Friday, December 2, 2011

Culture Shock

There have been a few things that we have noticed since we’ve been back which have put our entire family in a type of “reverse culture shock.”  It’s just odd to have culture shock in what used to be our “home country,” but at the same time, I guess that’s a good thing!  It just goes to show that Guatemala is where we’re supposed to be and where our home now is!

So, here are a few of the things we have noticed…

                -There are no tinted windows on the cars.  EVERY car in Guate has the windows tinted!!
                -There are quite a few overweight people.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some in Guate too, but I think we notice it a lot more around here.
                -The coffee stinks!!!!!!  Granted, that’s not all coffee, but in general…
                -There are a ton of smokers.  It seems like, every corner we turn there’s someone smoking.
                -The workers in many stores aren’t friendly.  Again, that’s not always the case, but you don’t walk into many stores to a greeting of, “Good morning, how are you?  Is there anything I can help you with?”
                -There are squirrels!!!!!!
                -Everything is in English.  I mean, it is the USA…
                -The ground is so flat!!  You look out the window and see barn cylos, not volcanos!!
                -There are no guards around.  No body guards, no security guards, nada!
                -We try to pronounce words we don’t know with Spanish accents.  Guess that’s just habit.
                -It’s generally safe.  We can leave computers sitting out, cameras in cars, and walk along the streets.
                -There are a lot of small cars around.  In Guate you feel so vulnerable in a small car, here it’s normal!
                -Don’t label me as being racist, but there are a lot of black people around. 
                -The driving is boring!!!  No horns, everyone waits their turn, you have to go the speed limit.
                -Everything seems to be supersized.  Food packets come huge, with the calorie counts blaring how fattening it is, and yet people buy it!!
                -Houses are built out of stone, not cement.  Not to mention they don’t have walls and gates…
                -There are a lot of trees around!!
                -You shake hands instead of kissing.  I had a meeting yesterday and I was tempted to kiss the lady goodbye, hmmm, guess not!
                -The roads are straight.  No hairpin turns, no flying around the corners, etc.
                -YOU CAN ACTUALLY FLUSH YOUR TOILET PAPER!!!!  At our house back home we could, but if we went into public, you always throw the TP into the trash.  Never would have thought that throwing the TP into the toilet would be a hard habit to get into… 
                -One last thing…  it’s freaking cold!!!!!!!!  We’re pretty much freezing.  J

So there are a few things that we have noticed so far.  It’s true, Abby, Risa and I are MKs, and we show it.  The other day we spent 30 min walking around Turkey Hill (a convenience store/gas station), and an hour walking around CVS and a dents-and-bents store.  Crazy the things that fascinate us!!  


  1. Hi Maredith with an A!!! As always love your blog, even though we hardly see each other, I keep reading it.
    It's a good thing that you miss home, so when you come back your going to enjoy all the awkward things that you are now used to. Always praying for each one of you, hugs and blessings, Rebecca

  2. Just ran across your blog. Loved it! My dad was a pastor, and his best friend from Seminary was a missionary in Kenya back in the 70's. When their girls came to the States to go to college, they couldn't handle eating the meat. Back home, you didn't touch meat (usually Zebra) until it was covered in green. YIKES. Naomi got physically ill several times just seeing red meat served in the cafeteria. Too Funny! God is so good at letting us get comfortable where He has us serve. Enjoy your time. ~CS

  3. Love your comparison! Welcome back to the States! Keep being so observant. Love ya!

  4. I would add not saying "permiso" everytime you cross a threshold jajaja