The Adventure Continues

Our Church Council granted me a sabbatical for three months during the summer of 2010. My intention was to learn Latin American Spanish and to explore Latin American cultures here and abroad. Now that I have had some opportunities to lead mission trips to Yuscaran, Honduras, and to visit Mexico three times, the adventure continues.

Seeking New Horizons

Seeking New Horizons

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Learning Another's Culture

  Can you guess where these pictures were taken?  They are from my visit with Pastor Dagoberto last week.  It was really fun to show him some of my favorite museums.  Lowell in the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, and I wanted my friend to have a sense of the important history that surrounds us here.  We started by looking at the waterfall in the Merrimack River.  That waterfall is the reason why Lowell is where it is.  It provided the water power that drove the engines of industry here.
   When I saw Dagoberto in the mill or in the space suit, I realized how far from home he was; not just in distance, but also culturally.  I often asked him what he liked best from our day's adventures, and invariably he would say, "Todos!"  "Everything!"
   At the dinner on Thursday, someone asked him what things would be most useful to give to him for his ministry in Honduras.  He said what he wanted most was our friendship.  Yes, it was great to have people come to construct a church building in Yuscaron, but what we were really building was friendships.  He is in Florida how, and he called to say he made it OK, and he wanted me to extend his blessing to all the people here.  He has some new friends at Trinity!
   When we go to Honduras, especially for the first time, it may seem as strange as putting on a space suit.  The language is different, the money is different, and the ways in which people interact is also different.  People there do not have much in the way of material gifts, but they really pay attention to one another.  They make us guests feel safe and welcome.  The only way to really know this is to put aside our impressive wealth for a time and to receive the friendship the people of Honduras offer.
   I am so happy he was here.  I am also so happy to be going back to visit him and his people in April.  There is still time to register to come with me.  The pictures are from the National Industrial Park, the American Textile Museum, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Getting Ready for Dagoberto

   Today I am getting ready to greet my friend, Pastor Dagoberto Chacon.  The last time I saw him was in Yuscaron in December, as in the picture below.  I had hoped to have him here for Bishop Jim Hazelwood's installation as bishop, but he missed his flight due to an accident that blocked his way to the airport.  So we have rescheduled him to come now.  I wonder how much snow he has seen before, because it is snowing now.
   I'm looking forward to the Spanish immerson I will need for the next two days.  I plan to take him to the National Park in Lowell on Thursday, and we have a dinner at church that evening.  On Friday I hope he will play volleyball with me and my friends early in the morning.  Then we will go to Boston to visit the Museum of Science or the Museum of Fine Arts.  The MFA has a display of Meso-American art, and I'm hoping Dagoberto might have some insights for me from that period of time of his ancestors.  I hope my vocabularly can expand enough to understand.
   I am especially interested in his reactions to life here in the Boston Area.  When Pastor Mamkwe from Tanzania visited us a few years ago, he was fgascinated by all the machines we have to deal with the snow.  Since he was fascinated, I became fascinated as well, seeing familiar objects through new eyes.