Sunday, September 30, 2012



It is fun and challenging to be in a culture that is relationship oriented rather than

time/task oriented.  I love it and find in refreshing.  However, sometimes my deeply ingrained North American culture creeps in and I become so task/time oriented that I forget to enjoy the people.  I once invited sisters over to my house to discuss children’s church.  The following day I went to visit them and after 2 hours of visiting I finally got the courage up to ask why they hadn’t come to my house the day before (they never brought it up).  Their answer was simple, “Our brother come to visit.”  No apologies.  No further explanation. Someone showed up at their door and they gave hospitality. 

I like to think of myself as being hospitable, but I am afraid that next to a Paraguayan I fall very short.  It seems an easy task for them to cook for a crowd of 50 on short notice.  A friend told me just last week that she killed 7 of her chickens to feed a group of businessmen traveling through.  Before moving to this town, we told our neighbor that 2 men would be living in the house working on repairs.  She immediately said, “Don’t worry; they can eat their meals here.  I’ll provide them hot water for mate in the mornings and ice for terere in the afternoons.”   These were men she didn't even know and she had no idea how long they would be staying (they stayed for three weeks).



As I walked into my neighbor’s home in the previos post, I brought 6 muffins in a tupperware that Marina had given me filled with chipa the previous day.  I bought a kilo of tomatoes, but walked out of her house with cornmeal, potatoes, chipa, sopa, 8 eggs, and a bag full of oranges.  Jeff and I had said over and over again, you cannot out give Paraguayans.  In San Francisco (and it is proving to be true here as well), people are constantly giving - lettuce from their gardens, fresh eggs, honey from their hives, homemade food, and even pigs and chickens.  When we returned from home assignment 2 years ago, our neighbor gave us 12 ducks!  Just yesterday a friend brought over an entire (small) pig for us to grill together – a gift from him. 

Enjoying a couple games of ping pong before dinner.

and arm wrestling

Dinner Time

1 comment:

Christie said...

This is so true! If you don't mind, I'd love to post a link from my blog to this post, because you summed it up well. :) I always feel bad about sending someone a piece of cake or something, because the plate comes back 3 or 4 times fuller than when I sent it over. Que verguenza!! ;)

And when we'd hand out blankets, the next morning I was sure to find bags of homemade bread, piles of fruit, or a big bunch of bananas on our front porch.