Saturday, January 31, 2009

I would like to add something to yesterday’s events that I thought about this morning. It is specifically for my past students but relevant to anyone, especially a young person with “dreams”.

I mentioned that when I first went into town I was in tank top and shorts after working in the yard. The local people were dressed in many different outfits but it was clear that it was an occasion where one was expected to show the proper respect by what they wore, that being causal but very clean. I didn’t give it much thought at that moment because I was leaving anyway. When I did decide to return I caught myself and determined that this may become a unique opportunity to show my respect too. Not just to the official but to “my village”. I dressed in my favorite tropical pants that have been with me everywhere, and just washed, and a simple long sleeved crew neck tee also very clean. Of course always my “campaign” hat.

Well, it felt good, I looked good and I sensed that my friends, especially Vicente and Luice, were grateful that I showed this simple but important respect. Because of that momentary reflection before going I arrived in a state of personal “power”. It was as much a sign of respect for myself as for the situation. I was the only Gringo in the village yesterday and I knew I was being watched.

The point to my students and other young people who might access this blogspot is to always be aware and respectful of another country’s traditions, however insignificant they may seem to you at the time. It might just make the difference between accomplishing your “dreams” or not.

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