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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Kuhn’

G’day Mate: Australia

August 18, 2012 2 comments

Landing in the Land of our Cousins: Australia

(Following is written from journal notes I’m wanting to complete the trip blog with Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii)
Our flight from Thailand and Malaysia signaled a reentry of sorts. We landed in Darwin in the Australian Northern Territories. Although I have been in Australia many times – this region was different as evidenced in the people. They were young, multi-ethnic and well, a little on the ‘rough’ side. They made me smile.

The rather warm welcome we received at Australian Customs and Immigration was akin to meeting up with cousins. My customs agent even smiled and added, “So you’re Canadian eh?” as he looked at my passport trying to find a page where he could squeeze a stamp on.

It is true. Our countries are like cousins. Australia and Canada have been linked for the past century. Both countries share similarities in terms of their sprawling geographies and being resource-based. We are both former British colonies with a common history and guilt-laden problems associated with our native people. We have also become two of the richest nations in the world.

G’day Mate

Our son Jeremy and wife Shari lived in Perth when first married. In typical Aussie manner he was quickly given a nickname that shortened his name to simply ‘Jez.’ They love doing that and don’t really care what you think of the name they adopt for you. In the time our kids lived in Australia they developed ‘mates’ they are still in touch with.

I love this about Australians and I have many friends there I keep in touch with. I love their Aussie sense of humor, their ‘attitude’ of independence and what I might call their ‘sauciness’.

Now there are some people whom Australians offend. They find them arrogant and rude.

It’s important to understand the Australian psyche here rather than get all bent out of shape about this. The Australian culture is largely based on the premise that “anything goes” and “anyone is fair game”. Mate-ness is spread throughout the restaurants to the casual BBQ setting; the light-hearted work environment to the jovial yet die-hard sport rivalries in ‘Footie’ espousing a “no worries, mate” attitude. They are what we might call earthy, and forthright.

Becoming Fair Dinkum

As a mentor and student of leaders I have often wondered if beneath the seeming authentic bravado of Australians there may be an underlying insecurity that is embedded in the culture or their family history.

Most often a person or leader who’s first impression is one of being overwhelming, brash, bold – often sprinkled with a sarcastic style of humor – has some significant insecurities beneath all of that. How does one address this?

Well for Christian believers, it is by establishing your security and identity in being a child of God. This is something that a mentor or spiritual director can guide you in to break down old thought patterns and establish new ones. Once that is in place, we become comfortable in our own skin or “fair dinkum” is the Aussie expression for someone who is really genuine.

Accept or Tolerate

It has been said that Canadians accept you while Australians tolerate you. Outsiders can sense a bit of this in Australia. It is like they are checking you out. If you pass their ‘test’ (whatever that is) they can quickly move to calling you ‘mate’ with lots of warmth.

When Bob and I arrived in Sydney. We were met at the airport by Chris – a man we did not know except via email who was connected to Bob through the Parkinson’s world of relationships. He and his wife Pam hosted us for the week in Sydney and we left them feeling the warmth of relationship you would share with a close cousin.

As I am writing this I am also thinking of my close mate – Graham Johnston from Perth who is now with the Lord. He and I shared ‘mate-ness’ and I miss him greatly but will forever be grateful for all that we shared together. We even shared a name in that his son is named “Carson.”

Cousins are unique and our stay in Australia should be inspiring.

Thai Wai, Family, Spirits and Kissing

July 3, 2012 1 comment

  The Wai Greeting

When we arrived in Thailand we were greeted by people raising both hands, palms touching with the fingers pointing upwards as if in prayer but touching the body somewhere on their head or chest. This called wai – pronounced ‘why’.

The wai is a sign of greeting but also respect in Thai culture. These people are extremely respectful of hierarchical relationships and during our time in Thailand I sensed people we met were trying to place where we fit within a hierarchy so they know how we should be treated.

There are many variations of the wai depending on the difference in status or level. The heights of the palms are the most crucial criteria of respect to be demonstrated to another. The higher the more respect is paid.  Here is a list I found that summarizes the rules for wai:

  • With less important: Thumbs about on breast height.
  • With ones of equal rank: Thumbs about on chin level.
  • With important and older people: Thumbs on level of the upper lip.
  • With very important people: Thumbs on level of the nose tip.
  • With monks (and members of the royal family): Thumbs on level of the eyebrows.

