• Kelly

When Culture Smacks the Ego

We just celebrated our Honduras-iversary. It's been nine years since we took a a flying leap of faith and moved to Honduras with our family. In that time, we've learned the language and overcome a mountain of cultural barriers. In fact, we've even adopted local customs and attitudes about certain things. You could say that we're comfortable in living between two worlds and navigating them well. And then...


The girls came bouncing over to borrow a game to play. Two sisters and a best friend, they've been inseparable. They're adorable!


"This club is so awesome!" gushed one of the balls of energy.


"Yeah. It's so fun and you're just like our mom!" another voice piped in.


"Oooooh, she really is!" cooed the group in agreement "Just like our sweet mama."

In my head, I twirled with happiness. I was on top of the world. "They like this," I thought joyfully. "They like me!" I sang silently. It was nice to be adored. "I'm like their beloved mama." It was really nice...for a moment.


"Yeah," said the oldest, just as I was congratulating myself for being accepted into this foreign culture and adapting so well. "She's tubby and fat just like you," she said sweetly.

And just like that Honduras gave my ego the sucker punch it needed to smack me back to reality.


Here, "fat shaming" is not a thing. In fact, it's used as a term of endearment in many cases (as it was meant in my conversation with the three girls). But even when you think you've come to terms with cultural idiosyncrasies, you're never immune to the walloping that sneaks up on you at moments like these. I smiled less than genuinely at the girls and sent them on their merry way. But later the Lord and I would have to talk about that one.


The good thing about moments like these is that thy remind me that no matter how comfortable I get, I'll never have it all figured out. And as long as I continue to think that I am the one doing great things in Honduras, I pray that God will just keep smacking me back down so I remember who I am and who He is.


© 2019 by Team Solheim

Snail Mail: 

Steve & Kelly Solheim

c/o World Gospel Mission | PO Box 948 | Marion, IN 46952