"One culture only reflects part of the image of God." -Day1 Multicultural Training
One of my favorite things about traveling to a new country is learning about all the new things related to culture- food, dress, music, architecture, language, etc. I love learning about new places and people. Since arriving in Mexico, I have been struck by the beauty of this place. The bright colors of dresses hanging in the stores; the smell of sweet bread drifting from the panaderia and the sounds of fire crackers going off all throughout the city. These unfamiliar sights, smells and sounds are exciting to me. However, the differences that I enjoy are the same differences that make this transition difficult for our 6 year old who truly longs for things to be the same. As soon as we landed in Mexico City, Kieran started to become uncomfortable with everyone speaking Spanish all the time. He asked me if we could have a “No-Spanish” day soon. Sunday, we went to a Spanish church service, and once again he was not impressed with their lack of English skills. He enjoyed the fresh tortillas we had for lunch, but he really wanted to melt cheese inside so they would be like the quesadillas he was use to eating.
Three days after arriving, Kieran is still apprehensive about all the Spanish being spoken, but now he follows his complaint with “Mommy, how do you say _______ in Spanish?” We’ve been praying that Kieran would have a good experience during this orientation in Mexico, and we’ve been trying to focus on the similarities between his culture and this new culture he is experiencing. He still isn’t quite ready to dive into some new things like the food (he had mac and cheese for dinner and a jelly sandwich for lunch), but we’re already starting to see that he is opening up. This evening, we walked down to the town center to check it out, and we stopped to get drinks from a little shop. Kieran was trying to decide between Sprite, Fanta Orange and a Mexican Grapefruit drink. Finally he said, “I want to try a flavor that I’ve never tried before.” So, he chose the grapefruit flavor and loved it. It also helped that we found a painting of Spiderman and Princess Aurora on one of the store fronts. As we were walking back he said, “Mexico is interesting.” I have a feeling it won’t be too long before he starts to enjoy the same differences that I do.