Monday, January 21, 2008

When in Rome...

It is customary in Argentina to greet people -- even strangers -- with a kiss near the cheek. I knew this. I thought about this. I was preparing myself for this. (So was Elizabeth -- thank you!) But during an event relatively early in the trip, I found myself instinctively reaching out to shake hands with those entering. It initially required a lot to shift my responses.

I'm surprised now to find myself reaching out with the same hands to the shoulders of people I don't yet know well, if at all, to touch cheeks and kiss the air by their ears. The awkwardness has been (mostly) covered by affection. As I think of going back to my church home, with people I've known for years and already love, I think it may feel a little odd now to not draw the people there close to show that love.

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