I thought I would share some of my "cultural experiences" or what my roommate and I like to call "CEs" with you. Some are funny, and others are a little more thought-provoking, I'd say... Enjoy!
1. One day, Tanya and I went out to lunch at a local restaurant called "El Rincon Chilango." We were the only people in the restaurant other than the employees, one of their sons, and another guy who was just hanging out. It was around 12:30, which is "normal" lunch time for Americans. One of the employees told us that it usually fills up around 4:00 P.M.
2. That same day, as Tanya and I were eating our lunch, I looked out the window and saw some random guy washing her car. I was, to say the least, a tad confused. So I told her, and she got up to watch him, along with our waitress. The waitress told us that she had seen him around before and thought that he might be addicted to heroin. He just kept on washing her car; he was doing a good job, too! We didn't know what to do, because while he was working hard and we didn't want to be rude; he also didn't ask permission to wash her car. So we were stuck between a rock and a hard place. He came to the door when he was done, and our waitress told him we didn't have any cash. He said it was okay and stood by the car for a while but eventually walked away. As we got into the car, he came running from across the street to talk to us. We (we meaning Tanya since she is bilingual) talked with him, and he said that he works a job all through the night so that was why he looked so weary. (Tanya told him that he looked like he was on something.) She told him that God loves him and doesn't want him to destroy his life, and that we didn't want to contribute to his habit. He said that he reads God's word every day, so Tanya admonished him to read it and then follow it. We ended up giving him a few pesos for his time and told him we would be praying for him. This man, Ruben, has not left my heart since. Yes, it seems stupid and naive to talk to a stranger. No, I don't want to be an enabler of a drug habit. But I also want to be salt and light. Our school theme for the year is "Got salt?" This theme stems from the verse in Matthew in which Jesus says:
13"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." -Matthew 5:13-16
So I want to be salt and light, preserving what is good and illuminating the darkness. Please pray for Ruben and others who are hungry for Jesus, just like him. There are people like him in your neighborhoods and towns, too, not just in Mexico.
Goodness gracious. I was supposed to be writing about CEs. Well here we go...
3. The other day, 2 men on horses rode past our house. Enough said.
4. When you meet someone for the first time here, it is customary not only to shake their hand, but to kiss their cheek. I quite like it and I might just try to bring it back to the States. I mean, Paul says to greet each other with a holy kiss a jillion times in the New Testament, right?
5. I went out to lunch the other day after church with my neighbor friend who lives in the little house in front of Tanya and I, and we were an international bunch. There were 3 American ladies and a Brazilian family. Spanish, Portuguese, and English was spoken. I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least.
6. An adventure to a historic home with another fellow missionary/teacher was had this past weekend, but I've got to go cook dinner, so I'll have to save that one for later...