Activities to learn about the host country

  1. Find out what sports are important to the people in this country and community.
  2. When you are in the country’s capital or a major city, visit the art museum or natural history museum.
  3. Discover the drama, dance, and music in both the local community and the country.
  4. Find out the primary holidays of this country and mark them on your calendar for the year. Find out how they are celebrated.
  5. As you become acquainted with persons in your host community, let them know you are interested in attending funerals and weddings.
  6. Find out where there are local skilled craftsmen, such as basket makers, potters, carpenters, shoe makers, metal workers, etc. and pay their shops a visit.
  7. Go on a treasure hunt for crafts or artifacts that are made in the local community.
  8. Learn about national costumes and visit seamstresses or tailors who make them.
  9. Check the local market for unique local spices and produce or products.
  10. Determine to appreciate and value the culture of this country.
  11. Purchase a bird guide for your region and keep a bird list.
  12. Make a list of things/customs in the host country that you like better than in your home country.
  13. Find out about local agriculture and observe the planting and harvesting process. You might also offer to help. Farmers may be amused but will appreciate your wish to identify with them.
  14. Find out about transportation in the country.
  15. Invite acquaintances from the community to your home for tea and conversation. When community people drop in for a visit, include them in any activities going on in your home, such as table games.
  16. Be sensitive to local taboos and customs.
  17. Research your new country in the CIA World Fact Book (cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/).
Compiled by a discussion group at Missionary Internship, March 1987.
Revised June 14, 2010.