I want to conclude the year with a few arbitrary streams of thought. I have chosen these four issues not because they were great. Quite the opposite. In the grand scheme of things they are four minor events that for some reason made a major impact on me in 2007. Here is #3…
Since I have been in San Jose, Costa Rica I have not spent much time in privately owned cars. But, one day not too long ago I was catching a ride with a friend and he was taking us down a major expressway. Ahead of us we saw something that caused us to laugh. There was a municipal dump truck with four garbage men hanging on the back. And, as this mass of trash was speeding down the road we saw that the workers had tied a toy car to the back of the truck.
As this toy car sped down the road at 50 mph, following the six wheels of filth, these garbage men were laughing and waving at all the other cars. Rock stars of refuse. The other drivers were laughing, and honking. These sanitation workers and their little car had created a chain reaction of joy and humor.
How dare they. Didn’t these guys realize they were socially and economically the lowest of the low? What right did they have to be so happy? Didn’t they realize they were garbage men working in a poor, Central American country, no less?
It is this amazing positive attitude that has shocked me. I knew I was coming here to learn Spanish, and then on to Honduras to help others. But, I had no idea I was going to fall so hard for the Central American culture and its people. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect disdain from myself. But, I didn’t expect to be so enamored by the lifestyle I have recently been living in. The people here have so little, compared to the U.S., but, they love what they have and want to share it with everyone. They want their neighbors, friends and visitors to experience their lifestyle of joy and happiness.
They have passion, food, music, history, art, and an attitude of delight, love and pride. They are eager to share their culture with others and welcome them into their homes and community. I always figured I’d grow to accept the culture in Central America. But, I never imagined I would become so enamored with it so rapidly.
If you want to read the previous Random Thoughts go here.
Come back in the next day or two to further explore the scarred psyche of this missionary.