A Good Change

Kigali, Rwanda

My parents loved to emphasize the phrase that change wasn’t bad, but different.

I of course, in trying to pull off being positive, collected, and excited about whatever new thing they threw at me, decided to embrace this phrase as best I could and it seems to have been branded into my memory ever since.  Regardless of what new uncomfortable situation I was in,  remembering this somewhat triggered my brain into [false] positivity and hope for finding the change to be good.

I thought that since our big transition overseas was long gone, having to remind myself of this phrase wouldn’t be necessary, but during our first Christmas break in the hot of Africa (Kenya and Rwanda), my mind definitely went back to it.

Being away from the cold and [usual] snow for the first time, away from grandparents and Christmas traditions, and away from over-commercialized festivity, at first was a bit hard to grasp.

I could see that the rest of my family secretly felt the same way, as we went about preparing as best we could in the 80 degree Kenyan weather, all trying to brainstorm new Christmas traditions, or manipulate old ones to work in our environment (Yes we did sit around a fire and drink hot chocolate regardless of the heat and mosquitoes).  It turned a bit hopeless but soon felt so ridiculous that it erupted in laughter- and that change in mindset resulted in a wonderful break.

Instead of waking up and watching the snow fall, we woke up and watched the sun rise.  Instead of building snowmen, we built sand castles.  Instead of riding in sleds, we rode in tuk tuks.

What felt like a strange, hot, unwelcome, substitute for Christmas break turned into a happy reminder that Christmas wasn’t about feeling festive or being in the right setting, but a time to celebrate Jesus and spend time with family.  A time to rejoice, and laugh and this break was successful in completing that.

Although I love our old traditions and the homey feeling they bring, I’m okay with our Christmas celebrations changing. They’ve become a good change. 🙂







4 thoughts on “A Good Change

  1. Very nice, ashtonmichelle. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy a Kenyan Christmas. I liked the way that you started out seeming hesitant to embrace the change (which I’m sure you were), but then ended by saying that the phrase “Change [isn’t] bad, but different” became true for you in the end. I also like your sixth paragraph, and the parallelism that you used in it. The short comparisons were effective in communicating. One thing to note: you were a tad inconsistent in your proper use of parentheses. The sentence should flow around the parentheses, but the fourth paragraph’s first sentence is a little improper. I’m not sure if that would be the place to use parentheses. Thanks for a thought provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ashton, this was a great post to read! I liked how you were organized in your writing, letting ideas branch off from each other and also flow at the same time. Your smooth transitions and focus on your main idea made the post cohesive. Your contrasts of a snowy Christmas and a Christmas in Kenya was fun to read. One small revision you could make is your last sentence in your fifth paragraph. I could make sense out of it but was a bit confused in the beginning. But other than that, well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Ashton! I loved how your voice was evident in your writing, The informal tone made your post engaging. Something that was a little confusing was your use of long sentences. I don’t think they were run-ons, but they were a little difficult to follow. Also, it would’ve helped to explicitly state where you moved from. It would give your reader a better image of what you said about the winters. Overall, great post. It was a joy to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful post, and such a good reminder for all of us TCKs.

    Just be careful with tense (this starts off a little inconsistent) — it’s usually your best bet to talk about ongoing things in present, rather than past. And when using “yes” to start a sentence, you’re usually going to want a comma after it: “Yes, we did sit around a fire and drink hot chocolate regardless of the heat and mosquitoes.”

    Liked by 1 person

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