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Peter Armstrong
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2000 5:46 pm Post subject: Culture Shock! Reply with quote

I am an MK.

My first year overseas, I was in Costa Rica (I was about 10 at the time).

One day I went to the pulperia (store) and asked for a coke using the 100 or so Spanish words I had aquired.

To my surprise, the store owner, opened the bottle of coke. At first I thought he was being nice and was going to hand it to me like that.

He proceeded to pull out a small clear plastic bag and poured the contents of the bottle into the bag. He tied the bag off and handed it to me!

Coke in a bag... It took me awhile to figure out how to drink it.

What culture shock experiences have you had?
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Brian
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Post Posted: Fri Nov 17, 2000 10:48 pm Post subject: RE: Culture Shock! Reply with quote

I am not an mk, but one time I was in France on a trip with a few friends.

It got to be around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and we had been travelling all day. We were beat. What we really wanted was a market or some store to get a bite to eat. What we forgot was that pretty much all of France (except Paris) takes a 3 or 4 hour break in the afternoon. All the stores were closed. No signs up or anything saying when they will be back. We went hungry that day!

I kind of respect that though, I think it would be neat if we did that here.

P.S. I hear pretty much all of France takes most of August off too.
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Dan
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Post Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2000 2:55 am Post subject: Shock Reply with quote

Mark is a culture shock!
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Karen
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Post Posted: Fri Dec 15, 2000 10:26 am Post subject: RE: Shock Reply with quote

Several things stand out in my mind from living in Chile for 2 years, plus trips to Ecuador and Argentina:

Ecuador: Learning to use a calefant (sp?) for hot water when taking a shower without being electrocuted! (How many times did I take a cold shower just because it never came on!) At least in Chile, they were safer and more reliable, it seemed!

Argentina: Experiencing the custom of drinking mate (hot, bitter tea) with a metal straw called a bombilla--that's bad enough, but then you pass it around and everyone drinks from the same one!! (learned to enjoy it, tho!)

P.S. Dan, who is Mark???! Smile
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AJ Orr
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Post Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2000 10:36 pm Post subject: drowning in the desert Reply with quote

Several years ago I spent a short time on a Navajo reservation in Arizona. The way they lived in general was quite a shock to my heated, air conditioned, comfortable life in the Midwest.
In order to get water to drink or use for dish washing we had to drive several miles with an empty 55 gallon drum which we filled from a natural spring. Since it is not terribly easy to pour from such an enormous container we had a four foot length of hose that was inserted in the hole on top of the drum. In order to get the water flowing I had to suck on the hose (so hard it felt like a lung might collapse). Sometimes, the water would begin to flow without my knowing and on several occasions I found myself coughing up a lung full of warm, silty water.
Until then I did not know it was possible to drown in the desert.
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Paul Tiberius
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2000 10:13 pm Post subject: RE: Culture Shock! Reply with quote

On one of my trips to a remote dusty Tarahumaran Indian village in the mountains of Chihuahua, Mexico, I was surprised to find the people still living in huts that had the bare ground for their floors. Walls built by raw rocks hewn from a ravine ledge, occasional windows paned with leftover stained-glass pieces or cheap stained-glass-like plastic, attic floors and interior walls which were pulled down and rebuilt each time I visited...

Because the people wear nothing but leather-thonged pieces of tire rubber for sandal shoes, their toe nails are thick and hard, weather worn. It's as if the harsh dry environment has changed their bodies over the generations.

Removed from all contemporary forms of music, they sing hymns to the accompaniment of cheap guitars, with no sense of rhythm or meter...yet they sing in unison somehow. I could never pick up the cadences with my rigid modern musical sensibility, geared to 4/4 measures and upbeat-driven rock rhythms. Their music seemed completely random. Yet they worshipped for all they were worth anyway.
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Jeff Duke
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Post Posted: Tue Dec 26, 2000 6:37 pm Post subject: I went to Bangkok! Reply with quote

I was really shocked in Bangkok. It was amazing driving around in Tuktuks and seeing all of the street vendors. It is something else.

Jeff Duke
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Ruth
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2001 7:58 pm Post subject: RE: Culture Shock! Reply with quote

Overseas, they have half the work day American's do. In Italy, the shops open around 9am, then close around noon and don't open up again until 3 or 4. The shops close around 7.

