considered very rude not to greet people or say goodbye, even when you enter a shop or waiting room at a clinic. Here, I'm just another face. I find that very strange.

The mountains are beautiful with their snow capped tops, but it is quite barren here. In Kampala, it is very green, with lots of flowers and birds singing- year round. It looks a bit...dry and dusty here. Also, I spent my first day in a long sleeve shirt and jeans, while everyone else was in short sleeve shirts and shorts. I just shivered for a while. The world where I'm acclimatized doesn't change temperature very much. Anything hotter or colder and I'm out of my comfort zone.

I am very glad to back to visit. It has been a long time, at least so it seems to me. There are lots of differences to be sure, but at the end of the day there are lots of similarities. People are people and undergo the same types of struggles and celebrations. God is still good and good all of the time. He is faithful and leads and guides us when we allow. He has called each one of us to a world. Sometimes that's a geographical place; most times it's a people group place, such as being a teacher to students, a businessman to the market place, a singer to young people, a news reporter reporting the truth, a marriage counselor restoring families, a politician promoting righteousness or pastor encouraging and teaching his congregation.

So what is your world like?

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