One of the things that takes time to get used to here is the lack of space to be a normal Aussie. It is so important to be respectful of local customs and sensitivities – we do abide by them as best we can. But this is a 24/7 situation with not many opportunities for privacy. So you can understand that it is important to have some places where you can relax and be. There’s not many places in Mozambique to do this… There’s maybe one that we can go to and be semi Aussie. If we really want to get away from it all we need to go international… To Malawi, which can still be a little culturally intense, or to South Africa, although this is expensive and definitely a “sometimes food “.
What am I trying to say here? I’m not really sure, except that the intensity of cross cultural work is not in the work, it’s in the straddling of culture and how that is a constant conscious effort. It’s the reason why when people come back on home assignment they are a *bit* tired and the complexity of living in two cultures makes it difficult to answer the question, “so, how was Africa “?