Thursday, June 6, 2013

Culture shock goes both ways!

Throughout my experience in Kenya, I had plenty of warnings about culture shock. Going into the experience, I knew that there would be cultural differences when I was in Kenya. What I never really expected however, despite the multiple warnings I got, was that when I returned, I would experience culture shock again.

I arrived back in the US last August on a Sunday afternoon and was fairly rested from sleeping a good portion of the flight. So, my family and I went to a restaurant that was right next to Green Lake in Seattle and because it was sunny, we sat in the patio, looking out at the lake. A mere hour after landing, this was my first culture shock appeared: I could not understand where everyone's clothes went.

I should put this into a bit of perspective: in Kenya, people dress very conservatively. Many women wear long skirts, although some will wear pants. Shirts were modest and sleeves typically were around the elbow.

So with that in mind, coming back stateside to see people dressed for a normal day of sun in Seattle (shorts, bathing suits, etc), I was really taken aback and slightly overwhelmed.

There are so many other ways in which I experienced culture shock but this experience is one that really sticks out to me the most and one of the stories I probably tell the most.

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