Try not to let someone give you a monkey. If you see a dead giraffe in the middle of the road, don't stop. These are two very distinct pieces of advice I have learned from people who have done global service in the past. Apparently one woman had an African Tribal Chief give her a gift a monkey. While he was reputedly very cute, he did not make a good house pet. Someone else said that one of the first things she learned while in Africa, was that sometimes hunters will pull a dead giraffe onto the roadway in order to cause cars to stop, and then the passengers are robbed. Fortunately, I am not expecting that either will be an issue in Central America, although there certainly are monkeys there.
Also this week we had the opportunity to visit the Vedanta Society, a worship space that comes out of the Hindu tradition. Swami Kripanmayananda explained that everyone carries the divine light of God. As we serve one another, we are serving God. Earlier this week we had talked about how culture and theology had shaped our lives. One thing we were asked to consider is the impact of original sin. I have to say this is something that I had not really considered. However, the idea that we are imperfect and sinful, or in the vernacular, not really good enough is something that is very prevalent in our culture. What would it be like if we believed in original goodness and that person carried the light of God in them? Could we ever believe that we were good enough?
On a practical note, I am attaching a couple of pictures of the Scarboro Mission Centre, so that you can see where I have been this week. The place is lovely, and as can see, each room has its own sink! I am here until Monday. I'll be spending a few days with family and friends until I leave for Mexico on January 21st!