I can’t say we are truly Canadian yet.  You might just have heard me saying “now now” to my patient today – and the quizzical look on his face reminded me that the words that just came out of my mouth are not understood in my new life.  It also made me wonder how often my kids say things at school that others don’t understand.  Or vice versa.

I have years of experience to remind me what is “normal” Canadian lingo – my kids have none.  They were too small when we left to have any memory of Canadian jargon.  I have noticed that my darling mixed-up children have started to say “pinnies” instead of “bibs” when talking about the pull over sports tops used at school.  If they called them “bibs,” the Canadian kids would wonder where the baby was!  I hope they have been saying erasers at school – and not “rubbers.”  Agh.

So we are all adapting.  Changing.  Chameleons.  Sometimes that is the way we feel.  Changing to fit our environment.  I remember when I moved to South Africa – the idea of saying “now now” was so foreign and felt so wrong. Now it rolls off my tongue! 😉

So we become chameleons.  Trying to fit in.  To camouflage ourselves in our new environments so that we don’t stick out awkwardly.  Some days it works.  Some days it doesn’t.

Our friends might tire of hearing about South Africa.  But we can’t help it.  It was (and still feels) like our life.  Our hearts.

We still do have rough days.  Where we feel like the leopard who can’t change his spots…

But ever since our course we took this summer in Toronto, things have been getting easier.  We, as a family, speak a common language about our transition that we learned at Re-View.  That helps a lot.  We understand each other better and have more patience with one another.  We can laugh at ourselves when we make cultural blunders, we can cry together when we miss our other home (SA), we can sing Zulu songs together when we need some joy in our hearts and spring in our step! (There is nothing quite like worshiping God in Zulu – if you haven’t gotten to experience it, I highly recommend it!)   Thank you so much to many of you who helped make that trip possible!  It was absolutely worth it!

So yes, while we do work on “fitting in,” we also enjoy our uniqueness – what makes us different from the crowd.  And I hope you enjoy yours too.  We each have something that sets us apart – enjoy that!  Allow it to flourish!  It will bring about contentment and confidence.

6 Responses to Camouflage
  1. Elzette Reply

    How special to read your blog. Always keep our beautiful country close to your heart and be different with gusto! Your bubbly self is missed in the parking lot 😀

    • Michelle Reply

      Awe, so sweet of you to say! I miss those parking lot chats! 🙂 Hope you and yours are doing great!!

  2. Norm Thompson Reply

    We would love sometime to hear firsthand stories of SA. The Lord is calling my heart back to missions, so hearing from someone who has been abroad would be awesome.
    I trust that God will always keep you guys unique and “African”.

    • Michelle Reply

      Awe, thanks Norm! We love sharing stories! Thanks for caring and loving the world!!

  3. Ruth Boyd Reply

    I’m so glad you are still blogging. I love reading about your life my friend. Looking forward to talking soon.

    • Michelle Reply

      Thanks my sweet friend! I can’t wait to talk too! Will feel like Christmas!

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