I go on a lot of dental mission trips to Latin America as an interpreter. I've probably been a part of about 20 trips in the past 10 years. These opportunities have taught me a ton. Since I'm currently in Honduras on another one, I thought I'd do some reflecting.
  1. How to love people with a servant's heart
    I used to serve people because I wanted their approval, but now I'm motivated out of love.
  2. Universally understood topics of conversation
    For example: poop, thoughts on rice and beans, the weather
  3. What it's like to always be observed
    As the outsiders in any place we go, we're always being watched.
  4. Patience
    It's a virtue. And not an easy one to learn. People are frustrating, but there isn't much you can do about it.
  5. How to say no
    You can't do everything for everyone and sometimes I'm the one who has to be the bearer of bad news.
  6. Communication
    Good communication can make or break an entire trip.
  7. How to build interpersonal relationships with very diverse people groups
    Y'all wouldn't believe the people I've met even if I told you.
  8. How to take criticism with grace and humility
    I used to take everything to heart, but now I learn what I can and continue on my little way
  9. Flexibility
    I've always been pretty go with the flow, but missions take it to another level.
  10. How to tell my life story in 5-7 minutes
    Testimony time comes around on every trip and I've become a professional. Also, thank you, toastmasters.
  11. Team building games
    I might not love them, but they bring people together
  12. How to sleep well in most situations
    Currently dealing with street noise that makes NYC nights sound pleasant.
  13. Empathy
    I have no idea what people go through, so how can I judge?
  14. Understanding hay no once can read my mind.
    Unless I vocalize my thoughts, whoever I'm interacting with should not be held responsible for what I want them to be doing.
  15. #thedevilisalie
    In the end, it all works out for good. Don't you know it @ijeoma?!