I (DeAnna) think for the most part I’ve always been hospitable, however, after arriving in Cameroon it’s been taken to a whole new level.
I remember communicating with another family before leaving the USA in 2008 and I was told to have enough place settings for a minimum of 10. I thought that was in case of breakage and had no idea it was to prepare me for hosting many.
I enjoyed planning parties, gatherings, etc… while living in the USA, but I have to admit there were few times when we had pop-in visitors or pop-in dinner guests, I usually had several days to plan my menu, shop and prepare. Our first term here, I learned quickly to make more than just four servings of whatever we were eating so if someone popped in we could have them pull up a chair. I learned quickly that our place setting for 12 sometimes isn’t enough. I learned that we didn’t have enough silverware (we don’t have real silver, I just grew up calling it silverware) for people to eat their meal with one fork or spoon and get a new one for dessert – I just tell people to lick their utensil and put it on their napkin in anticipation of dessert.
Once David became a Director within our organization our once a week dinner guests became more. There are people who come in from different countries who come here for meetings with David, training classes where he’s involved, etc… and they also need meals. On average we host someone or family or group twice a week and have gotten to know many people over the years. Sometimes I get tired and have a strike against hosting for a set time period to recharge.
I’m encouraged that the boys ask when are we going to have ___ over for a meal? Or why doesn’t ____ join us for dinner right now?