Down the Road and Back

Before we left the States a few people gave us great ideas for blog posts. Things like, what does a “normal” day look like for you, or what do you do for date night. So I’ve been trying to think about what things are quickly becoming “normal” for us here so that I can tell you about them before they’re so normal that I don’t realize they might be interesting. First on the list: driving.

We’ve done a bit of driving since we got here, and I’ve discovered that this is one area where I’ve had more trouble adjusting than I thought. It’s the small things, like which side of the car I get in. The steering wheel is on the right side, as they drive on the left side of the road here, so I have to stop (sometimes literally stop moving) and think about where I’m going. Matt’s done all of the real driving, so my side is the passenger side – the left. And sitting on the left side has really confused me where it concerns the rear view mirror. It’s set so that Matt, on the right side, can see behind us, but something in my American driver trained brain thinks that because I’m on the left side, I should be able to see out that mirror! I think culture shock is found in little things like this. They don’t sound all that exciting when you blog about them, but they’re the little things that catch you by surprise in the first few weeks. =)

In other car news, I have driven a couple times now. We’re living at the Biedebachs’ house, and they’re located on a large compound with 20+ other families. I have driven from one end of the compound to the other end, and then from that end back home. Impressive, eh?! I’ll be doing it again tonight and doubling my Malawi driving experience. Someday I might graduate to outside the compound…

Driving 1
Driving in town… not bad. Pretty good actually, and relatively orderly. So long as I figure out which way to go on a traffic circle, we’ll be ok.

Driving 2
Driving downtown… people and cars everywhere, and no one really pays attention to street lights or right of way. But honestly, still not bad if you’re willing to go on the offensive and defensive at the same time.

Driving 3
Driving outside of town… suggestion: 4 wheel drive and wear your seatbelt – potholes are guaranteed!

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