Kade kneels next to a stream formed by the San Francisco Glacier, about two hours outside Santiago, Chile.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Russians & Southerners

The Russian mindset is similar to that among many Americans who live in the Deep South.  We Southerners are slow to change and very nostalgic.  Things take their course in time.  This article (below) gives great insight into the Russian mindset and discusses the misconceptions Westerners have of them.  Likewise, Southerners in the USA are often misunderstood by outsiders.

This BBC article from 2008 prompted me to share my view (above) in an e-mail way back then: 

One of the benefits I have gotten from traveling is realizing that our similarities as human beings are just as significant as our differences.

And someone from Alabama, after reconnecting with me via Facebook, made a funny comment about rednecks, and she asked why I chose Asia for my travels. I responded this way, again underscoring similarities I see:
I have enjoyed traveling.  I have met small town boys and girls (country boy and girls) from all over. What's funny is that there are rednecks everywhere. There are Thai rednecks, Russian rednecks, UK rednecks, etc.. If you look back at my traveling blog, under Uzbekistan, I actually spent a year there before returning to Headland...this was just after Samford University. It was a quasi-missions trip...but not hardcore like a Southern Baptist mission. It was an organization out of California that trains college graduates to teach English as a Second Language in certain countries where traditional missionary work was not permitted. That year changed my life. Before that, the high school trip to Europe (1987) was fun. And traveling with Uncle Jim (Dr. Vann) around Eastern Europe captivated me. Asia???? I guess after Uzbekistan (Central Asia), and after five years at HNB in Headland, I just wanted to visit a contact in Japan. That trip Japan started a backpacking trip around Asia (mostly Southeast Asia). Possibly if I had had my mind on Eastern Europe or South America, I would have traveled around in those areas and settled in a totally different place. Southeast Asia is overflowing with travelers from all over the world (see The Beach), and it is pretty reasonably priced compared with Western Europe, for example. Well, I then fell in love with Kade, and the rest is history, as they say.

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