Monday, December 7, 2009

Culture Shock

We've been here two weeks today! What a lot has happened. We've learned heaps but still have so far to go. Steve just took the kids to school for the first day of their second week. Adam had a rocky start and I had to go and be around the school for a couple of days last week to help him settle in. Hoping that today goes better!

It's really helpful that we've been through culture shock before. It doesn't stop us from having to walk through it but it does help us to see it for what it is most of the time and not over think things along the way. In the worst moments we can remind ourselves that, 'This too shall pass," and not sink down and wallow! Certain things about life here are helpful, too. I know from past experience that one way culture shock affects me is that I want to stay home and hide. I can't though and feed the family since I have to go to the market most days! Good for me.

Something I've never had to adapt to before, however, is the absolute mass of humanity here. We're here, of course, BECAUSE of people, but there are soooooooo many of them! I've been finding myself longing to just be able to walk from point A to point B without weaving in and out and squeezing through the crowds. It's almost claustrophobic at times. Well, not 'almost' is IS often on the Metro (subway)! Someone who was visiting the business when we arrived described peak time on the Metro this way. "Think of a can of sardines, then squeeze a couple more canfuls into the original can. That's the Metro!"

T, the son of K and A who started the business, has been absolutely awesome with our boys. They've been having a wonderful time keeping each other occupied with active boy stuff. I've been amazed how T can suddenly erupt into rough playfulness in a room crowded with people, but somehow manages not to bash into objects or destroy furniture. It dawned on me the other day that this is a kid who's been raised in a place where he's never had space to walk down the street without weaving in and out. He's developed a real talent of making the most of his circumstances! We'll get there too!

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