Don’t get me wrong – I am well loved here. I am welcomed and embraced in the communities and especially here at the Pastoral House.
Still, everyday I’m learning cultural nuances – some large, some very subtle - that remind me that I grew up with a different mind-set. My whole life revolved around a totally different set of experiences and expectations.
In some ways humans are all the same. We all love, find joy, sadness, guilt, hurt, anger, have faith (or not), get jealous, are capable of being hurtful, love, treasure friendship, - I could go on.
How we express or how we cope or deal with all those human emotions and activities can be so distinct.
And sometimes things that I feel are not important – are hugely important here.
This isn’t to say that ‘my’ way of thinking is better – or worse. It’s just different. We are a product of the realities of our own situations: our own social norms, our own political culture, our own value systems, etc.
Sometimes I get impatient and think ‘why is this such a big deal?’ … ‘Why can’t we just do it this way?’
But then I have to rein myself in.
I am a foreigner here still. And truthfully … I always will be.