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A Note on Culture Shock

Maybe you are anxiously checking your calendars for when we come back, or maybe you aren’t, but we have reached over halfway in the course which means we come back in 11 days. Here are a few things to know to prepare for our arrival

  1. We will talk a lot about poop when we return. Everyday we check in with a poop scale, because that is very important indicator of our health here. It will take a long time to untrain your student talking about their ‘movement’ every day.
  2. We will have an unnecessary love of tap water. Here we have to ask if our water is “agua pura” or fresh water. Tap water is a major do not drink. Water gives life, but it also gives E.Coli, So the fact we don’t even have to ask if the water is safe to drink in the states is revolutionary.
  3. We will be elated when the food isn’t chicken/beans/tortillas. Don’t get me wrong, I love desayno traditional every single day, and the local food is incredible, but variety is key. Guatemalans, specifically ancient Mayans, were called the people of maiz, or corn, and through this diet we are also connected to the past. Namely, we eat a lot of corn.

This trip has taught me so much about what it means to be Guatemalan. We have seen the power of communities in the face of immeasurable tragedy and heard stories straight from the survivors of the guerilla war. Conversely, by being in this foreign country, I have learned so much about what it means to be an American. Sure I miss American comforts, but now I question American norms. Why don’t we say hello to everyone we pass on the streets or invite strangers into our home to pick mangoes? Why does the US sponser dictators to undo democratic reform? I already know I want to bring bits of this vibrant culture back home.

PS. Happy late 4th of July
PSS. We are never eating Chiquita bananas again.