Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER (02/28/19)
TITLE: Coping Away From Home
By Marlene Custer
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“A picture is worth a thousand words” was indeed helpful the first few times we went to the hardware store or the variety store. One day my picture of a safety pin led to success in getting just what I needed for some costumes I was working on. I would never have been able to explain ‘safety pin’ verbally to someone that knew very little English. Nor would I have found them on my own, since for some strange reason, they were kept behind the counter.
Another example was my experience with Pop Tarts. When Pop Tarts hit the market in our country, my first reaction was ‘what a great idea’—just pop it in the toaster and when it pops up it is ready to eat, complete with jelly. But, alas, I did not find them too satisfying. The list of unappetizing ingredients, some too difficult to even pronounce, along with a whopping 200 calories did not pose a great temptation for me. Fast forward 30 years or so. I was teaching at Faith Academy in Manila, Philippines. Checking my email one afternoon I saw a bulletin appear on the expat information website: “Robinson’s Supermarket has a shipment of Pop Tarts.” Why was my heart beating faster? Why did I look at the clock to see how soon I could get transportation to Robinson’s? Not only did I rush to buy something I didn’t really like, I paid a lot more for them than I would have in the States! Was it homesickness or a good example of ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder”?
I could go on. “No man is an island”, “actions speak louder than words”, “to have a friend, be a friend”, along with hundreds of other proverbs, provide nuggets of wisdom that serve us well, whether we are home or abroad.
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