Italians also eat large. A several course meal (like 5) is the norm. BE HUNGERY!
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Tim Heaton
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Post Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2001 3:24 pm Post subject: RE: I went to Bangkok! Reply with quote

Wow!!! what an experience. I think it is cool to be able to go to a different country and see everything written in a different language. Sometimes it is a headache to figure things out, but often times there are friendly people to help. Other times there are "friendly people" to "help" you out of your money or things you have that they want.
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Curtis Culwell
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Post Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:43 pm Post subject: RE: I went to Bangkok! Reply with quote

Back in 1989 when I was in the Navy and serving on a Frigate we pulled into Pusan Korea. I was anxious to go to Hialea Town (sp?) which had a US Army base and was surrounded by lots of stores. The taxis were pretty expensive, and the ones that were coming to the pier all claimed that their meters didn't work so that they could overcharge us. Another thing I had heard was that sometimes they put pickpockets in the trunk that actually get your wallet by reaching in through the seat (!). Needless to say the taxi idea was not an attractive one. What I did was find the subway, which was incredibly cheap (like around 25 won, and it was 600 won to the dollar as I recall). I was hoping I might find a map like they have on the BART in San Francisco where you can figure out where to get off by looking at the map. Unfortunately their "map" was just a straight line that had unfamiliar locations shown next to evenly spaced points on the line. Useless, except that I made a mental calculation as to where in the city I thought Hialea Town was, and how far down that straight line it would be, and decided I would take a particular stop and figure it out from there. I got on the train. It was basically a western, first-world setting, except everyone else was Korean, and buried in their own business. I must have looked lost, because a young Korean man looked up and asked if I needed help. I told him where I meant to go, but that I was not sure how I would get there. He told me which stop to take, and then he even got off the train with me. He told me he was a student at the Presbyterian University. It was so cool. I told him that I was a Christian (and that I was also a Presbyterian). We chatted briefly, and he walked out of the station with me and all the way to the intersection of a street that went past my destination. I thanked him and he went back to get the next train. I was so amazed at his hospitality, and desire to serve the Lord. I reckon that a scenario like that could also have ended up in my losing my money or something, but it was the middle of the day in a crowded area, and I could tell he was sincere.

What a great experience!

Curtis Culwell
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Sarah
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Post Posted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 3:44 pm Post subject: RE: Culture Shock! Reply with quote

Yeah--most of France does take August off. That's why Operation Transit's Port Outreaches are so strategic and SO BUSY in the beginning of August.

Everything shuts down for the summer holiday and the hundreds of thousand of North African Muslims that live there pour into the ports of Europe to go to their home countries of Algeria, Morroco, Tunisia, Libya.....

We even try to avoid sending short termers to our teams in France in August because it's so dead. That was a little experience in culture shock for me when I was asked to do the job of coordinating our summer teams :0)
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Miriam
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Post Posted: Thu May 31, 2001 3:15 pm Post subject: RE: Culture Shock! Reply with quote

On one of my mission trips to Guatemala, we had a youth leader named Joey with us. Well, in our drama called "The toy maker and son, " we had a part in which we had to freeze and stare at the audience. To Joey's surprise, he ended up freezing for the drama and ended up starring at a mother nursing right in the park. It's kinda funny but gross at the same time. Oh well, we have to learn to be culturally sensative. Love God and all of His. : )

FUTURE MISSIONARY,
MIRIAM EVELYN COOK : )Brian wrote:
>
> I am not an mk, but one time I was in France on a trip with a
> few friends.
>
> It got to be around 1 or 2 in the afternoon, and we had been
> travelling all day. We were beat. What we really wanted was a
> market or some store to get a bite to eat. What we forgot was
> that pretty much all of France (except Paris) takes a 3 or 4
> hour break in the afternoon. All the stores were closed. No
> signs up or anything saying when they will be back. We went
> hungry that day!
>
> I kind of respect that though, I think it would be neat if we
> did that here.
>
> P.S. I hear pretty much all of France takes most of August
> off too.
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Nate
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Post Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2001 12:06 pm Post subject: RE: Culture Shock! Reply with quote

During a very similar trip to Paul's I experienced cultural shock to my basic bodily functions. Things like taking showers and using the bathroom had a whole different meaning in the mountains of central Mexico. Our diets changed dramatically for a week or so, and most of us felt the profound effects. We enjoyed joking about the starch diet and primitive restrooms. If we had been planning on staying for an extended period, though, our jokes about roughing it and using outdoor plumbing would not have been quite so funny.

Former Mexico Team Member

Nate
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Joshua Greenman
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2001 9:36 pm Post subject: RE: Culture Shock! Reply with quote

Hey, I'm an MK from Argentina. I was born here.

Once when I was taking a short missions group on a tour of our city called San Salvador de Jujuy (Northern Argentina). Everybody here just throughs their trash in the streets, no big deal. They asked why I did this, I responded "they (street sweepers) need the job." Offended they responded, "so I should kill because a a coffin maker needs a job"?

Josh
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