We read this a number of times when we were getting ready to come to Argentina. The mission we're with requires their new missionaries read certain books as part of the preparation, and this phrase stuck in my mind. From our previous experience in Uganda, we know we sometimes have a tendency to get frustrated or aggravated with the way things are done. But we also know that once we are aware of the "why" behind something, it often helps things fall into place and make more sense. Not always, but often.
And sometimes things just make absolutely no sense :)
[That's how I feel about the whole bureaucracy thing.]
Whether they make sense or not, many things fall into that broad category of "not necessarily right or wrong, just different."
Last night we returned to Cordoba again, but this time for an entirely different purpose: a doctor appointment. Ivan's been seeing an ENT specialist who's in Carlos Paz once a week but the doctor wanted him to come to his office in Cordoba where he could perform additional tests. Ivan wanted me to consult with this doctor, too, to see if sinus issues might be causing my migraines. Guess what time our appointment was for? 8:30 PM
When we arrived the waiting room was full and people were spilling over onto chairs that lined the hallway back to the exam rooms, so it wasn't surprising that we weren't called back until almost 9:45 PM.
And it was 11:30 PM when we finally pulled into our driveway.
I don't remember ever going to the doctor that late at night in the U.S. unless it was a visit to the emergency room. Here it's not at all unusual. Not necessarily right or wrong, just different.
On the way to Cordoba last night we got a call from friends asking if we'd be home this morning and after we said yes, they said they'd be stopping by.
At 11 AM they did indeed stop by, with a large pan of goat meat to grill, and our co-workers! [Our co-workers didn't know anything about this either; the friends stopped by there first and said, "Come on, let's go have lunch!"]
I had just cleaned up the kitchen, had a load of laundry in the washer, and was getting ready to clean the bathroom. I was dressed in my sweatpants and an old, stained turtleneck. Not exactly ready for company who had come for lunch! LOL I quickly changed, visited with the ladies and showed them how to make those cute little fabric flowers, made a pot of rice with vegetables to go with the goat, Ivan ran out for bread and tangerines and it was all good.
I don't remember this ever happening in the U.S. -- but we had a great time and I know the bathroom will eventually get cleaned [just maybe not until we get back from Buenos Aires] [Hopefully I'll get the kitchen cleaned up before then though -- right now there's a mountain of dishes]. Again, this kind of thing is not necessarily right or wrong, just different.
Missionaries come in all shapes and sizes, from all different backgrounds, each equipped with different gifts and abilities...but one thing that each and every missionary MUST have is flexibility, able to "go with the flow".
I have to admit, I'm not real great in this area. BUT I'M LEARNING. I can understand intellectually that things are not necessarily right or wrong, just different, but still have a difficult time handling the differences on a practical level. Thankfully I've adjusted enough to the culture that most things don't phase me any more. And I have a great (and exceedingly patient) husband who calls me on it when they do :)