Sunday, January 22, 2012


This is an update for those friends of mine who, a few years ago, kindly pointed out my habit of reacting very demonstratively when people tell me incredible/crazy/unbelievable stories. According to them, I guess there's a lot of "uh-uh!," "you're kidding!," and "seriously?!" coming from my end of the conversation.
Well, I'm happy to announce that I've found equally-enthusiastic ways to express myself in Spanish. In the photo above, I can almost guarantee you the words coming out of my mouth are, "En serio?", which means, "Seriously?" ...and which I find myself saying all the time!
For real, though, this picture is from an amazing lunch we had yesterday with a family from our church. They showered us with love and good food, and we were so blessed to have spent the afternoon with them.  
We'll write more about this lunch in our next newsletter.  If you're not getting our newsletter and would like to, just email me at, and I'll add you to our list!


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Time Difference

Of the many differences between the culture of Honduras and the culture we are accustomed to in the US, the view of time is, for me, at the top of the list of the widest culture gaps.  Before we came, I had some knowledge that Latin cultures tended to view schedules and appointments differently.  I had no idea how deeply-rooted and fundamentally different each culture's view of time really is.  I still can't totally wrap my brain around it.  To have a completely different view of something as basic as the essence of time seems unfathomable.  But however difficult it is for me to imagine not completing an important task on-time because of a long chat with a neighbor over a cup of coffee, it would be equally unthinkable for many Hondurans to turn their backs on something as important as an enjoyable discussion with a friend in order to finish an inconsequential task that can always be done later.  Each view of time certainly has its pros and cons.  And while I do think we should be good stewards of our time and "seize the day," I think we could benefit from learning some lessons from this different perspective.  Whenever I have an unexpected "delay" or "interruption", I usually think something like, "What else could I be doing right now?" or "If I wasn't having to wait here or be interrupted like this, there's no telling what I would be accomplishing!"  The truth is, I would probably be happier and have better relationships if, instead of focusing on what else I could be doing, I was just present wherever I found myself.  To quote John Lennon, "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."  The fact is, wherever I am, that's where I am and I'm not somewhere else doing something different.  It could be that right now I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.  Maybe that's part of "making the most of every opportunity".


Monday, January 9, 2012

Being back in the U.S.

On our visit to the states a lot of people asked us if it felt weird to be back or if we were experiencing any "reverse culture shock".  It did feel strange to come back to the US for the first time in 14 months after living in a "developing country".  It was strange to hear so much English being spoken, for the roads to be so wide and smooth, and it was weird to see how much of a selection of everything there was the first time we went to the grocery store.  

After a few days, though, probably the most shocking thing to me was how "normal" things in the US felt.  That initial shock wore off much more quickly than I thought it would.  Pretty soon it felt normal again to be able to find nearly any type of food you could ever want in any grocery store, or to see really nice houses without a wall and razor-wire around them, or to be able to walk down the street at night.  I'm definitely no expert on living abroad and there's lots of places in the world I haven't been yet, but I've learned enough about the world outside my home country to know that the lifestyle that most people in the United States enjoy is not normal.  I don't mean that there's anything wrong with it.  I just know now that what we have experienced here in Honduras in a little over a year is much closer to reality for the vast majority of people around the world than the culture I lived in for 31 years. 

I think probably the best thing about being back in the US was, for me, being able to enjoy the small (and not-so-small) luxuries that I had grown accustomed to.  I was able to better appreciate those things and to feel gratitude to God for them.  I think that must be the point.