Family


When Bob and I came through security at the Chiang Mai airport, we received a different kind of welcome. My niece Christy and her husband Cahtaw were there to greet us with their children Isaiah and Celina. They were all excited to see Uncle Carson. There was no questioning where we fit in a hierarchy – we were family.

No wai here – just lots of hugs.

Family seems to be the cornerstone that holds Thai society together. It reminds me of Ireland where family relationships are more closely knit than in most western cultures.

However, in Thailand, as with most Asian cultures, there is a strong hierarchy within the family structure with males and older individuals occupying a higher status. The role of the wife is to be passive and to adhere to husband’s family, be subservient to the male, take care of the home, and to have children (preferably sons). The role of the male is to provide for the family however the primary duty is to be a good son; obligations to be a good husband and father come second to duty as a son.

Present and the Past – at the same time

Now it is one thing to live with this in the present, but in Thailand you see many ‘spirit houses’ on display outside homes. I found this interesting because Buddhism dominates Thailand and yet spirit worship (animism) are found side by side. In Thailand devotion to Buddhism most often shows itself in ritual within a temple while Thai devotion to spirits most often shows itself in their own front yards. There can be a statue of Buddha in the doorway and a spirit house outside.

It is not uncommon for Thai’s to worship the spirits of ancestors and therefore live in a constant “past present” time orientation. So this ‘respect’ for family members can transcend even death. I witnessed people give wai towards a spirit house in respect of the ancestor or spirit they thought was occupying the house.

It is for reasons like this that Christian believers in Thailand have questions about whether they should use the wai or respond when waied (if that is a word?). It can symbolize belief in spirits or be viewed as an act of worship – hence the problem. This is perhaps a topic for a separate blog, let me instead get back to familial hierarchy.

I have been pondering this as a follower of Jesus, and as a leader in a multi-ethnic church where we are trying to create community in the heart of the city. Hierarchy does not flow from the mandate and example of Jesus. He emphasizes servant leadership – “first shall be last” modelling.

The doctrine of the Trinity itself – three equal while different persons – challenges hierarchical structures of power. The word hierarchy is not found anywhere in the New Testament. So is it right for Asian Christians, or Irish Christians for that matter to place more importance of family and hierarchy than on what Jesus desires for us?

More pondering required on this.

Wai/Kiss

In other countries where Bob and I have visited we have been greeted with a “holy kiss”. In South America, people are fairly tactile: they hug and kiss (on the cheek) and hold hands all the time. This men-kissing-men takes a lot of getting used to, especially for us reserved Canadians.

In Peru they kissed twice, once on each cheek, and in Argentina it was three times – a formulae I always seemed to get wrong. Do you go for the right cheek, the left cheek? Do you hold back and wait? Do you lunge and embarrassingly kiss mid-air or bump heads? It was safer in Kuwait. There, kissing outside the home can land you in jail for a week, but then again so can driving a jet ski inside a little red buoy – but that is another story. 🙂

While I loved the graceful gesture of the wai in Thailand, it will not be a practice I am encouraging back home.

I think we need to kiss more.

Hot and Cold In Different Cultures

June 16, 2012 1 comment
Kirstie (Jon’s girlfriend) just asked me what place has been my favorite so far on this round the world trip. It is a question frequently asked and it is impossible to answer. Each culture is very different and our experiences are not even in the same categories. This has made me think about the different cultures we have visited and the varying degrees of culture shock we have experienced.

Cultural Disorientation

Flying from one country to another sounds so exotic. Life in a foreign culture can be exciting, but it can often lead to misunderstandings and this is something I have tried to keep before me as I listen to leaders from so many different countries and backgrounds.

When travelling like this you can have periods of confusion and cultural disorientation and even find it hard to cope with the easiest tasks required for life. This is part of culture shock and not uncommon. Bob and I had decided before we started to just roll with it – whatever that would be.

The Shower

In Kuwait I was ‘inwardly’ thrilled to be in a country where things seemed familiar from a North American perspective. It started in the morning when I went to have a shower. I could hardly wait. I trusted the water and even recognized how the faucet worked. Believe me, these things were new to us!

I turned the tap on and tilted it to the middle. The water was quite warm, so I moved it towards the blue dot. The water temperature increased.

“Ah”, I thought, “it is not a ‘civilized’ here as I thought. They put the tap in backwards.” So I moved the handle back towards the red dot – but the water was hot there too. Strange?

