Manskirts, coffee and crashing parties

POSTED ON 2009-06-05
  by Dena McMaster

Missionaries Michael and Amy Hutteman are studying culture and language and that has led to stepping out of their comfort zone.

Michael was just sitting around chatting with some friends but the local culture made that event somewhat different. The group sat around drinking coffee and talking about everyday things until 11 p.m.

"Chatting has become more and more comfortable as we continue to soak up new language," wrote Michael.

Remaining coherent until 11 p.m. is something that he has been practicing, and with the aide of the overly sweetened local type coffee, he's finally beginning to feel comfortable with it.

"The one thing that made this particular 'shooting of the breeze' slightly uncozy," wrote Michael, "was the fact that most of us were wearing skirts -- well, technically they were sarungs -- but we all know the truth."

In the interest of helping his friends feel comfortable, Michael donned the traditional sarung -- which looks like a wraparound skirt -- worn by many men.

"This being my first time to venture outside in my newly acquired wraparound," Michael wrote, "I felt just a little bit conspicuous. Luckily for me, I didn't have to worry too much about sitting etiquette as I was advised to wear my shorts underneath."

Amy too has been trying out her language skills on her local friends and is becoming more and more comfortable with them. Together Michael and Amy have hosted a neighborhood gathering, attended funerals and crashed an engagement party for their landlord. These things are not normally comfortable for the Huttemans in their own environment, but like wearing a "man-skirt" in public, they are becoming more comfortable in the culture.

Michael and Amy are in the fifth month of a nine-month course of study at the language school. Pray for them as they seek direction for their future ministry.

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