Culture Shock Chronicles

Journal Entry #27 – Weekend activities at the Spradlin household: mowing the lawn, washing clothes, minor household repairs, grocery shopping, fixing dinner, and reading the newspaper. Sunday included a wonderful day of worship and a nap. This may sound like an average American weekend to you, but to us, it was a grand triumph! You see, we have been “in transition” for more than three months, which means we’ve had no place or time to do any of these things. That’s because we had to get here, learn the culture and the language a little bit, find a place to live, then figure out how some of these things are done – in South America! It has taken a considerable effort just to get to this point.
Part of the culture shock phases are a loss of “tangible anchors,” that is, things that we easily recognize and/or are capable of doing ourselves. When one is thrust into a strange culture, not knowing the language and everything is done differently, or has a different name, it causes one to lose a sense of balance. It becomes difficult to complete the most elementary task because we just don’t know where to start. That is why this past weekend was such a grand triumph for us. We feel we are finally starting to assimilate into South American life. I don´t know how to explain it any better than that within the scale of the culture shock progress, but I can tell you this, it has made a world of difference for my own psyche!

#mission, #missionary, #paraguay