10Q10Q -- faith, life, rethinking church, following Jesus...stuff

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Familiar, Yet Different. An Invitation to Growth.

Splendid Starlings
 On safari these beautiful birds perched beside our van.  I asked our guide, "What kind of bird are they?"  Our guide-driver replied, "They're Splendid Starlings!"

Outhouse at Athwana teaching site
Splendid Startling is an oxymoron isn't it?  It certainly provoked me to thinking, "What are the new and surprising gifts and experiences in life that I dismiss because of experiences both previous and perhaps inaccurate?"

Kenya is filled with familiar yet different experiences.  Need a toilet?  No problem, it's there... familiar, yet different with it's concrete hole requiring personal supplies and accuracy!

Three Steers Hotel Addition in
Meru Kenya
Construction abounds in Nairobi, Meru, and in the country-side.  Need a new hotel?  No problem, local artisans can do that... and although available, it's familiar, yet different, with it's tree-branch scaffolding, and hand poured concrete filling build-as-you-go molds.

Left long narrow sweet potatoes, right
Arrowroot -- a little like Hawaiian Poi
Hungry? Hakuna Matata (No Worries)!  Chow down at the breakfast bar, it's familiar, yet different, with it's purple Arrowroot and unfamiliar sweet potato starches in the line-up between hard boiled eggs and bread.

Every traveler and student knows this experience of familiar yet different.   It makes us uncomfortably curious, me included.  It draws us in and makes us glad for home. (There's nothing like my own family and bed!)  It prompts us to press on into new territory, while leaving a trail that we can retrace back to the familiar and same.

The Splendid Starling became, for me, an icon of Familiar, Yet Different.  With it's bright colors standing in stark contrast to it's demanding and dull Pennsylvania cousin, the starling.  The juxtaposition invites me to journey and to learn.  I'm challenged to step out into the places where I notice first difference, and am consequently surprised by the familiar links to the trusted, comfortable places of my life.

I'll be writing and posting more about the sights and sounds from Kenya that goad me to greater growth and learning as I journey, a student of the Master teacher.

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