Saturday, July 10, 2010

Global interests and local hospitality

This week we have a couple staying with us from Costa Rica. What fun to their faces light up with they first saw our little acreage! The cameras came out quickly as they saw the hay field in the back. It was a reminder of the blessing of living in Wisconsin. Living in such a mountainous region makes our wide open spaces and wide-wide roads an amazing site in their eyes. We talked about local customs and the differences between our driving habits (like Midwesterner's aversion to using their car horns).

What is very interesting is that both our guests work in Costa Rica, but their jobs are located in the states. One is a software engineer for a Dallas company. He and I sympathized with each other about the complexity of getting everyone to turn their time sheets in on time, as he handles the Texas payroll! She works for the U.S. Department of Treasury and is working with American partners in developing the infrastructure for transportation in her country.

This week has reminded me that cultural differences are no different than other interesting conversations we face in nursing. Whether it is teaching someone to care for their child, relating ways to live healthier lives, or learning about life in Costa Rica, this is all done best over a cup of coffee, talking one to one. Listening, reflecting, relating. We are at a tremendous advantage having this firmly entrenched in our own professional culture. Viva Nursing!

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