Provincial Life

Standard

Little town. It’s a quiet village. Every day like the one before.

Until the Americans show up and make things interesting for two weeks.

I know I’m not walking around with a t-shirt that reads AMERICAN in massive red, white, and blue letters, but I feel like I might as well be. Everyone turns and stares when we walk or drive by. Of course, this is such a small town that any new face is stare-worthy.

It’s a small enough town that one normally has to go out of town to buy what you need. There are two restaurants in town, two or three small bars, one hotel, one Catholic chapel, one school, and one tiny convenience store. There’s food there, but you can’t afford to be choosy.

Thankfully, there is also a fruit stand. For me, the herbivore from Anytown, this is a definite plus. I brought pocket change for the sole purpose of buying myself fruits and vegetables, since those are two things rarely served at meals. Meat, yes. Pasta, yes. Pickled peppers, yes. Fruit? No such luck.

Today I bought apples and bananas. Dinner. If you could see my face, you’d see that I am smiling.

Apparently the notoriety of our English has spread in the last year, since record numbers of new students showed up for classes today. Last year I had four students on my first day. Today I had thirteen. That’s right. Ten plus three. Thing number umpteen that I’m not used to.

I’m really grateful, actually. I came over here to do things I’m not used to, so here I am—doing things I’m not used to, like teaching thirteen students under the age of fourteen, none of whom speak my language very well. Or buying bananas with a currency I’m not familiar with from a guy I can only communicate with through gestures. Or waking up at 5:00 AM because that’s when the sun rises over here. Not used to that.

And you know what? That’s fine. That’s wonderful, actually. Because life and travel are about learning and experiencing new things, not having everything remain the same. If life were always the same, it would be really, really boring. And if every place in the world was just like every other place, the world would be really, really boring. But no place is like any other, so it’s a beautiful world. God’s big, beautiful world. God’s great, wide somewhere. 

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