top of page

Rocky and Karren Chupa

welcome you to their blog.


It is an ongoing story of their journey.

  • karrenchupa

A Window Into Culture

This morning I was reminded of what I love and at the same time find frustrating about life here in rural Guatemala.  I received a lovely invitation to attend a celebration of “Day of the Midwife.” I have missed a couple of events hosted by the municipality and decided I really should attend this one.  The invitation said “8am,” so in my mixed culture style, I showed up at 8:20.  Hardly anyone was there and it was clear they were a long way from being ready to start.  The lovely hostess at the door said to me, when I inquired when they’d be ready, “todavia falta un poco, hermana.”  In other words, not for a while.

So, I got back in the car and went to the market to do the shopping for Restoration House.  I returned at 9am, and things still had not started.  I took a seat at the back of the auditorium, hoping I’d be able to make a quiet exit if things dragged on too long.  No sooner had I sat down, then those in charge asked me to come and sit at the head table on the stage.  I respectfully declined, assuring them I was fine where I was and I needed no special recognition.  They insisted, so…away I went. 

When I sat down, I saw the agenda for the meeting – 4 hours worth of agenda!  I was not listed as a speaker, thankfully, and I resigned myself to sit politely and wait.  Around 9:30 things got started – and hour and a half after the official start time – and the officials’ table where I was sitting was now full of all those who were on the agenda.  It must have been over 40 degrees in the auditorium by now and hand towels were wiping off sweaty brows and being whirled around to create some airflow.  The Ministry of Health representative was just finishing her speech and coming back to sit down when in the midst of a rattle of Kekchi, I heard “Karren” and all eyes were on me!  I was being invited to share some words with the 220 midwives and all the officials who were gathered to celebrate this special day.  Surprise! Good thing I like to talk!   

The part of all this that I find frustrating is that nothing every starts on time and this has affected me in that I now arrive late as a result.  But, the part I love is how easily everyone adjusts their schedule and their pre-planned agenda, to accommodate a late start and a surprise official (me!).  None of this would go over well in my first culture – Canada, but, I’m no longer really Canadian at heart.  I think I am Canamalan or Guatecanan or…you get the idea.  After living here for 14 ½ years, this has become my norm.     

And, now, I am currently doing office work because it is HOT outside and inside we have A/C.  If nothing else, this heat is a motivator to catch up on the books and office work.  We are in week 4 of an unprecedented heat wave where daytime highs have been between 40 and 44 celcius with high humidity, but no rain.  Night time lows are in the 30s.  We haven’t had rain since February.  Our usually beautiful, green, lush home is brown and crispy.  We had a fire just over a week ago that could have caused some significant damage, but praise the Lord, His hand is upon us and this land that belongs to Him. 

27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



bottom of page