Camp Day Four – The Differences Between Cultures
One of the most fascinating things this week has been observing the South African children. The children we had this week are from a village named Shongoane (SHIN-gua-nee). As the children come off the bus, one very noticeable aspect in the children is that, even though they’re on school break, 95%+ of the kids were wearing their school uniforms. As the camp went on, we started seeing through the guise of professionalism brought on by the uniform. It became apparent when we started seeing the rips in the pockets, the tears in the pants, and the holes in the shoes (if they had shoes). This, coupled with the fact that the kids were allowed to wear non-school uniform clothes, started leading us to the realization that these clothes were the best that they had. These kids don’t have the luxury of worrying about how expensive the clothes they wear are. It’s so obvious that big name brands aren’t important to these children. What the children’s clothes lack in quality, however, the kids more than make up for in their dazzling smiles. They are filled with happiness that is prevalent in their relationship-built society. Another difference we see in the campers is their natural focus and compassion for one another. This displays itself in their cheering for each other during game time and sharing their food during lunch time.
Lunch time comes with many changes for us Americans. We tried out “Pap,” a cornmeal based dish that is very filling, delicious, and popular in South Africa. The children LOVE pap!! One of our group leaders observed a child, who brought food from home, graciously share his peanut butter sandwich with the entire group. This spirit of graciousness shows up in everything the children do, from sharing their craft supplies to their seat on the floor. They’re continuously looking out for each other, especially when another child is hurt or not feeling well. We cherish that each day this week, we have blurred the lines of our differences by sharing that we are one in Christ. It’s truly heartwarming to see this style of community.
Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Beth, Christian, Brenda & Niki