Hi again! Sorry it has been so long. The weeks seem to pass by quickly now. The pace of life is more steady and normal overall and that makes it hard to realize how long it has been since I last wrote. So here I will write about some of the “do’s” and “don’ts” here in Cote d’Ivoire.
DO greet everyone you meet, multiple times a day, and especially if you see them everyday (ex. The workers where we live). It is highly rude to walk by without stopping to greet. Do NOT use your left hand. If you have something in your right hand and something else in your left and you want to hand them to somebody you should hand the thing in the right hand first and then switch the other thing from your left hand to your right. The reason for this is that the left hand is used in the bathroom; especially good to discriminate since there is rarely toilet paper handy.
DO bargain for most everything. Do NOT bargain for those things with a set price. It beats me how to tell between the two, nothing ever has a price tag. DO make kissing sounds to hail a taxi, DO NOT kiss or touch someone of the opposite sex in public, even if you are married. DO eat quickly and much. Do NOT talk or sing while eating apparently it messes with the pipes the food goes down. DO ask how a person is and their family. Do NOT ever answer badly. Example: How are you? Oh not so good today. This is a bad response. Always say you are good at first, later in the conversation you can bring up how you are really doing depending how close you are with a person.
DO live in community and spend time with people. Do NOT deal directly with conflict, use a mediator. Do NOT spend too much time alone; people think there is something wrong with you. Do NOT show your knees in public (girls and guys). DO dance in church :-)
Well that is all for the cultural lesson today. If you friend Journey Corps on Facebook you can see when some of my other team mates post blogs. That way if I forget something they can supplement it. Honestly, I don’t much enjoy writing, but God has gifted some of my team mates with this art.
Thanksgiving was great here. We had a big feast with all the missionaries serving with World Venture in Cote d’Ivoire. It has been such an honor hosting them this week. There were forty people around the table last night. It was the biggest Thanksgiving feast I have ever had. I am thankful I was able to be here and supply the crescent rolls!
My stomach has begun its revolt. I am thankful that it is just now starting but it is ironic what it revolts against. AMERICAN FOOD!!! We had hamburgers on Wednesday for lunch and Pizza for dinner, and I thought I might die. Tonight, we had spaghetti and I feel like my stomach is going to explode.
Haha. I guess I am more African than I thought. French is coming along but keep praying for it to come quickly. Pray for relationships to deepen among us. Finally, pray for the country this week as the elections are happening again. This country is ready for peace. I think of you often and keep you in my prayers. Thank you for who you are.
Sending Ivoirian Love,