Africa Community

Crossing Cultural Lines


So I mentioned something about writing a post on crossing cultural lines. I actually think there’s really only a handful of cultural lines that I’ve crossed since living here in SA. You know how, in the states, when someone comes for dinner, it’s like you’re supposed to have the cuisine fresh out of the oven and on the table when the doorbell rings? It’s so much pressure to time it just right. One of the cultural differences that I have eagerly adopted here is the concept of inviting guests over about an hour before eating. The preparing process actually becomes part of the fellowship. It’s awesome! You cook together, chat, hang out. This has relieved so much pressure for me! And I’ve learned that if someone just pops by, I don’t have to stop everything I’m doing. They are very keen to just join me in it!

Recently I wrote about Joshua’s friend who was supposed to come over for the afternoon and ended up spending the night with us! I’m always reminded here in the African culture where schedules and deadlines are not really important, that people are. And you don’t just spend a quick lunch with someone. It’s more like 4 or 5 hours. We host a Sunday evening Community Night where we get together for worship and prayer. It lasts about an hour or hour and a half. So one of our staff asked one of our African students how he liked the meeting. To which his response was, “What meeting?” I think that about sums it up!

Although I know I will never be African or S. African, there are beautiful aspects of this culture that I will forever practice. You can bet if you are invited to our house for dinner, that part of the experience is cooking it together!

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