Tuesday Topic- Challenges and Conveniences

Overseas living certainly comes with its interesting challenges, so what is one unique daily life challenge that you face where you are living? It also comes along with many blessings that one wouldn’t expect, so what is one thing that you actually find easier or more convenient than life in the US? If you’re in the US, what is one convenience that you are grateful for and what is one thing that you would enjoy being free from by living in another culture? Please share!

(If you would like to pose a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to formissionarymoms@gmail.com . Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, and specify also if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)

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10 Responses to “Tuesday Topic- Challenges and Conveniences”


  1. 1 Sarah W June 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I’ve served in Botswana for the past 6 years. The most inconvenient thing is that we sometimes don’t have consistent water which is always hard when you have a family of four and need to do laundry and dishes. Our power is pretty stable, but our water is less so. As for the good side of things….I love knowing that our two small ones are being raised with out all of the media around them. We only have a TV that plays our DVD player so I can control what they watch. I love that they can go outside and play and explore as we get about 350 days of sun year round! 🙂

  2. 2 Andrea June 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Here in Mozambique, I would say the daily challenge I struggle with is that we always have someone hanging around outside our home because we have a guard for security reasons. It takes getting used to for this girl who always grew up in small towns. The thing I value about this society it that people take time for one another and I can drop in on anyone for coffee and a chat without people getting offended or being told they are too busy.

  3. 3 Ashley L. June 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I am hoping our biggest inconvenience yet was a one-time deal, but this winter was our first winter in a new city in Russia and we had over 3 months of deep snow that did not thaw out! Some roads, sidewalks, and parking lots never got plowed or only got plowed once or twice (like the pre-school parking lot and the parking lot of our apartment building). Driving and parking and even walking on the sidewalks was a nightmare!

    One blessing in disguise is that non-necessity items are often quite expensive, which makes it much easier to resist impulse buys and stick to a budget! I also love the multiple public transportation options!

  4. 4 Addie June 22, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I am most grateful for a dishwasher and washer and dryer, we live in the US. Those are appliances I used every single day and they make my life so much easier. If we lived outside the US I would be grateful for what Sarah W shared about not being around the in-your-face media. In our home we have a tight lock on the kids TV watching but going out it’s harder to shield them from the magazine racks and other things. It’s especially frustrating now that my oldest is reading so I know one day she’ll read something embarrassing/inappropriate on the magazine shelf. Not really sure how I’m going to handle that one. 🙂

  5. 5 Melinda June 23, 2010 at 5:13 am

    I am fortunate to live in a large city in Asia. The best thing about living in a city is CONVENIENCE! Any daily necessity is within a 2 block radius of my home. Public transportation is great (and getting better!)
    The biggest struggle (for this fair-weathered friend) is the weather! It is either extremely cold or extremely hot. Spring and Fall almost don’t exist. Being from the great NW I miss those wonderful mild days. It makes it difficult to get outside and I often feel like I’m getting cabin-fever; but I am beginning to find ways to be out of the house without being “outside”.

  6. 6 Sandy June 23, 2010 at 8:38 am

    I also live in a large city in Asia! I can ride my bike to a vegetable stand and get enough fresh vegetables for two meals for less than $2.00. That is drive through eating at its best!
    Inconveniences- long cold winters and government controlled heat! In the month before the heat is turned on and the month after it is turned off, I feel perpetually cold!

  7. 7 Holly June 23, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    We are missionaries in Cameroon. This is going to sound really petty but something that is a big inconvenience about living here is not being able to wear shorts and having to wear skirts whenever we go somewhere special… I didn’t even own a skirt before we moved on the mission field. And Police check points aren’t much fun either.

    Couple of the best things are that my boys have total freedom, they can ride their bikes anywhere, play in the neighborhood till it gets dark, I can send them to the shop when I need something, they are friends with everyone. When we’re back in the States it seems that they are always confined to houses and yards and I have to watch them wherever we go (their seven and eight). I also love all the fresh fruit and veggies here, they are just so amazing and cheap, we eat so much more healthier since moving to Africa.

  8. 8 Shilo June 24, 2010 at 10:56 am

    We live in Paraguay and I love that my boys have so much freedom to play outside, take adventures and develop their imaginations! It has been wonderful!
    My life is also much less complicated here, things take longer to do but it feels more like life was intended to be and I enjoy the process!

  9. 9 Sarah June 24, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    One of our biggest challenges here in Costa Rica is the one or two days each week that we are without running water or electricity in our house. BUT, I’ve learned so much from this, and last year I wrote a post sharing a small portion of those lessons (http://ps67.blogspot.com/2009/09/dinner-by-candlelight.html). In many ways, I wouldn’t trade the lessons learned for reliable services!

    We sometimes find the heat here a challenge, but it IS very convenient to only need clothes for hot weather (the only seasonal change is from dry to rainy), and I absolutely love the ease of shopping for fresh produce all year long at our outdoor market.

  10. 10 RebeccaC June 25, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Inconveniences: water which only comes a couple of hours a day — it’s more regular now than it was 4 years ago, but still it’s a challenge!; power which goes out without warning and stays out indefinitely — sometimes five minutes, sometimes 5 hours (humidity and old power lines); a gas stove which doesn’t have a gauge to tell me how much propane I have left. It generally runs out in the middle of something like bread. I’m learning to use my wood oven, though, so that’s just a minor inconvenience.

    Blessings: We know all our neighbors. We know all the people who live in our village. All of them — and more than just their names. I didn’t realize how strange that was (speaking as an American) until I went back to the States for a visit and realized that most people don’t even know everyone who lives on their block. I love how important relationships are in this culture. I pray that my children never lose that!!!

    Addie — I have a suggestion about the magazine rack. It’s been my habit since the kids were little (more so since we moved to Mexico — there’s no law that I know of about what kind of stuff they can have there) to every time we approach the store checkout I scan the racks and then without making a fuss I just turn the offensive photos to the back (be careful, sometimes the back photos are worse!). The kids didn’t need to be told why I did it. They were already shocked. I know that it’s had an effect. My 12 year old son went to the market with a couple of the sisters and when they arrived at the checkout, one of them grabbed a magazine. He told me that he thought she was going to turn it around, but when she started reading through it, he blurted out, “Hermana! Eso es pornografía!” It made the sister realize what she was looking at, even though all she was reading was the recipes. (It made me sad that my little boy knew what pornography was and that he knew the Spanish word for it, too. Sigh.)

    It’s now become a habit to all my kids — they approach the checkout and start flipping magazines around. I’m sure the clerks get frustrated that they have to fix them, but we’ll keep doing it!!! “Be careful, little eyes, what you see!!!”


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