Above my desk on the wall is a map of South America. To quote the girl from “Up” - “it’s like America . . . only South.” Spending sometimes multiple hours every day here at my desk I get to look at this map a good bit (it’s the closest thing I have to a window – other people may see trees, mountains and sun, but I see a whole freakin’ continent!). A few things I noticed:
- It has to be the continent with the coolest shape…by far.
- Brazil = huge. I think we forget that sometimes. But there are large snakes there, so I’d rather it was a big place than a small place.
- Just for fun, draw a picture of Chile. Gotta be the weirdest-shaped country.
- I lived 2 years in Venezuela as a missionary. Fascinating times. Got to see what “poor” really meant. LOVED the people there – pretty convinced they were happier than your average Americans.
And now a quick story involving a chicken and a super awkward kitchen/bathroom moment in Venezuela:
One day we were in the “house” (air quotes intended) of a family in Maracaibo. It was a bunch of cinderblocks with aluminum sheets for a roof. Dirt floor. Family of 7 sleeping in one room with a single mattress. And Kitchen=familyroom=bathroom (they’re all one room). Except the bathroom was a toilet surrounded by precariously-hung shower curtains. Well, one piece of instruction I’d been given was NOT to drink the water. I broke this rule pretty often, just because I was so darn thirsty all the time. My stomach and I suffered the consequences. And on this particular day it hit me in a not-so-subtle way. I asked the family if I could use the “bathroom” a few feet from the chairs we were sitting on. So I closed the curtains and put all shame aside. As I sat there I saw this under my protective curtain:
A few moments later the offending chicken started pecking at the curtain – clearly he was trying to bond with me. In one fell swoop the entire curtain contraption fell to the ground and I was a guy sitting on a toilet in the middle of somebody’s living room surrounded by an entire family who was trying, unsuccessfully, to suppress tear-inducing laughter. The parents quickly tried to pick up the curtain and restore my pseudo-privacy, but the damage was quite done.
Not sure why that story popped out, but now when I look at this map every day, I get to think about that experience. Well, now in our house you can rest assured that we have a strict No Chickens In the Bathroom rule.