Monday, August 20, 2007

A non-meeting of cultures

On a recent trip we had a misunderstanding about numbers and ended up taking 6 people in the pickup, 3 on the bench seat in front and 3 behind. It was a bit of a squeeze, but the man sharing the front seat with us is very slight in build. Later the bishop’s wife took me to task for squeezing someone in beside Sheena. She was worried that Sheena would be uncomfortable in her work and therefore be unhappy.
I realised that there was a complete non-meeting of cultures here. Our priorities are completely different. I could never make her understand that the main hardship for us working in Rwanda comes from poor organisation and management – any physical discomfort pales by comparison. In turn she could never explain to me what is wrong with putting 3 people in the front of a pickup, especially when we were driving over some of the worst roads in the diocese.

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