At breakfast I shared my experience with Warren and Debbie Reeve where I was staying. They smiled (laughed actually) and told me in Kuwait during the summer that water heaters are turned off because water tanks are stored outdoors in the 45 degree Celsius sunshine.  So it is all hot – blue or red.

While I was trying to impose my Canadian expectations on the shower faucet it simply functions differently here. It takes a different type of traveller to consciously set aside our predispositions to listen to the culture of others. We all know how it is when you visit a place as a tourist and it seems so ideal. You just want to stay there. Yet when you really listen to those who live there you find it is not as glamorous as you thought. No place is perfect.

For Bob and I as we are travelling abroad, we have discovered that it’s when we experience and see things that you do not see when you are just a tourist that we have really ‘listened’ to the people and begin to understand the culture.

The potential for culture shock or misunderstanding is present every time you change cultures. For us that has been almost every week for the last month and half. Although we have both traveled widely we can still experience culture shock.

Having a sense of cultural disorientation is normal, but there are a few things that I have been processing that I think may be very applicable when I return home to Vancouver to a very international church.

Travel Tips

In communicating with people from different cultures in your city here are a few things we have learned that help:

  • Try not to respond with contempt for those from a different culture.
  • Stop anticipating you can do everything just as you would back home – toilets alone will make this real for you.
  • Don’t always compare the new culture with your culture; doing so may cause you to see the new culture as inferior.
  • Try to learn the local language. Bob is very good at this, although his attempts have also caused rooms to burst out in laughter.
  • Ask questions so you can understand the culture and the rules of social behavior.
  • Refrain from making comments about the amount of litter lying around in public places – we often don’t see the litter in our own back yard.
  • Be aware of common ethnocentric expressions like talk of drivers driving “on the wrong side” of the road. Just say the “opposite side” or even the “left-hand side”?
  • Don’t speak about the Arabic language as being read “backwards.” Just say “from right to left” or “in the opposite direction from English”?
  • When sampling the food of another culture, using a phrase like “Oh, that’s different” rather than more pejorative terms or awkward facial expressions that clearly imply you didn’t like it. (I have used this a few times.)
  • Don’t assume you can take just take photos whenever you want, ask first. Oh and a safety tip, do not take pictures in government buildings or public transportation buildings without asking. 🙂
  • We all have a comfort zone, an invisible zone of psychological comfort that we carry with us. We call it our personal space and it varies with different cultures. How much personal space one needs varies depending on who we are talking to and the situation we are in. Don’t assume that your degree of personal space is correct (especially important in India or other very crowded cities).
  • There is an additional resource I would recommend on this subject. World Vision Australia has a two-page pdf  on being a culturally sensitive traveler I encourage you to read if you are planning to travel to other cultures – especially those of extreme poverty. It is available here.

So while this all seems easily applied while I am the minority in another country and culture, I am pondering how I might live differently at home.

Handcuffed in Saudi Arabia

June 11, 2012 5 comments

Bob and I boarded our Ethiopian Airline flight from Addis Ababa to Kuwait City. It was a late departure and we would not arrive in Kuwait until 1:45 am.

FYI: Flights often come and go in the evening here when the temperature drops to a safe level. Air temperature very definitely affects takeoff performance. All else equal, hot air is less dense. The result is that our plane must be moving faster through it to generate enough lift to take off. Unfortunately, the less dense the air, the less power the engines develop, so it takes even longer to to accelerate to the needed faster speed.

We were tired. We had spent the last five hours in the Addis airport – three hours not so comfortable and the last two in the frequent flyer lounge (but it was hot). I was determined that I would sleep on the flight because after our arrival I would only have a few hours of sleep and then I was speaking four times in Kuwait starting at 8am.

Mistake 1

We lined up to check in for our flight using the Elite check in as we have done many times before. There was a slight difficulty with language as I had trouble understanding the woman. Just as she printed out our boarding pass I asked, “Can you tell me what seats you have given us?”

Bob and I have been flying with each of us on an aisle across from each other. This allows us to get up to stretch and move easily. When she responded to my question she told me that we were assigned a middle and aisle seat in row two.

I explained that we would prefer not to have a middle seat and she politely offered us two aisle seats across from each other and asked if that would be okay.

“Yes, that would be fine as long as row two was not a business class section. What is the configuration of this aircraft?”

