The power of associations

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!

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12 thoughts on “The power of associations

  1. This really made me think. One of the things people have told me about what it’s like in England as a non-native is the inadvertent connections between things – so it seems we are stuck with it as you say!

  2. Ha! Is it wrong after reading this I immediately pictured Mum cowgirl style? Spittin’, cussin’, and totin’ her hardware whilst calling everyone “dang polecats”. Her outlaw name would be “Cross-eyed Lill” – equally famed for her fiery Irish temperament and the best rootin’ bean stew in the West xx
    PS Don’t mention the war! 🙂

  3. Heeeeeeeeee! After leaving the first comment got an autosubscribe response saying “Howdy”. Lill, is that you? x

    1. No, that “Howdy” thing is standard WordPress stuff. But autosubcribe is odd as you already follow the blog. One of our Kenyan friends has stopped being sent the updates via email so you might want to watch out for strange goings on….

  4. I seem to remember that before you left UK there was a message thread from David proving that he was a mafia/gangster of some sort. Hence Liza, rather than being as he described her, ‘looking like a startled rabbit in the headlights’ on her photo, was/is in fact a gangsters moll. So I am not too surprised Liza received an offer to follow the National Rifle Association!! 😉 (but I blame David)

  5. At a Community Committee Meeting, it was reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury was following the cathedral Twitter feed. At the next meeting, the correction was that the Cath was following the ABC!! Can we expect a correction in time that the Cookes are being followed by the man in Rome??? He seems a jolly good egg.

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