Apparently the Euro parishes were, not so long ago, accused of being ex-pat social clubs who spent their time sipping G&T in the afternoon. Without a doubt, hospitality is a big thing here and it is not uncommon to be invited to come for a meal when a visit is arranged. And, yes, it’s not unusual for wine to be part of that meal (I’ve yet to be offered a G&T). But to suggest that this is indicative of some sort of easy and relaxed life of Riley would be a very superficial understanding of both the culture and the reality.
It’s amazing how succinct a teenager’s texts can be when there are far more interesting things to concentrate on. In response to my text, “How was the flight? How is Nairobi?” the following reply was given:
“It’s cl! Small”
Pretty much sums up a laid back attitude I suppose. Barring one other, equally brief, text along the lines of “we’re fine”, that’s been it for communications from darkest Africa.
On a more serious note, I bumped into another parent today and their child is not just so ‘cl’ about it all. Being the foreigner and in particular a very obvious white in a sea of black foreigner is pretty intimidating. Not understanding the language and just the general ‘strangeness’ of everything added to the extreme tiredness from the journey is all compounding a sense of being very homesick. We both agreed that when they finally get to their proper destination and are made welcome in the school they are visiting, things will be very different and the homesickness will quickly disappear. Still, there’s a serious lesson to be learnt from this and our welcome to ‘a stranger’ can be far more powerful than we might realise.
I think some prayers for the group (and parents) wouldn’t go amiss and so if anyone who’s reading is so inclined, that would be appreciated.
As for my two girls, so long as everything is ‘cl’ and ‘fine’, that’ll do me.