Wednesday, July 8, 2009

welcoming strangers.

I am forming a list of things I resolve to do when situations reverse and I meet people who are new arrivals in my country. I will

  • offer food. It´s amazing how, with the uncertainty of the first few days in a new place-new schedule-new customs, etc., food is often on our minds. We eat well, don´t get me wrong, and our host family cooks delicious food--often meat with rice and some sort of salad. yum! But I think it´s safe to assume that new arrivals to a new place have food on the brain. If you can´t offer any, show them where they can buy some. Tell them how much it costs, what people normally eat, what time.
  • Show them where to find or purchase the essentials. (today I bought an alarm clock for $2.42. Yes, less than $3 including battery.)
  • Speak slowly. Enunciate. Use charades. In the U.S. I get so concerned about insulting someone´s intelligence, but when my host mom gestures and speaks slowly, I´m so grateful! It´s amazing how much you can understand through body language. I¨m becoming fluent in charades.

Check out pictures of Boquete here.

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