Monday, May 14, 2012

Love One Another


"Surgery Saturday" at our house can be a little hectic at times.  We try to work like a veterinary hospital in the States, all smooth and organized, but the difference here is that we are only a staff of 3 (nurse, surgeon and receptionist),  and in the States, it was more like 10-12 staff on any given morning.  To compound the craziness, we are usually receiving 5-7 cats and dogs in a 30 minute window (we just extended it to 30 minutes for each species) and sometimes this is the first time that I am meeting some of the patients and clients, because some are traveling from a distance to get here.  So, in this short period of time I am meeting people, answering their questions, talking about the surgery, post-operative care...etc. To me, it feels rushed and hectic.  I would like to give each client an hour of my time (my co-workers in the States are reading that and smiling), but everyone is patient and talking amongst themselves as the cats howl and the dogs bark.

This past Saturday, as the day progressed and we were doing surgery, a veterinary student observed and asked: "I have noticed that the interactions between the Gringos that come here is very friendly and quick to happen even among strangers...is that typical of all Gringos in the U.S.?"  I thought for a minute as I remembered the waiting room in the U.S.  Of course there was the occasional extrovert and the receptionists were gifted in chit-chatting with the clients, but as a culture in general...no, it is not typical.  What is typical in the U.S. is short - polite greetings and then back to what you were doing...texting, staring at the wall or trying to determine if someone spilled lemonade... or is that urine on the floor...bad dog.  So, my response is "no".  But why is it different?  I am sure that part of it is that there is a sense of comradery amongst us because we are in a new culture.  And yet, there is a sense of closeness that is distinct compared to my interactions with other expatriates that  I know.  I think the difference is that we love one another.  For the most part, we are followers of Christ seeking to love one another.  We are far from perfect, but the drive to love one another, and do it better, was evident to this student.

John 13:35 "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."