Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Prescribed or Proscribed?

We will be taking a trip soon, and, thanks be to God, our travel companions alerted us in time that there is a new requirement for Yellow Fever Shots, malarial precautions are now strongly recommended, AND medications we buy over the counter are prescription medications in Zambia, and you can be arrested for carrying them into country; they would be contraband.

Horrors! I’ve always taken Benedryl for my allergies, and because I am also a mosquito magnet, I use Benedryl gel to survive the mosquitos, and the tse-tse flies. Our doctor is a gem; he wrote prescriptions and today we got them filled so we can take our OTC medications into Zambia with us. The pharmacists didn’t bat an eye. They see it all the time.

“You heading out on a mission?” another customer asked.

“Not a religious mission,” I laughed. AdventureMan has a mission to get some spectacular photographs. Pensacola has several churches that sponsor major missions throughout the world, and missionaries are found in Pensacola pharmacies stocking up on a couple years worth of prescription medications – as well as the medications proscribed by host countries. I also suspect that having all these people that travel and live throughout the world contributes to the variety of cuisines available and sought after in Pensacola restaurants. I just wish we’d get some Ethiopians!

May 21, 2012 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Pensacola, Shopping, Travel, Zambia | 4 Comments

Tribal Affiliations

When we first got to Qatar, and started attending church there, we had a wonderful priest, T. Ian Young, whose Friday morning services (Friday was the Qatari Sunday) were exactly 60 minutes long, and the music was always uplifting. I learned some great children’s songs from him, and he always gave a children’s sermon before sending them out for children’s Sunday School while he gave an adult level sermon to the older attendees, like us.


During the service, Father Ian would pray, including the phrase “from whom every tribe in heaven and earth get their name” (from Ephesians 3:15) and it got my attention, it was my first awareness thinking of myself as from a tribe. I had always heard it as “from whom every family on heaven and earth . . . ” but living in Qatar, where family and tribe were the same, it made sense. It’s just one of those situations where we think of “tribes” as THOSE people, not as us. When you include yourself as a tribal member, things start to look a little different. (Thank you, Father Ian)

So recently AdventureMan has been pointing out local tribal affiliations on people’s cars. People have specialized license plates that tell us of their concern for Florida’s environment, or schools, or support of the arts, etc. People have stickers that show they are from the Auburn tribe, or the Seminole Tribe, or Gator people, or graduated from such-and-such university. They might be from this neighborhood, so says the sticker on their bumper, or they might support the orchestra, or the ballet, or they might belong to this Krewe or that. Once we become aware that we, too, are tribal, and have tribal affiliations, there is no going back.

May 21, 2012 Posted by | Character, Communication, Cultural, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Pensacola, Qatar, Values | 2 Comments