Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Crossing Cultures, by Ruby Moyer & Kathy Couch, Back2Back Mexico Staff

January 31, 2010

During the Christmas holidays this year, we had the opportunity to take a few of the Hope Program teens to the United States.  We thought it would give them great insight on what it’s like to live in a foreign country with a foreign language surrounding you at all times. It put a face to the Hope Program for some of our supporters.  What a great way to merge two cultures.

Ruby loaded up Jazmin and Evelyn for a long day of travel.  We took two buses, two flights, and a car ride to finally arrive in Indiana.  We were greeted with snow to the girls delight.

Our two weeks were filled with the girls meeting people, eating in restaurants, shopping, being cold, and visiting Chicago – all of which were new experiences.  It gave us a chance to deepen our relationship and for them to see what life is like in the United States.  They got to spend time with their previous house parents, Bill and Heather Merrill, who they still have a relationship with, and one of the highlights was a day in Chicago that the Merrills blessed us with.  We stayed in a 5–star hotel and felt like queens for the day.

Tim and Kathy sent Antonio to visit a supporter in Austin, Texas.  He experienced his first border crossing and a bus ride in the US, alone, and lived to tell about it.  A few days later, we loaded up Cheko and headed to Austin to pick up Antonio and then on to Oklahoma.  The young men who had never seen snow before were able to experience a blizzard on Christmas Eve.  During the week, they encountered lots of opportunities to push people out of the snow and to shovel driveways.  They even built a snowman and their comment was, “It’s a lot harder than it looks!”

When you grow up in a childrens’ home all your life, you are constantly surrounded by people.  One thing we noticed on this trip was that being in a completely different environment, their personalities were able to shine through and we saw a side of them we had never seen before.  You could see on their faces that they felt loved, valued, and important.

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A Farming Tradition, by Corrie Guckenberger, Back2Back Nigeria Staff

October 2, 2009

John, our children, and I were invited by the Chairman of the Kisayhip Village that we work with to experience and witness one of the farming/wedding traditions that they practice.  We picked up the kids right after school and went to go “be a part” of traditional Africa.

Corrie and her family

Corrie with her children, Gus, Sarah, and Sami

Upon arriving, we learned more…. when a man marries a woman from another village, the husband’s village during the next year, has some responsibilities.  Three different times the village will come over to the wife’s village and “farm” or till the land and then the two villages share a meal and celebrate.  It just so happened that the Chairman’s youngest daughter was married this past year, and the man’s village was finishing up their agreement and coming for the third and final time to “farm” the Chairman’s land.

It was actually really fun.  John got a try and I think within time, he would be great.  No, seriously, it was amazing to be there firsthand and see the excitement and encouragement that both villages shared for one another.  The one came with about sixty men and within an hour tilled maybe three acres, row after row after row of their corn.  They worked together like a machine.

As the men were working, the women and kids were either dancing and encouraging or they were cooking and preparing for the meal afterward.  Overall, I liked the gesture and thought it would be really cool if we could somehow put this practice into place in the States.  Maybe it is not tilling or farming, but maybe it is something different.  I don’t know…. something to think about.  How sweet to see one people group take care of another people group.  Even though they didn’t all get married, obviously, they all took part in the responsibilities of it.  I like it!

Okay, I just spent about an hour having this video download (and it wasn’t finished) and our power went out.  SOOO, no video.  I have included a couple of pictures.  It won’t do the scene justice because you need to see these men work with their tools and the women singing and dancing… but here are a few photos.  I hope you can catch the moment somewhat.

A Farming Tradition

A Farming Tradition 2