Monday, March 31, 2008

Culture Shock part 2

Last time we talked about how Anna is doing in this culture. How it emotionally shuts her down. She puts up an emotional wall that is fake and purely exhausts her at the end of the day or she goes crazy and runs into traffic which could end her day sooner. Other than from some close friends, the main attention she gets is for her looks not for her personality and that comes in a way that physically hurts her, pinching her cheeks until they are black and blue.

Honestly we have culture shock here too. Talking with others with similar jobs / predicaments as us, it is quite common. The difference is we have to be more mature about it. When we are on the street we are noticed. Many people stereotype us as a source of funds... even educated people will stoop to begging from us. We politely don't give. Overall there are many differences from where we are now to where we grew up. There are no manners on the street, it scares us, biggest is best, and who cares about anyone else. The habits here are far from what we are used to.

But for Nancy and I it cuts deeper. We are also in shock in our house, in our wallet, our peace, and spiritually. In the states we made our own money, savings and spending how we pleased. Here we are dependant on God to give us what we need through friends and sometimes strangers. We are frustrated by setting up a good conservitive budget, spending only $1000 a month... then only getting $660. What to cut out or who to ask for more? We have faith in God, its hard some times to have faith in man.

(If this motivates you our account number is #35100, put that in a memoline for a check to our sending agency.

For us the finances is one of so many little things... mosquitoes, noise on the street, the situation with our household goods at home... how often it is we just want to cry and be back where we grew up. (The good news is part of our budget allows us to be. An American style restaurant called Sparkies is so much an uplifter... but going out to eat costs lots: $12.50 for the three of us each time! It really helps to go once a week but because of our budget crunch we only went once last month.) Playing on the roof in the pool is fun but during the night something popped it... possibly a monkey found it.
Yes the frustration we are feeling is common to most people that are cross cultural, we will cry... and we have already the past few week.. but soon we will pick up the parts and run and finish this part of our race... like most people that struggle to finish a marathon it is VERY hard work, painful and so much more.

...but what race is next? What job will we get in the fall, and where? Our marathon does not end in July when we come home but most people think it does.
Pray we get some drops of peace in this flood of frustration we are in right now. Cheer us on.