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The Legacy of Joseph Barnabas in Cyprus

Paul's mentor and missionary traveling companion

Last Quill and Postament

December 16th, 2011

Troodos Mountains looking south toward the Mediterranean Sea.

Last night I gave my formal lecture on St. Barnabas to a nice sized crowd. I systematically laid out my case that, in the New Testament, Barnabas was an innovative leader who figured out compromise solutions to enable Christians from different ethnic groups to live in peace—despite their cultural differences. Over the centuries, however, as traditions developed and additional stories were invented and attributed to Barnabas, he finally became a symbol of Cypriot nationalism—someone to whom people pray to remove the Turks from Cyprus. Here is my concluding remark.

“My suggestion is simple; yet implementing it would be extremely difficult. Opposition would be intense. But here it is: Let the historical Barnabas replace the legendary one. Politically and religiously, Cyprus would benefit.”

In five days we will return home, so we got out our suitcases to determine whether or not they will make the weight limit. As I pack and reflect on my time in Cyprus, I find myself musing on what I will miss and what I will not miss. So here is my last post from Cyprus.

Sunset over Limassol, on the southern coast.

What I will miss.

Slower pace of life.

People going out of their way to be hospitable.

Emphasis on relationships instead of TV.

Not having to make appointments to visit friends.

Regular conversations with people from different countries.

Lengthy meals that provide time for unhurried conversation.

Availability of fresh vegetables at the Farmer’s Market.

Roundabouts—I cannot believe I just said that.

Ability to drive for an hour and be either at the Mediterranean or in the mountains.

Being exposed to really ancient structures and artifacts.

Palm trees.

Fruit trees loaded with fruit.

Being blissfully unaware of the world’s problems.

What I will not miss.

Noise of the city.

Aggressive, CRAZY drivers.

Insane ways of parking anywhere.

Having to lane over because of cars parked in the left lane.

Putting my toilet paper in a trashcan.

Our bed.

The tiny size of our living space.

People opening windows to let in fresh air while heating devices are blasting out heat into the building.

Drafty buildings—total lack of weather-stripping  (I see daylight around doors and windows).

Paying €5 to do one, small load of laundry in an archaic machine that requires well over two hours to wash the clothes poorly.

Not having access to clothes dryer.

High cost of most everything.

Wearing the same three sets of clothes week after week.

Incessant dust.

Having to try really hard to understand and be understood.

Cigarette smoke.

Having to go to a pharmacy to buy anything pill related.

Having to buy every medication packaged in blister packs.

Being in a society where 2:30 PM seems to be a reasonable time to go home from work.

How I believe my life will change as a result of being in Cyprus.

Oops. I believe that will have to be a blog-post-script.

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