All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
1 Corinthians 16:20
I can’t believe I’ve forgotten to mention one of the most defining cultural aspect of our trip down here: the kiss-on-the-cheek greeting. We were warned about it from the beginning, but it didn’t make it any easier to go cheek to cheek and make a kissing sound with someone you had never met before. It was especially interesting the first time we went to church, to get have to greet about 15 people as soon as you entered the door in this manner. But the cool thing about it is the fact that you have to put a lot into your greeting, instead of just sticking out your hand and nodding. You have to put your whole body into the greeting. Now, don’t get me wrong, I really miss a good, firm hand shake, but this is kind of growing on me, so don’t be surprised if you get an authentic Uruguay greeting the next time I see you… :) Another thing to note: in the U.S. it’s acceptable to go into a room and go off to do your own thing. Here, it’s customary to go around and greet everyone that you know. I’m going to try to make it a goal to be more Uruguayan in the future regarding this aspect, to show interest in people and not just my own agenda.