Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back Online

Our internet has been down for 4 days….one of the perks of living overseas. It is amazing how much bigger the world becomes with technology failure.

Frankly, I went stir blogging, no emails, no MSNBC, no web cam, no sports (Rich added that one) AND I did not even see my sweet b-day post until today, Nov 1. Thank you for all the kind words and wishes sent my way. I feel like today is my b-day….so see Karen, I am dragging it out. You can send presents to PO Box……hee hee.

After the question, “What was it like to have a baby in Africa” (which will make for great blog fodder one day soon), the top question people ask me about moving overseas is “What has been your biggest hurdle or transition?”

My answer can be found in the phrase ‘This is Africa’ or more commonly known as ‘TIA’. Let me explain….

I live in a city of 9 million people. It is also considered to be the most prosperous province in all of SA and the ‘techno hub’ for all of Africa. Johannesburg is compared to NY and LA, although I personally think that is a lofty comparison.

I say all that to say, although I did not move to Africa to live a life of luxury I did have certain expectations of a city with such credentials. Oh, I have traveled enough throughout Africa and abroad to know I have it ‘good’ compared to many fellow missionaries. And I am grateful for things so easily taken for granted: running water, internet (most of the time), decent schooling for my children and not to be living in a hut (although pre-kids I thought it would be cool). But when moving to a county and city with such first world accolades I did not expect to be bombarded with so many 3rd world facets. Although after living in East Texas you would think I would have been more prepared. (Sorry, Kelly, Shanygne and Beth).

“What?” you ask….well for starters it took 3 months for our telephone line to be hooked up and that was with daily calls of hounding from my persuasive husband. After only 6 months we were able to open a checking account. And the biggest adjustment in this category is service and processes….both consist with great mayhem and disarray. SA is often described as a third-world country wrapped in a first-world package. So despite the ‘seeming luxuries’ This Is (still) Africa.

Even yet, I love my home, its people and its potential! To my petty complaints I say,“TIA”….you are still my country/continent of choice. There truly is no where else I would rather be….as long as we stay online.

See what happens with no internet….I gush with pent-up frustration.
Here’s to technology, especially when it works!

And Jen if you happen to be reading, Happy Birthday- you are a special friend and sis!


Lily said...

Questioning the baby-proofing lately??? Michelle!!! ARE YOU HOLDING OUT ON US????

gaylafriend said...

All too familiar. If I ever make it over to see you, or you ever find yourself in Tulsa we can have a long conversation about living in a 'modern' city in a 3rd world country. (although Indonesia isn't technically 3rd world- 2nd world maybe?) By the time the grace had lifted and I was leaving, I made up a song to the tune of "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina"... just change the name of the country and you get the idea. :-)

karenkool said...

Isn't it funny? We CAN live without soooo much, but it sure is nice to have it! Your post brought me back several years ('87) to the memory of traveling in India for 2 months. In order to call the states we had to place the call a whole day in advance. And when my call finally went through NO ONE WAS HOME!!!!! I think I even cried after that (and I'm not much of a cry baby).

I'm so glad you can be online and that your service is back up after a silent 4 days. It's not like a planned vacation.

And keep that birthday going :-D

Molly said...

I'm glad you are "home". What a good feeling. I can't remember if I asked you this before, but are you connected at all with Floyd McClung?

kelly said...

Welcome were missed.

Shanygne said...

Welcome back!

No offense taken in the Texas joke... "truth rules out", that's what my hubby always says...

michelle arnold said...

I love the way you describe your life and I love the way your love for South Africa and what you are doing comes out of your heart.

Happy Belated Birthday! Rich wrote such a sweet tribute.

Byt the way, my post today was not the "it" I referred to earlier on your blog. It was a little more major and involved the girls :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the worldwide shout out!