Expressed most simply, culture means the way we see and do things. Culture is the set of shared meanings, or the ways people agree to be (behave, act, and respond) in order to respond to new and familiar situations in their lives. Culture becomes the filter through which people interpret reality and perceive their future. As such, any particular culture represents a coherent but distinctive way of looking at the world. Cultural components and influencers consist of attitudes, beliefs, language, customs, rituals, behavior, faith/religion, food, and art/drama/music.
The information above was shared during an intercultural development training hosted at the Solid Rock guesthouse. Every Friday night for 12 weeks, several of our North American staff, Dominican staff, and a few other English speakers in San Juan will gather to discuss topics such as Recognition of One’s Culture, Respect for Other Cultures, Reconciliation Across Cultures, and Realization and Collaboration in An Intercultural Setting. I have been serving as a mentor during this training program to my friend, Ludwig Gresseua, who is presenting this information as his final project for his online master’s degree at Luther Rice University. Ludwig is from Haiti, but has lived in the Dominican Republic for several years with his family. The class has been very interesting and informative to me and I have had the opportunity to help teach some of the material as well. I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing personal examples from our staff as they share things about their culture. For example, one evening we discussed what is considered “rude” in our culture. Another evening, we brought a small object that represented our culture and discussed “culture shock” experiences. My prayer is that with each class, we will all leave with deeper connections and understandings of one another. I consider it a huge blessing to our ministry to be able to do these training courses together.
My daytime hours are spent facilitating homeschool/Freedom Project Academy and converting to a taxi driver for the afternoon ballet/music classes. I try to get to El Cercado every other Friday to check in on our child nutrition program. I have also been on site at the clinic during surgical weeks and I assist with evening activities at the guesthouse as needed. On Tuesdays, our family is responsible for taking the group to softball. Ethan loves taking his friends along to play.
Over the last month, Jason has worked with a construction team and fixed the doors at the guesthouse. He went to Bavaro with Jeff for an overnight trip and they came back with our new ministry van! He spent a week taking the van around to different places to get it serviced, remove decals/repaint, and have it ready to go for the groups. He also continues to maintain the other ministry vehicles and keeps tools in working order. He recently fixed a leaf blower by replacing the carburetor and spark plugs.
I thank you all for praying for our internet situation. Our home now has fiber optic internet installed and it has been working well. We are so grateful!
I really enjoy the fall season here as the temperatures are a little bit cooler and the ministry schedule isn’t quite as crammed as the winter months.
Thank you all for praying for our family as we continue to serve those around us here in San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Republic.