At work, I communicate more with people from other countries--Ghanaians, Burkinabe, Australians, Bengalis, French, Brazilians, etc, etc--than I do with Americans. So, as you can imagine, there are lots of miscommunications. Luckily, I work with gracious people.
One thing you notice interacting with Africans is their much more formal but warm greetings. One man greets me each time, "Shalom, dear friend!" How can you not smile at that greeting you in your inbox each morning? My African coworkers almost always follow a set greeting before moving on to the business at hand.
One of my coworkers in Uganda begins every email with, "Dear Amber, Praise the Lord!" followed by whatever we need to deal with that day. Sometimes the email can be quite humorous, considering the context. The other day, I received this email: "Dear Amber, Praise the Lord! The cholera outbreak in Uganda has spread to another county." Being the 9-year-old that I am, I couldn't help giggle at this email...Cholera is spreading, Praise God!
Immaturity notwithstanding, I certainly could learn from the ritual communication of the Africans. No matter what bad thing is happening that day, Conso says, "Praise the Lord!" In some of the countries we work in, if you only said "Praise the Lord" on the days everything was going good, you'd never say it.
So in all situations, on our good days and on our bad, in disease and in health, in plenty and in want, praise the Lord.