[Five Minute Friday] New

It’s Friday, so this means there will be a “normal” Five Minute Friday post here today. Join fellow writers over at Kate‘s!
But it’s also Day 3 of the 31 Days series in the Life of a TCK, so obviously it will all go under this theme. Never heard of the series? No problem, you’re welcome to join in! Find more infos here, then subscribe to get all the posts in your inbox!

Six years after I had left Uganda I once again stepped onto African ground.
Somehow my heart had drawn me to South Africa, so I would spend a year there doing voluntary work in a township near Pretoria.
While packing, while saying goodbye, while anticipating the adventure – my heart sang: Africa, I am coming back.

I thought I knew Africa.
I thought I knew how things would be, what clothes to wear, what life to live, what people to meet.
Well, in some respect yes.
From the moment my team leader picked me up from the airport and we drove through the countryside I felt at home. Driving on the left side just seemed so much more natural to me than the right (and I still prefer it until today).

But in so many respects no.
Houses looked different, the roads had less potholes and more asphalt, and the people were different.
There were white people who called themselves African, a concept that did not fit in my picture of black-African; white- foreigner.
It took me a while to get used to the mambo jambo of the Rainbow Nation South Africa.

This would not just be another year in Africa. This was something new. 
I was no longer the missionary kid tagged along by the parents and seeing what they did.
This was me being the missionary and doing the work, including all the joys and hardships.

Different good or different bad? Definitely good. But so new and challenging. 

This experience is true for many TCKs who move between cultures and lived in even more countries than me.
You cannot compare one or the other.
Every bit of their lives is different and new.
And that’s okay, it keeps you fresh and challenges a different bit inside of you.

This experience is also true for just life with all its different transitions and life phases.
New job, graduating from college, getting married, having a child, retiring.
We think we know life and yet we always have to discover that there are new facets to it every day. 
Different good or different bad?
Hopefully good.
And new and exciting.

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer in the Wilderness. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People and Food at the Table Lover. Writer.

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