Saturday, April 16, 2011

Self Discovery in South Africa

I guess I thought that there was a point in life, somewhere around now, that the self-discovery process was supposed to be over. A point where I truly had a strong understanding of who I am and who God created me to be.

Well, I do think I have a fairly good grasp on both of those things, but I continually find that, yes, we are all a little bit like infinite onions with more layers to be peeled back. That they--whoever they are--were right when they said that self-discovery is a life-long process.

And I find that for myself, there is nothing better for that self-discovery process than taking yourself out of your element and putting yourself in an entirely foreign element. You can truly come to know and see yourself for who you are, how you react, how you grow when you surround yourself with what is foreign. And don't be fooled just when things are starting to seem familiar, you often discover that you're about to have a new cultural experience leading to deeper self-discovery.


A few of my favorite things in South Africa:

  • Umbrellas are an every weather accessory and practicality for both sunny and rainy weather.
  • Having the societal permission to use the word "keen" as often as I like.
  • Nature always surprises you with its suddenness and its beauty.
  • Cricket even if we didn't do as well as hoped in the World Cup.
  • Greeting a person and asking how they are, always produces a genuine connection with the humanity of the other person.
  • Music comes in literally all forms and all languages and begs to be appreciated as such.
  • Most aren't afraid of bringing faith into any and all contexts.
  • Color is everywhere--in the foliage, the architecture, the design, the clothes, the art--everywhere.

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