#8 Go to village events
Part of being a good community member is doing the things that all the other community members do. This puts us in a position to be truly accepted as part of the community and not simply seen as random outsiders who happen to live here.
Community events fall into a variety of themes, some of them more fun than others. Take for example village meetings. These can last for hours, often out in the elements, which means cold when it’s cold and blistering when it’s hot. We don’t always go, but this is a good way to know about what problems the village is needing to deal with, and to learn about the culture of accepted ways to deal with those problems.
Another community event is work. The women gather every other week to sweep up trash and the men gather, when needed, to work on the road or fix up fences, for example. We pitch in from time to time to show we care about the work the people are doing.
Funerals are another community event, painful, hopeless affairs that often raise uncomfortable questions in my own heart and mind. We are going to one today. Even as I try to formulate my ideas for this paragraph, I don’t know what to think, don’t know what to pray, don’t know what to say.
There are community health talks when the doctors are in town, community gatherings at the airstrip when the government sends a plane with financial aid for the people, and community lectures by the teachers from time to time.
And, on special occasions, there are community parties. Whether the town is celebrating a school graduation, the changing of the judges (i.e. the local leadership), or a Mexican holiday, the people contribute money to make food and come together to party. In our early years in the village we always got served food first, but I am happy to say that our presence now doesn’t really get taken notice of. We are simply becoming fixtures of Las Moras community life.