Suyai R Cameron: “Was Jesus punctual?”

I remember meeting many missionary families in church who loved Jesus so deeply that they had decided to leave their countries behind and move to the narrowest and longest country in South America: Chile. Although each one possessed different personalities, they had some similarities that made them stand out from the local crowd. One of the most obvious was their love of structured time and the way they expected everyone, including nationals, to always be punctual – and how frustrated they became with the laid-back attitude of Chileans when it came to starting times, and especially finishing times, of every church meeting or get-together.
Over the years, many of them opened up to me and shared, among myriad things, how they found them­selves feeling dis­re­spected by the appar­ent non­cha­lant atti­tude of Chileans towards time. Even though I was born and bred in Chile, I was raised by a French grand­mother and British grand­fa­ther, and so I have always been acutely aware not only of how impor­tant time and effi­ciency are for most West­ern­ers, but also how easily frus­trat­ing dif­fer­ent aspects of any culture you migrate into can be. After moving to the UK as an adult and having spent almost four­teen years here, I can now further empathise with the expats I met in Chile and can better under­stand the massive gap between the Western and the Latin Amer­i­can con­cepts of time and how we expe­ri­ence it. 
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