06 October, 2009

Early reflections on my week away

Asia is still Asia. The area of the world I've lived in for much of the last decade. Japan and the Philippines are very different. Vastly different in some ways, but still probably more similar to each other than they are to Australia. Australia is not Asia, no matter what how you try to twist it. How's that for a vague paragraph? It probably was born of travelling with someone who hasn't real been to Asia at all. I was more comfortable with it than she was. Possibly a factor is that I have been living out of my own culture for so long that another culture doesn't bother me so much. I certainly didn't feel very homesick. Japan has probably immunised me against that! I am used to being surrounded by beautiful Asian faces too, that didn't bother me. Actually it felt very familiar. When I arrived home, my mother-in-law was visiting (we invited her to help David with the boys). She had an interesting insight into our boys. She said, "Not only are they intelligent (!!), but they are unlike any kids I've ever met." Now that sounds bad, but she meant it in a positive way. Actually I think she was picking up the 'foreign-ness' of them. That they've grown up in an Australian household, but in the context of another country. You're thinking, "What has this got to do with this blog-post?" It is this - travelling in Asia with someone who's lived her entire life in Australia, showed me how much being an overseas missionary has changed me deeply. It has touched every part of my life and changed many of my attitudes and reactions. My perspective on the world is permanently changed. Not that I am better than someone who hasn't had the same life experiences, by no means, but I am different. Reflecting on magazine editing. Which, after all, is the reason I went on this adventure in the first place. My future with Japan Harvest is not totally clear. Probably it will be an evolving role. Mission work is different from a paid job; boundaries and responsibilities are often less clear and often it is up to you how much you pour into something. I am excited, however - magazine editing is something I definitely have an interest in and has much room for learning and growth. I can see the current editor needs help and we'll see how much I can do. Of course I have a lot of other responsibilities over the coming couple of years, but hopefully I can gradually help him more. I'd also like to do more writing for magazines. That requires discipline. We'll see if I'm up to it. But for now, I need some more rest...my stomach is still not up to much at one time. At least I'm not racing to the bathroom frequently, though.

2 comments:

Mrs Q said...

Get stuck into the drinking yogurt, it should help!

Ken Rolph said...

"Australia is not Asia, no matter what how you try to twist it."

This sounds interesting. You should expand on it at some time. It's an ongoing discussion in Australia. I wondered if your outlook was particularly Queenslandish. They seem to be very skippy up there. Friends who come to Sydney seem puzzled by the kinds of people on our streets. Is Cabramatta Asian or Australian?

I recently reviewed a book on the differences between the East and West. The review is at:

http://news.asiaeast.org/

In the terms of that book Australia is Western. But is it European anymore? Have we become a Pacific/Oceanic nation?