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.