My life can be described as a pair of ducks…uh, that is, a paradox. We had a lesson about this way back in our cross-cultural training last fall. To illustrate the great paradox of a life lived in two worlds, our teacher brought in two ducks. The “yuck” duck, and the “yeah” duck. These ducks were borrowed from our kids’ classes were they were learning about this ever-present “pair of ducks” which was an appopriate way to teach them about paradoxes. Since then our family has often referred to the “yuck” and “yeah” ducks when talking about our cross-cultural experiences.
Right now we are right in between that pair of ducks as we re-enter our daily routine in El Salvador. The “yeah duck” is that we are back to our house and getting back to our normal routine (not to mention the weather is great!). The “yuck duck” is that we had to say so many sad good-byes to get here.
And that’s the way it will always be. As long as we are living in another culture, there is always a sense of loss. Loss of home culture, familar language, and, most painful of all, the loss of beloved friends and family. And I know if we ever leave El Salvador, the losses will be just as painful. Wherever we are, we are losing something. And that’s just what it is…a pair of ducks…a paradox.
But we gain so much. A new language. New friends who have become so dear to us. And most importantly, we are partnering with God Himself to make His Kingdom come in El Salvador. And that’s the best “yeah duck” of all!
So to all of you who shared the last three weeks with us, we miss you greatly and we thank you for your encouragement and support. But now we must get back to work! But first I wanted to share with you a pair of photos showing that Tori really does have the best of both worlds.
This photo was taken on the beach in El Salvador…
…and this one was taken last week in Pittsburgh.