She didn’t respond right away but went ahead and printed the row twelve boarding passes.

“Is row two business class?” I asked again.

“No” she smiled back and then reminded us of the frequent flyer lounge location near our departure gate.

Boarding the Flight

Unlike boarding times in North America our tickets say that we are to board the flight one hour prior to departure. It seemed unreasonable at first but we have learned on this trip that the boarding procedures are not as efficient as we are used to. It begins with passing through security again at Addis. This is the third time we have placed our bags on the conveyor and through the xray machine.

Next you are gathered together in a secure room that is too small for the number of passengers on the flight. Our room was filled and 85% of the passengers were young women in Muslim wear although many had their faces showing like they were enjoying their last bit of freedom.

When they announced pre-boarding for the flight it was a zoo when over one hundred young women crushed together, pushing and forcing their way to the front. It was odd if you are a frequent flyer because you know that we are all being directed down several long hallways to a door on the lower level where busses will come, load up fifty at a time and drive you to the airplane. Rushing was not going to do anything, especially because all the seats are assigned – you are not benefiting by getting their first. Now sometimes I like boarding early if I have carry on luggage to ensure I get some space, but these young women were carrying nothing.

As we entered the door of the plane I let out an “Oh no” to Bob.

“What?” he asked.

“Row two is business class!”  I told him. “Oh well I will just talk to them and explain the mistake.”

After minutes of trying to explain that we had boarding passes for row two but the gate agent misinformed us and moved us to row twelve – nothing had changed. We kept having higher and higher levels of staff come to talk with me while Bob stood nearby just wanting to go to sleep.

Now when you are really tired, those front section seats look so wide and plush and inviting. The thought of them fully reclining pushed me to be bolder and stronger than I normally would – remember I am tired.

So they went an brought the man in charge to speak to me who listened to my story again and then briskly said, “We do not have the authority to move you from economy to business class.” He then offered to move us into the exit row to at least provide extra leg space, however he didn’t remind us that the seats do not recline at all. So this flight, Ethiopian #620 was already on our list as the worst flight of our trip (so far).

Mistake 2

Bob had a bad trip. He hardly slept, while I on the other hand did collapse into dreamland even sitting straight upright. We were both relieved when the wheels touched down right at the appointed time of 1:45am. In that half baked, dozy almost nauseating stage of being only partially awake we gathered our things together while the one hundred ladies stayed in their seats – very different from their behaviour on boarding. I said goodbye to Mr. “I have no authority” stepping onto the jetway and started walking towards the airport enjoying the air conditioning. You could tell that even at two in the morning it was still very hot here.

Suddenly a man started yelling in Arabic, and he kept yelling.

I turned around to see what was going on only to recognize the man in the official looking uniform was yelling at me – well Bob too. So in my I just woke up character I asked, “WHAT?”

He motioned for us both to return to where he was by the aircraft.

Right at this time the one hundred maidens started out of the aircraft making our walk back to the man reminiscent of salmon swimming upstream.

When we approached him, he took our boarding cards saying “Kuwait, Kuwait!”

“I know, I know” I said strongly back.

He then said, “This is Saudi Arabia” and he made the motion of clasping handcuffs on my arms as he pushed us back onto the plane through the last women departing the flight.

The plane had made an unscheduled landing in Dammam, Saudi Arabia and the only people who got off were the hundred women and their handlers. Very wierd. I asked Bob, “How much does it cost to get a plane to make an unscheduled stop like this?”

When we finally landed in Kuwait at 3:45am, there was a very nicely dressed man in a suit holding up a sign with both of our names on it. “Oh boy” I thought. Usually when I am going to get into trouble, I like having my lawyer friend on the other side and able to help. This time he is with me!

Well the suit man turned out to be a fellow our host had arranged to meet us and guide us through immigration into Kuwait. Although there were people sitting in the immigration area that looked like they had been there for days – we were processed through in minutes and able to meet my friend and Arrow leader, Warren Reeve who had been waiting for us since 1:45am.

“Don’t worry he said, this stuff happens here.” Warren said graciously.

I slept for two hours before starting to my marathon preaching day. Before falling asleep I quietly pondered what it would be like to be behind bars in Saudi right now?

Then I wondered about the future of those young women who departed where we could not.

Road to Abote: World Vision Sponsor Visit

June 10, 2012 4 comments

Leaving Addis

We were excited about getting picked up at 7:30am to begin a drive north of Addis to an Area Development Project of World Vision in a village area called Abote.

