Monday, August 13, 2012

Doing Dishes

I traveled with three friends to Colombia and spent a week there. We stayed in the home of Vincent, Alyson, and young Wellington. They were gracious hosts -- not just sharing space, but truly helping us to feel at ease there. They shared their lives with us and invited us to share our lives, too. They translated language, provided guidelines for safety, explained cultural matters, and answered many, many, many questions along the way.

Food is significant to culture, connecting to such factors as climate, geography, history, politics, economics, and celebrations. Alyson planned a lovely variety of meals, introducing us to all sorts of fascinating and wonderful Colombian foods. I loved returning from our various adventures and other excursions to sit around their table for conversation over the meals she had prepared for us.

Our group did the dishes. It is a small thing, but it was something we could do. I was glad for the opportunity to join in with the everyday workings of the home, each having something to contribute and all aiming to work together. We made no formal arrangements, no schedule. We just all knew what needed to be done there and all were capable of doing it, so one would start gathering dishes after each meal, and another would join in soon after.

I enjoyed those simple times together.

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