Change of Scenery

After 2 and 1/2 years in Central America, we've arrived back to the US Midwest for a few months. We left beautiful, 90°F, sunny Honduras (which while you're in Honduras = "deadly hot and humid Honduras with a violently powerful sun trying to burn your skin to ash") and have returned to dreary, rainy, 40°F, cloudy Ohio (which while you're in Honduras = "Ohio the beautiful, cool and shady, land flowing with biscuits and gravy"). We're making the adjustment to office life after a week at an event sponsored by HtH in Arizona (which was a whole different climactic fiasco for our bodies to deal with). We are thankful that for these few years, we have been mostly spared from culture shock. That being said, a few other (pretty standard) observations are...

1. Driving here is scary. Stacey and I were just chugging through Cincinnati at 5PM last week, and I was pretty alarmed at the velocity and quantity of vehicles on the road. Sure, in Honduras nobody follows the road laws, but there's about 1/1,000,000th of the amount of vehicles on the road doing it, so it is fairly easy to stay on top of the situation. And sure, some vehicles in Honduras approach the sound barrier on an hourly basis, but there are approximately three vehicles in all of northern Honduras capable of any such velocity. The rest of us present the more likely hazard of dropping a drive-shaft into oncoming traffic. 

2. Food here is abundant and delicious. It never ceases to amaze me that in Centerville, OH, you can park in the Wal-Mart parking lot that shares its space with an Aldi's, McDonald's, Taco Bell, Applebees, BW3s, Steak n' Shake, Denny's, Arby's, and some restaurant called Barleycorn. In addition, from that same parking lot you could sling a dead possum and hit a Fazoli's, Cub Foods, Chipotle, Wendy's, or a BP gas station with more food selection than we had in an entire Honduran supermarket. This is no joke. Of note it seems that Chipotle Burritos have become even more delicious over these past few years.

3. Houses here are really wonderful to sit in. Even in our relatively nice Honduran home, we lacked some certain creature comforts. Just the very act of waking up this morning to come to work, it was difficult to convince myself that I wasn't on vacation, and that I actually had to get out of the bed in the climate-controlled room, then stop just standing around on the carpet (with the light on thank you very much), then eventually get out of the hot shower. Each little thing feels like a luxury that before I had  never noticed. To not be sticky with humidity 5 minutes after a shower, not be sweating by 9 o'clock in the morning, drive down to work without needing to see a renal specialist, talk to a mechanic that will have your car fixed this afternoon, pick up lunch meat at Kroger, turn the light off before going to bed, or even just charging your cell phone is such a blessing.

4. Everyone here speaks English (almost). Being able to express yourself in the nuances of your native tongue is not overrated. I don't miss the glazed expression in someone's eyes when you start speaking the wrong language to them.

5. We are all family in this world. If this concept hasn't truly hit home in your life, I challenge you to spend time with someone for a different culture, especially one who shares your faith. The bond of family between believers of different nations is not as magically easy as it might seem. Just like in our native culture, we have to work to love one another. However, once frustration turns into mutual appreciation and love, the resulting relationship is much closer to kinship than it is to friendship. In such a short time, I already genuinely miss my Honduran family, but it is a true joy to be reacquainting my family here. The more we can understand Jesus' message of equality and unity so powerfully explained by Paul in Romans and Corinthians, the stronger and more balanced we will be.

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