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09
Making A List Checking It Twice by Emily McCourt
September 9, 2014

 

I initially wrote this post on a scrap of notebook paper at a time when I should have been sleeping, but time and blog posts wait for no man.

It has been a whirlwind week of lesson plans, meetings, and trying to pretend I’m ready for Monday (which I am not), so we’re going to make due with a bullet-point list update.

-Time here is so different, I really can’t emphasize this enough so I’ll share this Honduran proverb with you instead:
“He who is flexible will not become bent out of shape”.

It was brought up by one of the other English program teachers during a discussion on cultural differences. For example: school starts this Monday, August 18th. It is late Thursday evening (August 14th) as I write this, and I can tell you with certainty that we still have a few teaching positions open. In fact, a few of the teachers were hired within the last 10 days, but no one really sees this as a problem. Why? Because God will provide. Not on our time, and certainly not the way we want or the way we think is best. But he provides, whether it be an extra teacher, lower enrollment, or an opportunity to be stretched further.


-I am a guest in this culture which means two things: 1) Some aspects of North American culture must be put away (as they do not fit), and 2) I have a unique opportunity to embrace a different way of living if I can sufficiently let go of the other way temporarily. Let’s just say the food here is very embrace-able. You all need to try some banana chips.

-Breaking down walls means a more panoramic view. Yes, this sounds just like a motivational poster. But consider: living in the same way in the same place year after year after year can cause some deep-rooted habits, thought processes and ideas. These are not necessarily bad things, but it’s probably beneficial to challenge yourself in different ways to do different things. Truly challenging yourself can provide two benefits: it offers you an opportunity to cut things from your life that are more harmful than good, but may not have seemed that way prior to questioning them. The other benefit is that you have the opportunity to strengthen other aspects of your life, whether they be healthy habits or unhealthy coping mechanisms.

Are walls bad? No, they can keep wolves from getting to the sheep. But they can also lead to breaking oneself so badly that all the king’s horses and men can’t clean up the aftermath. All I’m trying to say is that sometimes we need to take a step back and really examine the order of our lives instead of charging forward blindly all the time.

-Hospitality is not a single action or a type of service that one should strive for. It’s not the centrepiece of dinner party dining tables, but an attitude and a way of life. Think about this for a moment: I am a Canadian who is very clearly not of Latin American descent and struggles to say small, complete sentences in the national language here in Honduras. My host-mom is a wonderful, caring Honduran woman who doesn’t speak any English except a handful of words. Yet she has welcomed me into her home, made sure to provide food that I can eat, given me a clean and comfortable place to rest my head and really made me feel like I can be at home here. I have been treated like a long-lost family member, not an inconvenience or an experiment or even the awkward stranger that I feel like sometimes.

Friends, hospitality isn’t bound to any single place, culture or language. Here in Sigua, I have been welcomed to an extent that is second to only my parent’s provision. How much more should we welcome and invest in those around us that we barely know? Is it easy? Of course not! But it is fruitful. And if there is one thing that grows abundantly here, it is fruit.

Thanks for reading and checking in on things.
All the best, and take care of yourselves.

Emily

About Me

Emily pic


Emily is a long-time attender at Westney.
She is passionate about art and teaching.
Please use these blogs to help keep her in your prayers.
Stay tuned for more about her journey...


Filed under: Missions Blog

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