I consider myself to be an extremely flexible person. I credit this to growing up as the middle child of seven kids. I was also an RA in first year residence halls for three years. I've seen a lot. I can handle even more. And situation that will shock me and few and far between. However, sometimes I feel as though God is taking all of my weaknesses and testing me through this experience. The short list of simple pet peeves and idiosyncrasies I have seem to pop up everywhere here and force me to be re-evaluate my own comfort zone and tolerance.
Take personal space for instance. A definite quirk about me.True, most people have a sense of personal space they don't want crossed, but I sometimes take this to the extreme. For example, I don´t like when people stand really close to me, hang on me, or touch my back when i don't see them coming. Oh, and i really don't like it when people touch my face. Even now, typing this out, I am laughing, just imagining the reactions of different people reading this. I mean duh. there are certain things you just don't do, right? Like its not socially acceptable to go up and play with someone's hair while they are in mid-conversation with someone else. And its not too typical to casually touch someone´s face while talking to them. And am I wrong, (with the exception of maybe pregnancy), or it is really not okay to stand next to someone and stroke their stomach? Well, the kids here seem to be just fine with doing all of the above, especially the latter. Kids love to put their hands on Kristen and my stomach. I'm always like, " Yep, thats my fat. Thanks". Really, You can´t make this stuff up.
Granted, I work with street children, but it still throws me each time a kid I don´t even know comes and sits on my lap or begins tracing the writing on the front of my shirt. Not much seems to be off limits. Just the other day in fact, this little girl was talking to me, just rubbing my stomach, thinking nothing of it, and she felt my belly button ring. Not knowing what it was she felt, she lifts up my shirt to see what it is! While fighting shock and hystarical laughter, I tried to explain to the girl why this is just NOT okay. But, have you ever tried to explain to a child seemingly basic social etiquette? Not easy in any language...
I could go on, but I must be off to prepare for another week. I'll tell you, there is never a dull moment here in the Dominican Republic. Stay tuned for more! :) Love you and miss you all!