full details on short-term mission trips (1wk to 3yrs)
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2001 1:30 pm Post subject: Reverse Culture Shock Reply with quote

I have been on mission trips to 6 different countries, and I have never once gotten culture shock. However, I have then come back to the US 6 different times and experience culture shock coming back. I have to get used to the food, the behaviour of people, the busy lifestyle, everything. For me, coming back is much harder than going.
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Post Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2001 2:05 pm Post subject: RE: Reverse Culture Shock Reply with quote

Dear Sarah,

I agree with you -- reverse culture shock is harder! After living 6 months in another culture, I did experience culture shock. But, I was expecting too. I knew that I was going into a place where everything was different and that was exciting and an adventure. Even when the excitement wore off, it was still so different that I expected the culture shock.

However, when I came home, even though I had heard of reverse culture shock, it was hard. Somehow I thought coming back to America would make me feel normal again -- and in some ways it did. I can remember entering the first American airport and suddenly being able to blend into a crowd and understand the conversations that I was overhearing. However, once I got home, I had to re-adjust to differences that were bigger than I remembered. I will never forget walking into Wal-Mart after getting back! Then, I had changed and grown during my time overseas and I thought that the world around me would change with me, but it didn't. Other people had just kept living life and while I had been faced with new mindsets and ideas, they were still in the same surroundings and hadn't been challenged by another culture. It was difficult.

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nan boesel

Post Posted: Thu Feb 21, 2002 11:40 am Post subject: true Reply with quote

hello sarah. my husband and i spent 21 years living overseas and saw many people come and go. most people do not realize that they are going through culture shock but they do. however that is not what you were talking about. yes sarah, reverse culture shock is very real and you do go through it every time you come back to the states. what you need to remember is that you chose to go abroad, and if you hadn't you would not realize the difference. how to deal with it is hard. try not to put blame and thank God that you were priviledged to see and experience other parts of the world. God bless you.
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 4:46 pm Post subject: Re: true Reply with quote

I totally thank you for sharing your wisdom. I just returned from a mission trip to Guatemala, and while there I didn't suffer from severe culture shock like I saw some suffer. But there were things that did "shock" me some. But when I got back to the U.S. and started going back to school and seeing all of those things that I had learned were selfish and unGodly behaivor, that I had allowed God to change in me, in all of my friends, I started to freak out. But your reminding me that if I had not gone then I would never have seen a difference, and never would have changed myself, just encourages me to get out there and share my testimony lovingly, and possibly encourage some of my friends to go and share the wonderful love of our AMAZING God.
Thanks again
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