Melanie, I had a wakeup call about the white culture being so prominent and overpowering of all others. I have taken it for granted and have needed to walk in somebody else’s shoes to become more sensitized in caring for other people. I agree the video clips have been great and have re-sensitized me to be more empathetic toward people who are not like me. For me the focus in on the person as an individual who has a culture etc. Culture influences who the person is, while at the same time, the person may or may not struggle with that.
I agree with what you said with regards to Carmen and Esteban, at some point they need to work at making their relationship work if they want it to. Which is more important – following cultural norms or their marriage? In Genesis God says, “the humans leave their parents and cling to their spouse.” (My interpretation of the verse) When all is said and done, I agree with you, we are to be “more respectful of the parties in the room,” because they have to live with what works for them.
I hope your visit and work in Costa Rica goes well. Our family visited there a few years ago. It opened our eyes, being the ones who were out of place – yes very humbling. I thought the people were more respectful of us being out of place and were very helpful in our adjusting than I have seen white Americans be toward people who are not.