It’s really interesting living in another culture. Before our arrival here in Kenya we had done a lot of thinking about and training in living cross-culturally and we’d also spent considerable amounts of time over the last ten years on short term trips to this challenging, bewildering and wonderful continent. So we knew enough to know that we might inadvertently cause offence and we have been blessed with some great Kenyan colleagues and friends who have been able to answer our questions. But for all that, we know that we are still making some mistakes and people are very politely refraining from commenting…..it is a bit of a minefield really because there are issues that we, together with our Kenyan colleagues, are trying to address in the various communities which have enough potential in themselves for causing offence without our additional gaffs.
It is so often about associations, different groups associate things differently and woe betide us all if we don’t do the work necessary for understanding one another.
Back in March, Liza decided to follow the new Pope on Twitter. Immediately after she’d clicked the button, Twitter suggested that she might also like to follow the National Rifle Association of America and Rupert Murdoch……suffice it to say she was extremely unimpressed.
Oh dear, the power of associations for causing offence will probably be with us forever.
So God help us Cookes as we attempt to navigate our way forwards!