Monday, November 4, 2013

honduras friendly

Hi. You asked me to expound on this particular term. I can do that.

The first part of Honduras friendly is that you say hello to everyone. So when you're passing someone on the street, you can't avoid eye contact and walk past them. You look at them and you acknowledge their presence by saying something (usually we say ¡Buenos! which could be short for buenos dias, buenas tardes, or buenas noches. It's general like that.) So you could say hello or goodbye or good afternoon or whatever, but you say something and you smile. Or you're an introvert. (Yes, they have that word in Spanish)

Next, when you see someone that you know and neither of you is in a terrible hurry, you can't just say hello. You say hello with some form of physical contact. So we shake hands with the men and we kiss cheeks with women. Usually, with cheek kissing (which is actually more like pressing the left sides of faces together and making a kissing noise) there is a possibility for a hug or a hand clasping or something, whatever feels necessary. The verb for this is saludar. And if you don't saludar a person, you hate them. Like, really. The time that someone I knew intentionally didn't saludar me, I apologized to her later that day if I had done anything to offend her. And she told me there had been a misunderstanding, but that now I was forgiven. You don't not saludar people unless you want them to know you are really, really angry with them. (Also, this isn't a matter of convenience. If you have to wade through people and saludar them over a couple of children, you do it. It's serious) 

But the most important part of Honduras friendly is that you are genuinely and seriously interested in other people's lives. You ask them lots of questions, you listen intently, and you remember the things that they told you. Someone says that they aren't feeling well? You make a point of asking them how they are doing every time you see them until they tell you they are feeling better. Someone mentions their birthday? We write it down so that we can congratulate them on their birthday. And if you have to ask questions to work on your memory, like Where do you work again? Remind me your name? Could you repeat that for me? That's not rude. Because maybe you're admitting that you forgot, but you are showing a genuine interest in knowing about their lives. And that's what's important. 

Also, there is Honduras hospitality, which I can't really do because we can't invite people into our home. But if someone comes to see you, you find them a chair and invite them to sit down. If they look like they are dying of heat, you offer them something to drink. If you're already drinking something, you now have the option to just give them something to drink without offering. And depending on how much you like someone, if you're eating dinner, you just feed them, too. Actually, pretty much any time you're eating, you verify if your guests have eaten or not, and if they haven't you probably feed them. (We usually feel really bad when people feed us unexpectedly, because they hadn't really bought food to feed us with. But you can only protest until the act is done, and once the food is in your hands, you eat it and you're grateful. Because not accepting things is rude) 

Do you remember when you told me that I probably wouldn't eat with the members a lot, because they don't have a lot of extra? Well they definitely don't have extra, but they share it anyway. That continues to amaze me. The people here are a spectacular example of selflessness and I really have a lot to learn from them. So, yeah, I don't know how you can translate all of this to incorporate it in the States, but Honduras friendly is pretty much having no restraint to show people that they matter and you care about them. Frankly, I think you and Dad are pretty good at that already. Love you, longer letter in a minute


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