(This was written on Sunday, 3/17/13)
“Culture shock,” or “culture stress,” can be described as “the anxiety that results from losing all the familiar signs and symbols that help us understand a situation” (definition from CLA Methodology, MTC). And that’s a bit of what I’ve been feeling this week. It’s when you’ve been trying to learn and be involved and get to know people and you find out that they interpret your actions as not wanting to do any of those. It’s when they say to ask questions about anything you don’t understand, so later in the conversation you ask a question and find out that you weren’t supposed to ask about that. It’s when you’re told to learn to cook but then told you can’t today. It’s a hard thing, but for anyone living in another culture long enough I’ve been told it’s normal and that over time I’ll get used to life not working like it does in the US. In the meantime, I’d love your continued prayers. But culture shock is also an opportunity to spend a lot of time with God in the Bible and in prayer, and I have to say that that helped a lot.
Here are a few other “positives” from this last week:
– I got to visit a friend from My Country
– I got to visit the house of one of the girls who I’ve gotten to know through Compassion International. It was great to spend an afternoon with her, her friends, and her family.
– I got to watch part of the movie Tangled. (When you’re really struggling with culture shock it can be good to withdraw for a while. This was a great break.)
– I got to spend time with Paul and Marina, who are in leadership with New Tribes. It was great to get to talk to them and share what’s going on. It’s always wonderful to have an understanding, listening ear, especially when they understand!
Thanks so much for your prayers as I continue to adjust to life in My Country. I couldn’t be here without you!