Having been in Addis Ababa for several days we asked many people about Abote to find that no one had heard of it. They had all heard of World Vision but had no idea where we were going. This would not be the first time that World Vision was at work in a region that was off the map and when we read our itinerary and saw that we would be travelling the final portion of the trip be vehicle or horse we knew we were in for quite the experience.

With the help of World Vision Canada we had arranged for Bob to actually meet eleven year old Abesha, one of children that he and his wife Renae sponsor.

Driving out of Addis we started out on paved roads but we turned off the highway after two hours on the road to Abote.

This area development project has 5070 children registered by World Vision who have been working with the people here for twelve years. Prior to World Vision coming off-road to the people here only 2.5% had access to potable water. There were many water borne diseases.

Only 2% of the people used a pit latrine and just 25% of the children had been immunized.

 

 

Now twelve years later we found a very different situation where the community has been transformed including having some banking/credit services with 2500 clients so that they do not have to pay the 120% interest rates charged by money lenders. Eighty one percent of the people have access to potable water.

 

 

We walked the last section of the journey to Abesha’s home and found the family waiting outside for our arrival.   I wish you could have been with us to see the response of Abesha and his mother when they were introduced to Bob. She was overjoyed and filled with emotion.

Abesha has a sister and brother living with he and his mother. His father and an older brother were not present for they are working in southern Ethiopia.

 

 

 

Bob presented Abesha with a soccer ball and pump and the two of them spent time kicking the ball back and forth in front of the hut. Abesha was unable to wipe the smile off his face.

His mother then invited us into their home where she proudly showed us the photo of Abesha and the record card from World Vision. Their house was one room approximately 100 square feet with the floor and walls made of cow dung. She then asked us to be seated while she went to the cook hut next door and brought us a plate of bread she had cooked and coffee served with some form of sugar already added.

 

 

I will always be deeply touched by how people with so little, can be so generous. When we had finished with the bread, she took the remainder outside and shared it with all the neighbors who had gathered to see the two white men visiting their village – only ten would visit here in a year.

When we departed we both felt somehow blessed.

 

We spent the night at a hotel nearby – well when I say hotel it may conjure up an image of something other than where we actually stayed.

Before we went to sleep we paused to reflect on our visit to one of the most grateful families, and homes we have been to in a long time.

Now I realize that it is simply not possible for every supporter to meet your sponsored child. However this experience showed the two of us how a small focused emphasis on monthly sponsoring a child can influence and entire community.

 

We are deeply touched.

Lion Like Leadership

June 2, 2012 3 comments

A highlight memory in my life was recently watching a pride of lions hunt in Kenya on the Serengeti plains. Here are some leadership points I took away from the experience.

Leaders are hard to find

The pride was carefully concealed in the grass. Although these lions are large creatures, they usually kept their heads beneath the level of the tall grass. You had to look very carefully and get up closer to really notice what was taking place.

Lion Insight: This is true of leaders. You need to get close enough to them to really see their leadership at work.

Identify the target

One of the pride raised her head high above the grass and spotted a single Hartebeest on the horizon more than a kilometer away. Once identified, she never took her eyes off the prey and somehow signaled to the entire pride to do the same.

Lion Insight: Leaders are the ones who can look out to the horizon and determine where the entire group should be headed. They also have a way of communicating this so all eyes are on the goal.

Spread out and gain perspective

With a military like precision, the pride began to spread out across the plain, each one staring intently at the goal. By doing so they were increasing their ability to judge the direction and potential action of the prey. It also positioned them in such a way that no matter what took place, some member of the pride may be in a place to have success. This was a team effort.

Lion Insight: Leaders are always helped by getting more perspective on a situation. Allowing your team to be among your feedback group gives an even greater potential of achieving your goals.

Be patient

The pride began to move toward their goal slowly, quietly with stealth. They were not in a rush, as they knew that would be futile when they have to cover so much territory to get close to achieving their goal.

Lion Insight: Leaders need to have the discipline to patiently work towards their goals. One step at a time will get you there. If you rush, you may loose entirely.

Ignore the distractions

We were in a four-wheel drive right amidst the pride, in fact they walked around us while hunting without even giving an acknowledgement of our presence.

Lion Insight: There are so many things that can capture a leaders attention, but if we are going to reach the goal we must learn to ignore distractions and keep moving forward.

