by MAB (bio)
|Pena National Palace, Sintra, Portugal|
All that culture got me thinking about my time as a missionary in Honduras. Since I was born and raised in the U.S., and had only been to one border town in Mexico for a day, I was eager to soak up the new culture despite the inevitable "culture shock." And it was shocking at first. But eventually I adjusted. But there is a deeper level of history and culture lying just beneath the surface. I think this is true of anywhere, even for a mission in ... Ohio for example.
I'm a fairly immature person to this day, but was much more so back then. If I had been more mature, had done more research and had a better understanding of history and culture, I think I could have enjoyed the people and my time in Honduras even more. But perhaps I am not fully to blame. My mission president would rarely let us do anything other than missionary work (and we had the standard four or five books we couldn't deviate from). I presume that's still the case in most missions. It would be nice if missionaries were given culture time so they could travel, with the objective of gaining a better understanding and appreciation of the people they serve.