There has been a change of plans. Instead of Mexico, I'll be spending summer in Argentina. It's part of a study abroad program. I'll get plenty of practice in Spanish. I can understand basic conversation but out of practice. I'll be staying with a host family.

I want to explore the area. It sounds beautiful.

Steak - I hear that steak is their specialty. It seems vegetarianism is unheard of over there.

New People - I always like meeting new people - other students, host family, and others.

Tango - Of course, you can't separate Tango from Argentina. I want to see it and maybe learn the basics.

Spanish - I don't want to be an American (as in a person who speaks one language only) A high school teacher said,

What do you call a person that speaks 3 languages? - Trilingual

What about a person that speaks 2 languages? - Bilingual

What do you call a person that speaks one language? - American

Immersing in a new, unfamiliar atmostphere can be a bit nerve racking but at the same time exciting. I can't wait.

So what if this isn't an official mission trip? Someday I'd like to do mission work. However, missional living is in the normal ordinary things. What if I encounter people who have never seen a Christian live out their life? Being involved in people's lives, illustrating how an ordinary person connects and continually seeks God is how it works. I don't always have to get behind a pulpit and always preach. I try to live sincerely as much as possible. I'll let them see my flaws (many flaws) and my attitude behind them.

In a way, this could be a non-traditional 'mission trip'. Glorifying God can sometimes be through simple, everyday things.

And this study-abroad experience will look impressive on my resume and Spanish speaking will help me get a job later.

Indu Shanmugam