When Suzanne Berman began her world travels, she was unprepared for the reaction her appearance would cause in places like South Africa and India. In places like Johannesburg, she found her skin “color made [her] a target.” Even though she was staying in the suburbs, she was advised to keep her car windows rolled up and never go out alone, even in daylight. She found herself feeling the effects of two separate worlds still at odds with one another, even after the fall of Apartheid.
Her time in India, however, made her feel like an outsider for a completely different reason. In the town of Latur, Suzanne was likely one of the first white people its citizens had seen in person. This fact, however, encouraged her to learn and share whatever she could with the people of Latur. She learned words in Marathi, shared stories with little girls, and even spoke words of encouragement to students at a secondary school. While she may have received many odd looks based only on her appearance, her “willingness to learn” was met with great joy from those she encountered.
During her travels, Suzanne realized that her “outward appearance makes [her] an unintentional ambassador of [her] culture.” As such, she worked hard to show her true character to everyone she met, “trying to exude the type of unconditional love and kindness that Jesus demonstrates in scripture.” Through her actions, Suzanne helped to bring a new perspective into the lives of many, as well as show there is more to a person than the color of their skin.
The full version of Suzanne’s article can be found here.
Summary by Rachel Wood