Wednesday, May 13, 2009

culture shock....already???

We have been told that culture shock comes in waves and that the first wave usually hits around month 6. Well, we have been here for about 6 weeks and I feel like I am in the middle of it. I was sitting here last night thinking about why it has effected me so early in my time here and then it all made sense to me. I have  been feeling so sad about my dog and my house. When the screen saver on my computer comes on I just about cannot stand to look at the pictures when they pass across the screen... they are ALL of my dog and my kids at the house. We have been away from home since the end of  September, so that is like 8 months. I forget that we have been on this adventure for over 6 months. I am hitting the cycle right were I should be, maybe even a little late. Part of culture shock is that you begin to see your new surrounding in a more "real" way. Not in the dreamy way that tourists or visitors may see it. When you look at things as they really are, sometimes they just don't make sense. I know that things in he US are not perfect, but it is the only way I know-so sometimes when I look at things they just don't look right, or the process doesn't seem like it should work the way it does. 

Right now the big thing is that the language just seems CRAZY to me. Whoever said Spanish was the easiest language to learn was crazy. Those words are obviously spoken by people who haven't had to learn the language to survive. It is much different when you learn something for fun or for a school credit than when you need it to LIVE. So many words and forms and just so much of everything! I feel so old everyday, I just can't seem to make the info stick in my brain. Over the years I have had many people comment to me about how they could never learn to sew or how the sewing I was trying to show them just didn't make sense. When I am sewing if something doesn't make sense then I usually just change it, or do it another way that DOES make sense in my little pea brain. You can't just change a language to make it easier for you to command or understand. Really it isn't even so much that I don't understand, I just think that sometimes it is weird. Again, English is not perfect-it is just what I have known for 31 years.

I know that the day will come when I will go to the playground and I will be able to engage another mother in conversation about her child (b/c generally they only have 1!) or about her dog. I know that one day I will walk into a store and not be absolutely terrified that someone will speak to me and I will have to admit " no entiendo" or "repite, por favor". I know that I would not have been asked to come here if it were outside of my ability to do it. I know that the Lord IS going to open my brain and give me the ability to do it. I guess I just wish it didn't have to be this hard. Maybe, for me, I need the challenge to fully rely on God and not on myself and to really give Him the opportunity to show himself to me daily. On my first day of language class I was so excited- I got up early to do my QT first thing and I have been reading through Genesis so I opened up to where I was supposed to read next and what do you think it was? That's right "the tower of Babel"! Yeah, for real. That day I thought it was funny, but today as I look back on that I am thinking that the Lord was just reminding me that He did this whole language thing and that HE knows it is going to be hard for me, but that HE has got this! He can and will do this. I will not only learn but master this language with His help and encouragement. Our purpose here depends on it.