Oh my, how refreshing it is to be able to finally blog! I’ve been looking forward to telling you all how things have been here in SA. We arrived at 12am Friday morning, and we’ve been involved in a lot since we came here; in a nutshell, it’s been amazing.
Things are very different here. I’m not sure if I went through a “culture shock” to be exact, but I went through something very uncomfortable and hard; which might be culture shock. It’s funny though, because it was the little things that would really get to me. For example, the light switches are different, the toilets are different, everyone keeps their doors open during the day, the seasons are completely backwards, time is 6 hours ahead of the United States, they tell time in military time, they use kilometers per hour instead of mph, they don’t use the U.S. metric system (let me say that converting things is so difficult.) their traffic lights are called robots and they are also not located on wires above the cars…they’re located on these poles on the side of the road, you drive on the opposite side of the road and the steering wheel is also on the opposite side, everyone drives a standard, they say “How’s it?” and “Eh!” a lot, they have a lot of different words for normal things we use every day, riding in the trunk of a car/back of a truck is normal (and so fun. ), they have trees from The Lion King everywhere, and I could think about 20 more million things if I wasn’t so tired right now. These differences are tough and hard to get adjusted to, but let me just say that I hate being uncomfortable…and I absolutely positively love it at the same time.
That above statement may not make sense to people, but it makes sense to me. Being uncomfortable sucks, let’s admit it. I wish the point in this journey would come when I’m not feeling so awkward here, and I can just get into the swing of things without thinking about it. But at the same time, being uncomfortable is SUCH an amazing thing; it breaks you down, it makes you grow, and it pushes you to keep going. I challenge you to be uncomfortable. It’ll change your life.
A lot of people have been asking, “Abby, how’s South Africa?” And honestly, I’m not even sure how I can answer that question. It’s such a vague question, and my answer is going to be way too broad. No matter how many words I use, it can’t come close to describing South Africa. No one really understands because they aren’t there, you know? And they can try their very hardest to understand what I’m talking about and how I’m feeling, but they never will; and that’s not anyone’s fault, it’s just because they haven’t experienced it themselves.
Am I missing everyone back home? You have no idea. I think about everyone constantly; my home congregation, my family, my best friend, Sean. But what keeps me going is knowing that I will be coming home someday. For now, this is something I’ve been called to do, and God will not leave me. He is with me always. I’ve found so much truth in this; HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME OR FORSAKE ME. In my darkest times, my Savior is here.