On Seasons, Methodists, and Trips Home

Trip Start Sep 01, 1999
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Trip End Dec 01, 2000


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Flag of Honduras  ,
Monday, November 22, 1999

When I was in Ecuador I remember the strange feeling of being in a place where fall never comes.  Those of us from the United States kept expecting to have to pull out the warm clothing and get ready for the indoor season.  It almost felt as if the seasons between summer and spring had stood us up and we were left to retire our second blankets, wool sweaters, and fires for another time.  The sensation in Ecuador is strange, but the deception in Honduras is convincing.  Just about three weeks ago the weather in the mountainous regions turned and the average daily temperature dropped at least ten or fifteen degrees.  At night we have actually had to close the windows, and in the morning the joy of a warm shower has returned (we often forget that the pleasure of a hot shower can only happen against the contrasting background of cold air).  However, they say that this streak will only last through December and after this brief respite from the surprisingly strong sun, the climate will return to its normal tropical swelter.  It could be worse.
                 An appropriate way to describe my emotional state right now is to say that I have cleared the first hurdle.  There seems to be a period not long after arrival on a trip like this when all the rationale in the world is incapable of convincing your heart that you made the right decision.  I am sure that happens with most major life decisions that involve risk.  This period of homesickness and questioning happened to be the first major hurdle that I faced down here and it demonstrated to me just how much I need others for comfort and fellowship.
                 Last week I hosted a group of thirteen Methodist men from Georgia ranging from an eighteen year-old high school dropout to a seventy one-year old lifelong evangelist.  At the beginning of the week I came to the startling conclusion that the distance between us was not simply geographic but also theological and political.  However, by the end of the week I had discovered a wonderful principle regarding humanity.  Although the differences that separate me from these men ideologically, culturally, mentally, religiously, and any other variety of ways may be great, those things only add up to a tiny percentage of all that comprises each of us, and the vast majority of who we are is shared between even the two most diametrically opposed persons.  I had a great time with these men and invited them to return (hoping that their experience in Honduras might alter their perception however slightly). 
                 While in the midst of my doldrums, my parents surprised me with a flight home for Christmas.  There could hardly have been greater news.
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