Comfortable Theories for African Living

Mostly accumulated through our last 20 years in Ghana.  Not at all given in order of importance.

  1. Ants are clean, cockroaches are dirty.
  2. Every immune system needs constant exposure to a moderate level of infectious agents for maximum efficiency.- so don’t sweat it
  3. Peripheral blood smears are unreliable indicators of malaria- just treat it.
  4. Feel free to buy fried roadside food- not much survives being boiled in oil.
  5. If you don’t have problems with diarrhea live at peace with any resident parasites you may have. Purging them is an open invitation to worse.
  6. Anything sold in a plastic bag(bread), or in a jar with a printed label (peanut butter) and displayed in a lighted air conditioned store is sanitized by association- NOT But sometimes its just easier to believe it.
  7. Water offered to you as an arriving guest is safe to drink (see no. 6)
  8. African Time- It’s okay to arrive late but you shouldn’t leave early.
  9. Better late than never- as long as you are in time for the offering.

10.  The art of patiently sitting and idling in neutral shows an advanced level of cultural adaptation, not laziness.

11.  Things take time.

12.  This too will pass.

13.  Always carry your money in bills of small denominations when attending fund-raisers. ( and don’t put it all in the first offering taken)

14.  Responsible people usually act in a responsible manner- if their actions annoy you, you probably don’t   understand what’s going on.

15.  Man’s anger doesn’t accomplish God’s work.

16.  It’s appropriate to be led into unfamiliar situations.

17.  Being informed of something constitutes an invitation..

18.  Give- it has more scriptural support

19.  If someone begs you, you have to do “something” for them.

20.  Never lend what you can’t afford to give.

21.  Always give an opponent easement. Everyone should come away with something.

22.  Victory comes to the one who can wait it out.

23.  It never hurts to show respect.

24.  The measure of a man is shown by how he treats those who cannot possibly do him any good.

25.  You will never understand the culture any better than you speak the language.

26.  Get out of the house.

27.  You don’t have to eat everything.

28.  It’s not really a sense of humor that’s so essential but a sense of the ridiculous.

30.  The charm of the performance is in the inexperience of the dancer.

31.  Real love covers a multitude of ineptitudes

32.  Avoid the word, “No”.- cushion your negatives.  “I agree with our brother, I just want to add one thought.”


1 Comment »

  1. Janet said

    Great list. Some of these are good rules for Canada as well – #2 and #12 work very well for child rearing, #32 can be very nice in parent teacher interviews, and #20 is just good sense.

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