Thursday, July 15, 2010
There are a just a few differences, really. One is very interesting. When you meet together before field service, you kiss (on the cheek) each one of the participants (hermanos y hermanas). This, of course, is not limited to Witnesses. The common greeting here is a kiss on the cheek (men shake hands, unless they are good friends or workmates). Then, after several hours of working, and before you go home, you kiss each and everyone goodbye. I don't remember doing that in the US- a handshake was the best you got, or just a brief wave "hello". So that is a positive difference.
The other difference is that you never approach a door and just knock. Uruguayans are very territorial, so the best you can do is get as close to a house as is reasonable and clap your hands. This makes is very easy to be "not home" even if you "are home". I much prefer being able to walk up to the door and knock, but we will get used to clapping.
Overall, we had a wonderful day. Denise actually spoke with a few people (she has no fear) while I found nobody at home. But it was fun working with the group. Since few have cars, and rely mostly on bicycles or motorcycles, we crowded 3 in the back seat of the "bug". Too bad the camera chose that moment to die, or you would have seen the answer to the riddle, "How are Jehovah's Witnesses like a can of sardines?