Most Recent Stories

June 17, 2010

...I’m staying on the wrong side of a 10 lane motorway with no mediums or pedestrian crossings. This means I pray every morning as I cross this street to get to work. Here the drivers’ first instinct when you run in front of them is to honk rather than brake or swerve. My first attempt at doing this saw me running in a terrified zigzag before diving onto the opposing pavement leaving my left jandal still out in the middle of the road. This provided much amusement to a group of soldiers looking on. I’m learning that the Arabs here think very little of you if show any fear.

June 17, 2010

A young Kiwi guy has taken a beating and is sitting dazed by the kerb.  It’s easy to walk passed, after all, everyone else is.  I look at my watch...I haven’t got time anyway, I’m already running late...  besides what am I going to do for him, surely no one would expect me to go so far as to take him to a doctor or the hospital... I’m sure it’s not as bad as it looks, it seldom is, I’ll look silly if I approach him and it turns out he’s really just fine...

June 17, 2010

It used to be true for most New Zealanders that to encounter people from very different cultures we had to move and base ourselves in a new country.  The skills and attitudes necessary for cultural adaptation used to be only for missionaries, diplomats and the like.

June 17, 2010

“At first we loved talking with outsiders. We taught them our language, shared our knowledge of the land, plants and animals, and debated important issues. But soon we came to realize that they only wanted to rob us of something: knowledge, language, territory, traditional medicine or dignity.  We become suspicious and with good reason.”

June 17, 2010

Like the way you notice the other person’s accent without getting that you have one too...  as long as we live in our own culture, we’re pretty much unaware of it. When we do encounter new cultures, however, it quickly becomes clear that other people live differently. First up we see the differences in how they dress, what they eat, how they talk and behave. Later we start to get that there are deep differences in beliefs, feelings and values. Finally, we begin to realise that there are fundamental differences in worldviews.