Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just a Photo? Think Again.

Despite having been here for 9 months, I am still surprised everyday at the little cultural differences that pop up. So let me just tell you this little story. Hondurans hate and I mean hate their photos being taken (at least the majority of the employees in the clinic). A lot of the people here are very shy and have what we refer to here as “pena”, or are embarrassed a lot. So yesterday, I had to take all the employees’ photos for an identification card for Shoulder to Shoulder. I made an announcement at a clinic wide meeting last Friday saying that this Tuesday was “Photo Day” and that everyone should come to work well-groomed to take a picture (even though they already all do that on a daily basis). I thought that telling everyone a few days in advance would alleviate some of their embarrassment, allow them to prepare and primp, etc.…. boy was I wrong! I had people hiding from me, people who refused to take the photos when others were watching, and people who made me redo it 4 or 5 times even though this will just be a little picture on a card. What should have taken an hour at most ended up taking the entire day, as I would have to ask multiple times/ even beg for people to take a photo. Now I know no one likes his or her individual photo taken, but doing it in Honduras takes this dislike to a whole other level. What I don’t understand is that the doctors in the clinics are continuously taking photos on their phones and modeling for each other to post on Facebook, hmmmm the irony of it all! But again, I am reminded that nothing is quite as easy as it seems! Sometimes all I can do is smile and laugh even though I don’t understand. Happy Holy Week! I will write after my little vacay. :-)
A little pic from a recent hike in Santa Lucia, hoping this will all be green soon!

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