A Wonderful Laughter (Ecuador)
The lights had been brought down to a dim glow. Outside the window the shadows of Ecuador´s mountains were ominous yet inspiring. I was seated comfortably on a large cusion next to Benjy, the pastor’s son. His entire family along with our team was tightly-packed into their tiny but cozy living room. At the moment the television set flashed as Rod drove up the ramp, flew over the car, and crashed pathetically into the side of the landing ramp. As he tried to get back up he began to lose his cookies.
A high-pitched giggle sounded from the kitchen table. It was Washington, the pastor of the church and our deputation daddy, so to speak. He and his wife were laughing uncontrollably, uttering exclamations in spanish. Brittany and Missy were bouncing with laughter on a cushion with Jonathon and Samuel, the two younger kids. I took one last swig of my cup of black tea. It’s funny just how much sweeter things taste here, I thought.
Things only got better from there. Though we opted to keep the movie in English with Spanish subtitles no joke was spared for anyone. We thought watching a movie as American as Hot Rod would be an honorable way to comemorate our home country´s independence day (that and eating hamburgers for dinner), but I think it fair to say that we were all genuinely surprised by how much our church family enjoyed the film. With each subsequent explosion and terrible misfortune which befell Rod we all only felt more and more joyful. It felt in that moment like two cultures had genuinely been brough together, creating something beautiful.
When the credits finally began to roll we all sat still for several minutes. After a few seconds I got up and walked over to Benjy to ask him if he had enjoyed it:
´´¡Claro!´´ his eyes beamed as he patted me on the shoulder.
We were finally speaking the same language.