Finding time for relationships

July 19, 2017 at 6:00 AM

jose luis patient.jpgDr. Jose Luis Guerrero sees a patient during a consultation at Vida en Abundancia de Mexico in Jalapa.  (File photo)

(Editor's note: Bethany Muyskens of Sheldon, Iowa, recently completed her junior year at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa, where she is a biology-health professions major. She is interning at Vida en Abundancia de Mexico in Jalapa this summer and periodically will be submitting blogs about her experience.)

Finding time for relationships

By Bethany Muyskens

In America everything is go, go, go. At school, I am always running from meetings to class to soccer practice and then to more meetings. Each day I plan out what I need to get done in order to be ready for the next day, and when I deviate from my plans I start to get stressed.

Mexican culture is basically the opposite of my Type A personality. For example, we are supposed to eat breakfast every morning at 6:30, but the earliest it ever starts is 6:45, or a patient has an appointment at the clinic at 9 a.m. but they don’t show up until 10:15. One day, we were going to go exploring in “a few minutes.” Little did I know that “a few minutes” actually meant six hours later.

The people here even have words that they use like “ahorita” and “en un rato” which are similar to “in a while” in English, but “a while” could mean 15 minutes, a few hours or never.

When I first arrived, this seemingly lack of order drove me crazy, but the more time I spend here, the more I am learning to enjoy this lifestyle.

Often things get delayed because relationships are so valuable here. Breakfast is late because it is important to start the day in prayer with your spouse, and an appointment is less important that providing a ride to a friend who needs to get home.

The value that people place on relationships is one of the biggest lessons I have learned during my time here. Their friendships abound with Godly compassion, gentleness, patience and love. They aren’t afraid to correct each other or ask hard questions. People care how you are when they ask, and they are never afraid to pray with each other.

I thought I was good at building relationships until I came here and noticed that I have so much to learn.

Relationships are a blessing from God, and as I finish my time in Mexico and return to the states, I hope to show His love to those I come in contact with by building my relationships the Mexican way.

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