Around Christmas time I took time to write a reflection of how the culture was affecting me. It can be found on our family site. Culture shock is something we have been told to expect in the foreign mission field. Most of our missions teachers say that it hits around 6 months of living in the field. We have now been living in Arequipa for 9 months. Everyone’s situation is different; everyone deals with stress and transitions differently. I am going to share with you how 9 months has affected me, because I believe that I have experienced some feelings of culture shock in the past month. I hope that this piece can shed light for those of you that will be foreign missionaries one day.
When Alfredo first told the team that he and his fiance, Judith, wanted us to attend their wedding, my overwhelming thought was “Wow!”. Now, I’ve been to lots of weddings in my life, but it has always been people I have known for a while and the invitation was not a surprise. However, this invitation meant more since this relationship is fairly new. Somehow in our few
months here we have come to mean enough to this couple to be invited to a very important event in their lives, and we felt honored.
If frequency of mention in newsletters is an indication of importance, then you should be understanding how important to our work Alfredo has been and will continue to be. April has been a huge month for ICDU (www.icduperu.org) and most of the progress has been made thanks to Alfredo’s knowledge and expertise. For those who may not know, we have contracted Alfredo to help us launch our first development project. In reality he is doing much more than that. He is teaching us gringos how to enter into poor communities and communicate effectively and serve humbly.
A brief update regarding Wednesday nights, visas, and the NGO.