Friday, March 27, 2009

Shalom and community

Returning from Korea was a bit sad (as we weren't sure exactly when we'd be back again to visit Joo's family and friends), but there was also a sense of fulfillment as Joo felt she had gotten in three solid weeks of family time- a rare thing considering how busy people generally tend to be in any developed country. On an interesting side note, when I lived with the Digals in tribal India, with Siva in mountainous Nepal, with Dara in the rice fields of Cambodia, or with a family in Mongolia, there always seemed to be a neverending abundance of family time. In Guatemala, in fact, there is a saying, "Hay mas tiempo que vida" ("There's more time than we would ever want to use in our lives"). Compare that to the schedule of a typical American family, especially if there are children involved in sports, music, etc. Not that one is better than the other, just an interesting and pronounced difference...
That said, my parents have done a fine job of blocking out their time both to spend with Joo and me and with various community/church fellowship time. For instance, last weekend, we participated in "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Several people at our church signed up to be either guests or hosts and then the hosts were told the number of guests they'd be receiving (without their names being revealed). We knew we'd be having four. Joo waited by the window with binoculars when 6:00 rolled around. The first car to pull in the lane held Carl and Elaine Newcomer- Carl was my mentor throughout high school. Then came Art and Mary Newcomer. Joo was delighted as they were, in her words, "two of the most fun couples she knows."
True enough, Siwon's recent teachings to us in laughter therapy were more than fulfilled with an evening full of culture, story-telling, and massage. Siwon (Joo's best friend) had given us a special foot massage mat that stimulated nerves going to all areas of the body, and we combined that with our Argentinian head massager to give a head-to-toe experience.
Meanwhile, Heather was busy gallavanting around the historically imbued sands of Egypt with her friend Kristen. I have yet to hear the nitty gritty on the trip, but I'm sure it was a fabulous experience and she successfully topped me in terms of number of continents visited (she now has 5 to my 4).

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