One thing I've not yet mentioned but which has struck me as remarkable is the amount of special attention and consideration the people here have given me personally. They show me great favor me and are always considerate of my preferences, which I'm forced to think must only be because of their incredible humility and regard for others.
They do me a great honor, far above my station, and I am humbled by their service and respect.
I have treated this trip as two parts vacation and one part spiritual discovery. As such, I have invested myself heavily in the pleasures of company, food and beverage, good humor, and photography. This suprises some of the tanda tula, I think, as they obviously have expected me to be some kind of self-important american capable of drumming up all kinds of future tourist business.
Once they begin to perceive me as the playboy or comedian, however, I feel I am then more free to contribute intelligently into conversations about spirituality, ministry, globalization and postmodernity, or simply the movement of god in their own contexts.
It's all quite wonderful, now that we've struck a balance; though, I have been stunned, confused, and embarrassed in equal measure before we'd all finally got one another figured out.
oh well - at least there've been no feed-the-yankie-imposter-to-the-hungry-lion moments.