Tuesday, May 7, 2013
20,000 Leagues Away from a Hotdish
This is not a blog post strictly about food. I wish I had the creativity, time, and aptitude to fill this page with delicious words that would leave your mouth watering. But there are only two things that come to my mind when I think about the foods of Costa Rica. Gallo Pinto and pejibaye (peh-hee-bye-yay). The first is my absolute favorite Costa Rican dish of all time. Gallo Pinto is a scrumptious breakfast dish made from a mix of white rice, black beans, and spices. Actually, there are have been few earthly delights greater than partaking of a meal of Gallo Pinto, fresh bread, white cheese, fresh fruit, and a cup of coffee accompanied by the warmth of the sun and singing birds.
Now, pejibaye. It's a fruit, I think. But out of all of the weird fruits and vegetables I have tried during these past months (we're talking jocote, chayote, guanabana, granadilla, maracuya, tamarindo, mamon chino, guaba, guava, yuca, carambola... things that, as far as I know, don't have english names) the pejibaye is the only one that's disagreeable. I use the word disagreeable because there is no other way to describe it. Like Gallo Pinto gone horribly, disagreeably wrong. Obviously there is much more variety in Costa Rica cuisine than these two things. For one, I have never once eaten hotdish, meatloaf, or whole-cooked tomatoes. I have on the other hand eaten many many chalupas, quesadillas, and a lot of black beans and rice. In other words, if we all lived off of Costa Rican food, we'd probably be a little happier.
Now, it seems like a strange moment to be thinking about this, but with only 6 weeks left, I can't help but have the feeling that whatever I was supposed to do here, I've done a pretty poor job of doing it. As if the jumble of coins I brought in my pocket and sacrificed upon the altar of the cash register to buy day-old bread for the man spending the night out in the rain could ever mean more than when he grabbed my hand and kissed it, blessing me in the name of God and calling me princess....
I will leave with a lesson though. We talk about 'finding Christ' in the face of the person of the street as if it were some great task, some impossible sacrifice requiring miraculous courage and a plethora of virtues. But we got that part wrong. We are told to find Christ in these people because that's where He dwells. And because we've been looking for Him in all the wrong places. We get so caught up in our comfort, and our shelter, and our bread that we go and leave our Christ out in the rain.
Take all my words as a grain of salt. But then again, never underestimate the value of a grain of salt... or a piece of sand.... or a mustard seed.
So what has it been worth? what will it be worth? 10 months of service... 10 months maybe wasted because, well, it looks like nothing was changed.
Well, God never told me He was going to give me the road map. He just told me to follow Him and trust in the promise He had for all of us long before I arrived.
"Yo sé los planes que tengo para ustedes, planes para su bienestar y no para su mal, a fin de darles un futuro lleno de esperanza. Yo, el Señor, lo afirmo." -Jeremías 29:11
This really had little to do with hotdish.