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Reverse Culture Shock

May 22, 2011

I’ve had some difficulty settling back into the place and with the people that should seem most familiar.

At this link is a blog post by someone else who wrote about this wonderful and challenging phenomenon.  Quite typical, actually, and not unexpected.

My friend Sarah said that I should rejoice in the reverse culture shock because it means that I’ve changed and grown.  It would be concerning if I hadn’t.  Its true, I’ve learned many things.  I’ve solidified who I am to a further degree.  I’ve seen more of the world.  I’ve dived deep into the world of poverty and great prosperity, in different ways than before.  I’ve loved and been loved in new ways.  I’ve seen true honor.  I’ve seen true hopelessness and despair.  I’ve been through triumphs.  I’ve created new things.  I’ve communicated in new ways.  I’ve experienced a more real reality.  I’ve instigated division and I’ve created unity.

My List of Ways of Life that I appreciate, enjoy, and will greatly miss:

  • A majority of the day is spent outdoors.  I love the sun!
  • People are more important than time, or anything else, really.
  • Living in a community of like-minded, amazing people who love the Lord and serve others.
  • The simplicity of life in a rural village.
  • Lack of roads that cause community division.
  • Vast openness of the sky over rolling hills and into valleys.  So many places to hike, walk, and bike!
  • The lack of constant manipulative stimulation of ads and TV.
  • The immediacy and proximity of real problems and topics of discussion, i.e. lack of meaningless banter.
  • Limited commercialism and resources evokes constant creativity and resourcefulness.
  • Setting my own schedule to accomplish my own goals.
  • Allowing myself to make recreation a priority.
  • Working with others who are whole-heartedly serving those around them and have healthy lifestyles.
  • Generosity of the Mozambican people – visitors receive gifts, no matter what is available or not.
  • Culture of honor of the Mozambican people – everyone is honored.
  • Being welcomed during home visits – there’s always time to visit!
  • Children are everywhere and available for play, craving attention and love!
  • The “it takes a village to raise a child” attitude.
  • The challenge and fun of learning new languages, culture, techniques, ways of life, tools, materials, foods, etc.
  • Wearing comfortable skirts everyday, and not being worried about getting them dirty.  Have a runny nose?  Use your skirt!  Need to wipe off the wet bench?  Use your skirt!  Need to wipe your wet hands?  Use your skirt!  Need to pick up a hot pot?  Use your skirt!
  • Eating fresh, mostly unprocessed, natural foods.
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