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mid-week Connect: 2/23/22 ~ Survival…

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Greetings and Happy Midweek!

As we watch several potentially disastrous situations unfold around the world these days, and agonize with the populations caught up in their shadows, I thought we would pause this week and explore survival. How, we marvel, can people manage in such dire circumstances?

This is an oft-posed question learners encounter in cross-cultural contexts. In our Global SKILLs training, we address many possible answers including, within our PROACTive strategies, the potentially Transformative nature of such experiences.*

One example of this, when I think of survival, extends back 40 plus years to my Africa Orientation training as a young field linguist. I spent 3 months with other ‘newbies’ learning how to live and work in very different contexts among peoples of very different cultures from ones we all were used to. I revisited this in my 1/5/22 Connect (see here - scroll down that date) and want today to share another dimension of that training.

As part of our Orientation survival training, we were led out on a hike one afternoon, separated into groups of 2 and left to fend for ourselves overnight. Walking rather tenuously out of the by-now familiar village, we entered what was a ‘true’ jungle along a narrow foot path. Our fearless leader had been teaching us for weeks about survival situations, often from personal stories of his own adventures! WE newbies noted that he was very busy on this hike - not fearing the many threats which surrounded us - small rivers of sharp biting army ants weaving their ways alongside our path; toxin tipped thorns at our elbows; venomous snakes and spiders presumably hiding in the brush at our feet & overhead, totally unfamiliar terrain. No, far from fearful, he was delightedly collecting butterflies in a small hand-made net! Each time he caught one, we would all gather around and totally marvel at its intricate beauty and natural camouflage.

And so it is with one pathway forward to survival…focusing in on what is around us that can still, even in the midst of real threats, provide LIFE - and enjoyment and a sense of the World’s marvels. Which can, in turn at times, lead to not just surviving - but actually thriving. That overnight for me, starting with the butterfly hike and extending through other ‘moments’ I’ll perhaps share in the future, was definitely one of my transformative African Milestone experiences!

How about you ~ what is one transformative survival moment you have experienced?

Share about that with a friend or note it here.

And check out the Global SKILLs LINKs below for other takes on surviving and thriving…

Thanks for being part of this Connect community.

Until next week,


* PROACTive Learning Strategies: PRO = PROfile, PROcess, PROgram

ACT = Application, Collaboration and Transformation (which we looked at today)

~ contact me for more information on these strategies and how you might use them in your current programming


  1. A very interesting resource on survival, from an indigenous people groups perspective:

  2. LinkedIn cross-cultural consideration of business’ survival imperatives:

  3. How about an Airbnb Experience (locally hosted) on cross-cultural survival?!

2022 ~ Celebrating 40+ years of working in

intercultural communications and global community building

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