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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Stages of Culture Shock

We have now been in South Africa for almost two months. During this time, we have experienced a wide variety of emotions. Before we left, we received many requests to post as many photos as possible. Maybe it will help to show culture shock through the eyes of a two year old:

"Hey, isn't this exciting? We're going to have so much fun."

"Hmmm, I'm not totally sure this is how it was supposed to be."

"Mom, did you see that?".

"See how much fun we are having? Why didn't we move to Africa sooner?"

"See that? I want one."

"Fine, then I'll just pout over here."

"OK, I give up."

"I'm back. See, we're having fun again."

"Wow, no one told me to expect that..."

"Really? Are you sure you know what you're talking about?"

"I don't believe you. It can't be like that."

...(fading quickly)...

...(and I'm out)...

Now you have an idea of the roller-coaster ride of moving to a new country/culture. While Meredith was the model in all these pictures, these were emotions all three of us experienced (and are experiencing) on an almost daily basis. God has definitely used this experience to teach us flexibility, and we trust we will come out of it more like Him. All things considered, we have enjoyed the whole process, and couldn't ask for things to be better. God has truly provided. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

Louis & Amber O'Tool
The Pines Christian Care Centre for Children
(027) 079-289-9446


  1. Sounds like you are doing great, by God's grace and with His help! We continue to uphold you in prayer and trust the Lord to keep showing you "great and mighty things" as you allow Him to use you in South Africa.

    Pastor & Jeanie Michaelsen

  2. Amber,
    Thanks for the reply. I found your blog and the pictures of Meredith. Amazing feat for me.
    You are right--details of baby are impressive. I'll keep praying that you stay healthy and that baby develops beautifully.
    I was surprised to hear you are still unpacking. Sounds like you need a slow down and breathe spell.
    Caring always,