First things first.  What is hospitality?  Author and priest Henri J. N. Nouwen brilliantly defined it in his work The Wounded Healer:

“Hospitality is the ability to pay attention to the guest.” 

It seems simple enough yet not many people do it well. I’d like to be someone who does.  And I’d like to encourage others to do the same—that is—to sharpen their ability to pay careful attention to others.  So why is it so difficult?

Nouwen goes on to say that the difficulty lie in our preoccupation with ourselves. I would add to that, in living in a world where we are supposedly more connected than ever, the tendency to be hyper-focused on our life, our agenda, our to-do list, is more prevalent now than ever before in human history. The device upon which you are reading this could easily be your undoing!

There are two ways I enjoy honing my skills.  The first is through travel and an unwavering passion for connecting intimately with people. I love to dive into unfamiliar worlds. Traveling the globe, especially building houses Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center for Housing, allows me the privilege of getting to know a little about life in other cultures.  The sighting of a massive elephant on the savannah, the smell of fresh curry, the sound of an indiscernible language, the taste of tangy hibiscus tea, the feeling of floating in the ocean or befriending a stranger. Sensory overload at its best.

The second can best be expressed as a desire, maybe even a need, to gather with others.  I am rarely happier than when I am cooking and preparing to fill my home with friends and family. I have a zeal for learning new and creative ways to care for myself and others and to prepare food to share.  The more I learn, the greater my passion for eating—and living—well. Yet, I place the highest value on remaining unpretentious and nonjudgmental when I am a guest at another’s table. I must. For if I do not, I cannot fulfill my first passion, connecting deeply with others.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you’ll be inspired to give one of the most loving gifts you have to offer—your attention.


6 thoughts on “Welcome!

  1. I’ll be heading to the Museum of Musical Instruments in Brussels as soon as I can…with my sweetie 🙂 Love the site. Go Global Staci!

  2. Hi Staci, it is always said that you are what you say and so i can say you are great. Apart from what i have read i personnally met you and your team and i can testify that all of you as a team were wonderful. STEPHEN OKUMU —Macushla House–Nairobi (Kenya)

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