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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Special Guests

Having now lived in El Salvador for seven months, I am still always surprised by how generous and welcoming everyone is here. As Matt already said, we Americans have a lot to learn from other cultures and how inviting they are of foreigners. This past week I spend two nights with a family in a rural area of Chalatanengo. One of those places where you get to bath by pouring water over yourself and use an outhouse, ahhh.... the simplicity of life! It was so amazing to see how, from the little that the family had, they always made sure my friend and I had plenty to eat and drink and a bed with mosquito net and all to sleep in. They even killed one of their hens to make a delicious soup one afternoon. My friend already knew this family so it's not as if we were complete strangers staying with them, but we were definitely treated as part of the family while we were there. During our time there it was always so wonderful to enjoy the simplicity of life. One afternoon we went walking through some little towns down to a lake which we crossed on a ferry and then climbed up to another little town. The walk was probably only a few miles, but it took the whole afternoon as we passed through the countryside admiring the plants and trees and eating the fruits off the trees. The next day we spent the morning on a little river fishing with the fishing poles that we had made. I definitely felt like the disciples who started to lose hope that they would catch anything when after 2 hours we had only caught 6 fish between the three of us. It was as if time had stopped during those two days and I was really able to just be. It was hard to return to the city where life is in constant motion. The trick is to somehow incorporate that simplicity of life into the everyday and to be able to fully live and appreciate not just the things that we have, but more importantly the people that we have and to treat them all as the special guests that they are in our lives.

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