Monday, August 21, 2006

the word caffe latte dates back to 1847

“He doesn’t need a job, he needs an identity” (old family friend in Canada’s comment about my dad, as my parents think about taking a break from missionary-ing in January) See, my dad: here, he’s friends with a lawyer, with a doctor, he has been to the jails and all the hospitals and knows how to get in where at what times and how much you have to slip the guard to let you through. He doesn’t get lost driving around the city and can spot a bribe-fisher or a swindler within 10 seconds. He knows when wearing a fancy shirt with dress pants will further his cause, and when to rely more heavily on his striking blue eyes. That is here in Ecuador. But up there? He’s nobody. He loses that which makes him secure, like our friend said, his identity. I do, too. Even if I don’t HAVE a job here, i have an identity. I know what the slang and the looks mean. I can feel my way through social situations. I know what bus i need to take where, and if I don’t i know who to ask. I know the fair prices for things, and the weather. I know who I am, and who I come across as. I know what people see when they look at me. I know where I am limited and where I have advantages. I know. But up there? I am nobody. I not only lose that which makes me secure: I lose myself. But I am still willing to go. I will go be un-extraordinary for a while, see if I miss the stares following me on the streets and the confidence the eternal height advantage provides. It will be more than that which is lost, it will be the sense of purpose, the "mission" life...i don't like the title missionary, but the strong sense of purpose, the vision in you head, I'm all for that. I will leave, I will go, but send me.

3 comments:

Polythene Pam said...

I like your willingness. I also like that you are waiting to be sent. And he will. He knows the plans he has for you, you know, and they are great ones!
I'm getting settled in at school. Big white kid institutional living, it's weird... but it's what God has for me right now. I miss you. Write me soon. I'll write you as soon as I get my own internet back. I promise.

Polythene Pam said...

Ok, I will try not to rant too much. But BETHANY, today my "spanish" teacher says: let's review present tense (the class is like, sigh we already know this DUH) and then she says: let's use my three favorite words. and then she writes on the board: Hablar, Comer, Viver.
VIVER. vivEr!!! And she didn't even notice it for like 3 minutes after we pointed it out!!! She is so stupid and has this ridiculous American/she-wishes-it-was-spain-but-it's-not-even accent and stresses the "importance" of learning the vosotros form and UUGGGG. She basically only speaks English in the class and she spent the last 10 minutes of class speaking in english about something TOTALLY UNRELATED TO THE SPANISH LANGUAGE OR CULTURE IN ANYWAY SHAPE AND FORM."Now in that video clip we watched, do you think you would have danced with the man? I don't know if I would have. Do you think the crowd standing there would have made you want to dance with him more or less? What if you couldn't dance like I can't... I can't dance at all. What if you were married? I think I still would but I would tell him I'd been happily married for......" OH MY GOSH SHUT UP!
Yeah... I think I might need to change classes... or one of the other of us isn't going to make it out of there alive... and I don't see myself dying anytime soon...
(I should have just e-mailed this to you but I don't mind making my rants public).
love,
pamela

Kent said...

Bethany,

Identity challenges. They seem to come in all sorts of forms. A security guard at the airport pulled back a gate and let me cut to the front of a long line. Why would she do that? I thought for a moment. Then, oh yeah, the white beard and the cane for my arthritic knee.

Some time God sends me, sometimes he sends people and experiences to me. He is always with me.

I believe there are times when God really wants me to be a nobody to most folks.

Kent