Outside influences can affect the plan

As the pride were moving towards the Hartebeest another Land Cruiser came across the plain towards the lions so that their customers could catch a glimpse of one of the Big Five. In doing so, he attracted the attention of the Hartebeest who then quickly took off in the opposite direction foiling the hunt.

Lion Insight: There will always be the outside influences that can impact your plans. Leaders need to realize this and get over it quickly.

Be quick to regroup

As soon as the pride realized their dinner was now far from a reality they quickly moved back together and began the task of identifying a new target

Lion Insight: Leaders should be quick to call the team together again when there is a need to regroup and set a new goal.

We have an example

There is another lion from whom we can glean leadership principles. Revelation 5:5 refers the Lion of Judah, one of the names ascribed to Jesus.

Lion Insight: Following the Lion of Judah can be a guide for life providing leadership insight and life in all its fullness.

PS – I might add one more to this list and that is that it was the women doing all the work!

Round the World: Traveling Tips after one month and 24,000 kilometers

June 2, 2012 2 comments

Well we have been travelling for one-month today. Bob and I have journeyed almost halfway around the world. We are in Kenya, East Africa. How are we doing?  Well…

  • I snore and Bob wears hearing aids that he turns off at night #awesome combination
  • I waken easily so I can defend us from intruders – animal or human, and also hear the alarm
  • When Bob tries to be humorous and is misunderstood – I can interpret for him #whatfriendsdo
  • I am a bit of a techie and Bob isn’t so it is like he has his own IT department with him #technopeasant
  • Bob’s Parkinson’s is controlled by medication – nothing like having a friend to ask if you have taken your meds #nag
  • When dealing with a legal matter in Chile it is sure helpful to have your lawyer with you – (even though he cannot practice in Chile unless in the Canadian embassy, he still thinks like a lawyer) #lawyerhead
  • It is totally possible to travel around the world with a carry on suitcase. You do want to check it though as the security searches for carry on takes too much time #inconsistent
  • Quick dry travelling underwear – where have you been all my life. #amazing
  • Travel shirts and pants – again terrific. Don’t bring blue jeans or cotton of almost any description. It may feel comfortable but takes forever to dry #useahairdryer
  • Get over an desire to buy souvenirs. You don’t have room and no one needs more trinkets. #photomemories
  • Take a big bottle of acidophilus with you and take several daily. It helps give you a fighting chance with a diet that changes every few days #reducegasemmissions
  • An iPhone can serve as your movie camera, camera, microphone for interviews replacing all these gadgets. Get really comfortable using it before a trip. Oh yeah, and do not allow it to join a network and roam. That can cost as much as the trip J #threedollartextmessages
  • There is a lot of time for reading while travelling. Bring your library on an iPad or Kindle device – you will be glad you did
  • Energizer Batteries. In all the travelling I have done in my life I have tried every AA and AAA battery there is. None have performed like Energizer in fact I think of Energizer as an unofficial sponsor of this round the world tour. They are powering my flashlight, digital recorder, noise cancelling headset and none have required a change yet #keepsgoingandgoing
  • Carry US dollars as it is often the preferred currency for visas or paying reciprocal fees at airports (cash only). That said don’t bring bills larger than fifties and none printed earlier than 2000 or they may not be accepted #goodoldusa
  • Take naps. These are the ultimate cure for frequent time zone changes so plan your days around naps #melatonin
  • Lower travel expectations. There will be flight delays, cancelled flights and mix-ups. Act like the travelling professional you are and seek solutions with the staff #getoverit
  • Remember that you are entering into someone else’s culture. Don’t impose your culture on everyone around you; instead take a real interest in his or hers. Try to speak their language #notegocentric
  • Worldmate – a travellers dream app. We use it twenty times a day for weather, conversion of currency, flight info, hotel info and time zones #worldmate.com

Now here is a list of what I would do differently:

  1. Not carry books as gifts #tooheavy
  2. Bring one more pair of travel pants that can pass as dress pants in a very light color or shade #classy
  3. Print a bookmark or even just photos with contact information as gifts for people #nottooheavy
  4. Bring teaching materials with me and anticipate being asked spontaneously #beprepared
  5. Allow more time for journaling. It takes as long or longer to record the experiences #capturewhilefresh

So that is it after one month, let’s see what I would add to these lists after two months!