Different Packaging

“Eat your carrots, they are good for your eyes and will help you see…”

This phrase can be heard said in kitchens around the world as mothers try to convince their kids to eat the hard orange veggie.  Did you know, carrots contain beta-carotine, which the body converts to Vitamin A, an important nutrient for eye health?  Perhaps my mom and many others have been onto something.

Why all this carrot talk?

Since moving to Haiti I have said goodbye to the world of perfectly prepared, pre-packaged baby carrots in the local grocery store. I have said hello to dirt covered, mis-shaped, variety sized carrots from the local market.  The picture at the top of the page are a few carrots I recently purchased from the market.  Not quite the grocery store perfection I grew up eating.  After many months of receiving my less than cookie-cutter perfect carrots I began to wonder, is this what carrots look like in the U.S. when they are pulled straight from the ground?

Don’t judge, it’s an honest question from someone who has not been around her fair share of “carrot planters.”  I took this question to the most logical place:  www.kidsgrowingstrong.org, a kid friendly website with loads of gardening advice.  After a few minutes of very strenuous carrot studies, I am convinced of one thing, a carrot is a carrot is a carrot.

You can plant a carrot in the U.S., Haiti, or anywhere else for that matter, and it will always be a carrot.  Pretty simple, huh?  This “Veggie Lesson” is also a good reminder of another very foundational truth:

People are people are people.  Granted, we all have “different packaging” but, we were ALL created in the image of God with the same basic needs (Gen. 1:27).

Our time in Haiti has helped me see this truth on a whole new level.  I have stepped out of a world of English speaking, Cheese-Burger eating, Football loving Americans.  I now function daily in a world of Creole speaking, Rice & Bean eating, Soccer (Football) loving Haitians.  A people whose packaging is different, yet we are the same.

Just this morning I was talking to a few Haitian women who were intrigued by the fact that I was indeed going to have our baby here in Haiti.  They were excited to learn I would deliver our baby very similar to how they had their children, and that he would be “Haitian.” This led to a time of each woman sharing about her particular delivery experience, the early days with their baby at home, and on and on, you know how moms can be.

As the conversation concluded, my heart delighted as that simple conversation helped me continue to see through our different cultures  and into the lives of my sisters in Haiti.

Some days the challenges of Haiti are difficult to see through.  But, as our relationships are strengthened and we continue to learn, I am humbly aware that we are all just a bunch of carrots.

I guess moms have been right for all these years, carrots really do help us see clearer!

Below: My carrots after a good bit of work, mmm mmm good!

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