So how do our culture and our values impact how we act? Apparently in many ways, most of which are unconscious. So for example, I value familiarity and I have culturally learned that being a "helper" is a good thing. For the past 24 hours, I have acted as a gracious host at the Scarboro Foreign Missions. As I was here in June, I have some familiarity with the building, the processes and the locale. I assume that everyone else would like to be settled and comfortable as quickly as possible. One of our leaders values adventure and on occasion gives out slightly vague information as she values and enjoys exploration. She assumes that too much information ruins the experience. This is just one small piece of what we are being asked to consider over the next two weeks of orientation. During this time I'll be living at the Scarboro Foreign Missions, a monastery, conference and retreat centre at Lakeshore/Brimley in Scarborough. I have wifi, so feel free to send me an e-mail, as I should be able to check e-mail frequently!
There are 18 of us in training from a mix of demographics - single, couples, 2 families, university students, retirees, and places in between. The participants are from Edmonton, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Kitchener, St. John's, Washington State, Texas, Colorado, Virginia, Arizona, Michigan, and Germany. They are going to the middle east, Africa, South and Central America and one woman who works in program on the US/Mexican Boarder, for times ranging from 3 months - 5 years. They are being sponsored by the United Church, the Presbyterian Church (Canada) and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Today was our first day together, so I am still getting to know people. Unfortunately, I have run out of time today and will not be adding pictures, but I promise to next week. The Gold Medal Hockey game (Canada and Russia - Junior Worlds) is starting soon!
Also, thanks to everyone who is sending comments. I also received information about an error on my last blog...the movie I watched with Karen and Rachel is called "Tangled" not "Twisted" -- don't fear we aren't showing Rachel movies about tornadoes.