My Culture Shock

I am changing the pace a little for this blog entry.  I want to talk a little more about my everyday life and the experiences I have everyday.  I decided tonight, while walking to the store to buy some groceries, how easily I let things go over my head nowadays. I have been here for a month and 5 days at this point, and I am entirely acclimated. The time zone, slang phrases, and the entire car being opposite to what I am used to are all now parts of my everyday life. Those are not the only everyday adjustments which have become my new normal.  

The extreme homelessness found here and living amongst it has entirely changed my prespective. No, I am not living in a township or scraping by day to day for food, but that is exactly my point. I live in a compound in a guest house. Outside the compound, people sleep on the sidewalks at night. Homelessness enveloped this country decades ago and has enslaved the greater population for far too long. Back in America, you have to go into town, generally, to see a homeless person, yet here I look outside my gate and can hear them wandering the streets at night. And now, having been here for a month and change, I just have gotten used to it.  

Second difference … Being a white American in America means that I fall into the majority. I don’t stand out physically, I don’t sound different than others like me, I fit in. Here, I am a novelty. Everyone wants to hear about our president and political situation, what I miss most about the States, and why so many words we say sound different (such as aluninium or caramel). It is odd to be asked the same questions by someone new every day, yet such a missions blessing. It is a foot in the door, so to speak, to get to know someone. All that being said, it is still a culture shock to essentially stick out.

Lastly, and to lighten the mood, the smallest, yet most insignificant detail that has eaten me alive the first month. Altitude. Johannesburg, South Africa sits approximetly 6000 ft. (1828 m for all my non-Americans) above sea level. Im not sure who has visited Denver, but the mile high city leaves you short for breath….and that is only 5200 ft above. The climate is amazing, which makes up for the extreme lack of Oxygen, but even the shortest walks can still wind me. Small detail that probably doesnt hold much value, but what the heck someone may want to know a small detail about my life.

I hope you will keep reading and following my journey! I plan to start doing more daily updates that just explain my day and what opportunities the Lord provided me to further His kingdom!  

Author: FollowGrayson

I am an international missionary from Buckhead, a suburb outside of Atlanta. I am currently serving in South Africa for a year!

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