Over the past year I’ve been immersed in Guatemalan culture and tradition. I feel privileged to sit in people’s homes, share meals, celebrations, break piñatas, and learn what it means to be welcomed in with open arms. Two conversation tidbits related to this – first, I asked my boyfriend Joel what Christmas traditions he has. His response? Fireworks and tamales. Oh. Not so sure how we’ll do providing him with those in MI this year! But I can offer ollie bolen and some great Dutch cheese!
The beauty of culture and tradition is that we get to share it and enrich one another’s lives through it. I’ll get my tamale and he’ll have his ollie bolen.
Second – A few days after camp I was running an errand with some work crew kids and sharing how my family was far away, how it was snowing there, how I was excited to see them, etc. One of them looked at me and said, “I know your family is far away, but here Young Life is your family and you an always count on us.” Wow. It brought me to tears. How humbling it is to be fully accepted into and loved by a community that is so far from where I’m from.
As I head into this Christmas season I’m thankful for the week I have left with my “family” here and for the week I’ll have with my family in MI. I’m excited to partake in celebration here and there, and am confident that I’m blessed to be in both places.
And now, some of my favorite aspects of Christmas in Guatemala…