Last night marked the first full week that I have been in Honduras. This provokes me to do some reflection on how my first week serving in a foreign country has affected me.
Well, for starters I have been a lot less surprised than I expected. This has been the most surprising thing yet. The culture is different, but not so different that I had any serious culture shock. The environment is different from Illinois, but I have seen pretty flowers and tall mountains before. The people here are “poor,” but not so poor that any of them are starving (there are places where this happens in Honduras, but not here in this area). The people around me are still people–they all have lives, family, and homes just like us in the States.
The work has kept me busy for which I am grateful. I have been working with this older gentleman who is great at teaching, and is fun to work with. (He is the guy in charge of all the maintenance and construction projects around here. The hondurans call him “Jefe” which means boss.) We do all sorts of stuff from working on tractors and cars to hauling dirt to building shelves (more on that coming up). We work a full day with a lunch break, and nobody is pushed hard to get anything done.
I have enjoyed the scenery and learning about the culture and people. I have been spoiled as far as food goes because many of the missionaries have had me over for supper or lunch. Really, life is pretty easy, actually.
As soon as I heard a native speak in Spanish, I knew I was in over my head. They talked so fast, that I could only catch a few words here and there. I am certainly fluent enough to communicate with them, but understanding it is much more difficult. I am still not sure if I have learned much, but I have been using my Spanish much more than I would at home, which helps dust off the forgotten Spanish. I am hoping, still, that I will continue to learn while I am here and be fluent by the end of February.
My biggest question right now is, “what am I doing here?” I thought I would be needed and that God sent me down here to provide a much-needed support to the missionaries down here. While I have been able to help, I have gained and taken far more than I have given. So, I am left wondering why God put me into this situation and what He wants me to learn or accomplish while I am here. My continued prayer is for trust in HIM.
I have processed so much new information recently it is hard to summarize it and not miss some important thing, but this short reflection gives you an idea how things have been. Please feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org