He has shown you, oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: to walk justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8

Monday, February 14, 2011

Home #1 for a month

Home in Hawthorne, will always be home; however, now being "home", I've discovered that Guayaquil has become a home to me too! And I've decided that it's very nice to have 2 very nice homes.

Since visiting home #1 in snowy north Jersey in February, I've heard the "oh it's been such a horrible winter; you must be hating this cold" comment many times. On the contrary! I am LOVING the cold and I am not at all jealous of my friends on the Equator, living in a state of constant sweatiness. I'm thoroughly enjoying my month home, visiting friends, enjoying family, and thinking and preparing for 2011 in home #2. I think, by God's grace, I have been spared the tough, emotional US cultural shock and I'm stationed in observation mode.

Things I remembered I forgot:
  • I haven't eaten rice yet.
  • Toilet paper goes in the toilet (feels like a sin, but oh so great)
  • Restaurants are expensive!! (except for last night, when Nick's chicken wasn't fully cooked and they gave us ALL our meals for FREE)
  • on that note, customer service!! You can buy things even if you don't have exact change: "Do you have $1?" "no, sorry, only a $20" "oh no problem". In Ecuador, the conversation goes more like, "do you have $1?" "no, I have $10" "We don't have change. You can't buy this."
  • Phone conversations last longer than 1 minute because everyone has "saldo" (minutes)
  • I can't run across the highway to my friends' houses, but I can get in a car!
  • I just uploaded those pictures in under a minute!
  • Buying things on sale and with coupons, makes shopping a treasure hunt
  • And speaking of treasure hunts... Thrift stores!
Those are some of the fun/insignificant things that stand out to me. Since I'm only here for a month, I don't really have to grapple with the difficult issues that inundate the affluent North Jersey culture. Even in the year that I've been away, needs/expectations for a normal life have changed, and I don't really understand it all- and maybe I can be thankful for that. Sometimes simple can be frustrating: Why can't I pay my phone bill online or order a pizza for dinner? Or sometimes simple can be refreshing: I don't need a car or a gym membership because my friends all live nearby and I can walk! What I have noticed, is that in both homes, my church families are seeking to know God better. In Ecuador, we meet a lot, sing a lot, and learn from the teachers. In New Jersey, we study, and read, and talk, and ponder (and eat!). Both communities love the Lord Jesus, and want to know Him more, and follow Him in life.

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