I didn't get a chance to post yesterday, so I will have two today.
#14...The "coholo suave" spirit.
Probably the most popular Dominican saying is "coholo suave" which means "take it easy." It's so much more than a saying, it's actually the saying that best describes the Dominincan spirit.
For better or worse, I say.
On one hand "coholo suave" means you shouldn't worry so much about things you can't control. Kick back and let life happen. So what if there's traffic, you really aren't expected to be on time to that dinner party anyway. The electricity is out...just go with it and do what you can, the laundry will still be there tomorrow. I see it as kind of a license to stop stressing out over everything, and this is a great lesson a girl who is pre-disposed to worry about everything needs to learn.
On the other hand, "coholo suave" means overlooking things like effeciency in customer service at stores and eating dinner at 10 p.m. because everyone was late to you house. It means that if the water goes out in the middle of you shower you might be stuck with shampoo in your hair. It means that if your only car is broken down and the mechanic says it will take 3 days to fix, it will probably take seven. And, you will look crazy if you complain and raise a fuss about it.
So, whether or not I will easily embrace the "coholo suave" spirit of life in the DR is pretty much up for grabs. Chances are knowing my personality I will have a love/hate relationship with that phrase everyday.
One of the things I am looking forward to the most is finding my fit professionally as a minister. Before having my son I worked for 7 years as a college minister in Boston. In that time I also taught English to Spanish-speaking immigrants; volunteered in a variety of service projects including serving food to the homeless, building a house in Mexico, working with children, and hosting volunteer mission groups visiting Boston. Ministering is my vocation and whether it is with college students or immigrants, it is what I know to do. So, as I move with my family down to the Dominican Republic I will look for opportunities to serve the population I live with in whatever way I can or see God leading me. Most likely I will be teaching English in some capacity. It's one of the things I love to do the most. The idea of teaching English to a group of adults who might have a whole new set of opportunities open up to them because of their new skill is inspiring to me. I am also hoping to connect with former colleagues and friends who are planning volunteer trips to the DR in the next year or so.
My primary goal is to get my family settled, set up our home, figure out how to get everyday things done in our new city, and work on my language skills. But, discovering what else lies ahead for me and uncovering a new vocation is on my list, too.