The Process of Acclimation

I’m going through a series of changes as I adapt to life in Honduras.  My process of acclimation goes beyond the transitions of environment and I am affected on deeper levels in modifying my attitude and outlook. I am constantly learning about culture, nature, language, and how faithful God is.

Weather-  Weather is unquestionably the most evident change I have to deal with. Yes, Tennessee carries the reputation of having miserably humid seasons of summer and fortunately, this has made the transition from Tennessee summer to Honduras quite manageable.  However, now that it is fall in Tennessee and I see pictures of sweaters and chai tea lattes, you can say that the struggle is real.  Honduras has a relatively dry climate, with the exception of the rainy season from October-January.  Since arriving here at the start of September, I sweat on a regular basis but hopefully once my body acclimates to the climate I won’t sweat as much. 

THE RAIN CLOUDS.  In Tennessee you can see rain clouds for days, and it won’t rain, but if you see rain clouds in Honduras, there is no time to think that “it might rain,” you run for cover because it WILL rain and it will POUR. 

Food- I live in a very rural area where there are not many options for eating out.  I cook most of my food or eat at other missionary’s homes.  To do my grocery shopping, I catch a ride with one of the missionaries driving to La Ceiba (the largest city closest to the mission base) about every two weeks.  I can find most of the things I need at the grocery store there.   Most of the fruits and vegetables look different and I have eaten some questionable meals, but I have yet to contract a parasite or food illness.

Culture- There are many aspects to the Honduran culture that will take me time to learn.  For example:  I am grateful that I have tough skin.  Hondurans are brutally honest people and they will call you ‘fat’ to your face! But, to their defense, it isn’t offensive in their culture compared to American culture.  I mentioned earlier that I actively sweat, and one honest Honduran has felt the need to inform me that my face is greasy (I prefer the term oily).  She is so used to me being sweaty that when I am not, she informs me that my face is not greasy.  So, if you really want to know if that dress makes you look fat or not, then ask a Honduran.   

Language- I’ve discovered this: if you really want to learn a language, then study abroad for a semester. I graduated with a minor in Spanish AND I am half-Hispanic, so I expected that after a few weeks in Honduras I’d be speaking “comfortable Spanish.”  Sometimes I communicate great with individuals, and other times my mind goes blank and I freeze up. One time I kept telling a guy that I was married (casada) instead of saying that I was tired (cansada). One letter makes a big difference.  I have confidence that when I leave Honduras I will be able to say that I am fluent in Spanish.  I am looking forward to speaking to my grandmother without asking my mom how to say things in Spanish!

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
— Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Most importantly, God has been so faithful. I have yet to encounter anything that God has not prepared me in advance to deal with (okay, maybe the cows).  Yet, I know that when I do encounter such things, God will use them to prepare me for something in the future.  I serve a faithful and loving God.  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the photos.