Nowhere remains the sameNovember 16, 2018
When I first came to Serbia foreigners were a boast – I was asked to simply turn up at times so they could show that a British girl had come to them. There were other foreigners in the city, NGO volunteers, exchange students, and travelling ministers, mostly short-term-ers. Periodically, I’d bump into a festival lover who was hoping that one long weekend in July was indicative of the city year round. Long term settlers weren’t exactly round every corner. I got used to the open stares.
But that world doesn’t exist now, any more than the world I left in the UK almost a decade ago. Everywhere changes, people grow and the spaces they inhabit reflect that.
It’s easy to feel secure in those experiences, expect them to be repeated, to cast a place in the light that once shone on it. My early memories of sharing beds in holiday huts and accommodation without a flush toilet feel further flung each year. I know now to expect the culture shock to reverberate as my feet hit British soil too.
Family Prayer JournalOctober 27, 2018
I’ve always found myself rather bad at putting my desire to journal regularly into practice. Prayer pages are something I feel more confident with. Boxes of prayer, lists and notes, words and images that remind me to lift specific circumstances throughout the week. While periodically I dust off a notebook and enter once more into the cathartic process of placing mind wanderings into solid sentences I had never really associated my prayer pages with the process of journaling. Then steps in Jan, a lovely lady who was looking for some help making up some printable pages. On her heart was a family prayer journal.
When you can’t Acclimatise : beyond Sacrifice or SolidarityOctober 16, 2018
I was still green, the early days of marriage and the struggle of the unfamiliar dynamics of life as a foreigner shadowed my movements. I was meeting a foreign friend and another foreign lady for tea in a city where coffee was the beverage of choice. I remember it was one of those times a circle closes, you hear about someone from various sides and finally you get to see their face and sit and chat and confirm or dispel the bridges your mind has made between information snippets.
From what I’d heard I was sitting with a lady who could not truly feel comfortable with the language even after years of study and multiple learning approaches, still she and her husband were called to name this city their home, and that tension isolated her. She turned to me during conversation in a moment of mutual recognition for our situations and asked, in so many words,- “what should we do?” Her eyes looked deep at me, awaiting my opinion on squaring the circle and I opened my mouth far too swiftly. (more…)