October 22, 2011

August 25, 2011 DR MTC- To Michael, From Christy

Christy’s Email to Michael:

Hey, i'm at work and shouldnt be emailing but i just wanted to send you a quick one! i'm not sure if you still get to check your mail today anyway or not. did the hurricaine come to where you were?? has it been rainy/ windy? i didnt even know there was one cruising around out over there until darcy said something yesterday when he came by the office!

i am seriously saying a little prayer right this second. i hope the news is just being dramatic and that everything is ok in the lovely DR. are you going through culture shock yet? haha i googled a list for you- just so you know- you're right where you need to be!! even if you feel confused. we felt waaaay confused and frustrated at first in costa rica, but you get over it and begin to love it fast! it is kind of interesting though learning about the stages of moving to a new place. maybe they talked to you about this all in the MTC i dont know. if you are in a hurry, just print it and read it later!

love you lots!! have a good week

love, christy

Signs and symptoms of culture shock are:

a feeling of sadness and loneliness,

an over-concern about your health,

headaches, pains, and allergies

insomnia or sleeping too much

feelings of anger, depression, vulnerability

idealizing your own culture

trying too hard to adapt by becoming obsessed with the new culture

the smallest problems seem overwhelming

feeling shy or insecure

become obsessed with cleanliness

overwhelming sense of homesickness

feeling lost or confused

questioning your decision to move to this place

Step 1: The Honeymoon Stage

Like any new experience, there's a feeling of euphoria when you first arrive to a new country and you're in awe of the differences you see and experience. You feel excited, stimulated, enriched. During this stage, you still feel close to everything familiar back home.

Step 2: The Distress Stage

Everything you're experiencing no longer feels new; in fact, it's starting to feel like a thick wall that's preventing you from experiencing things. You feel confused, alone and realize that the familiar support systems are not easily accessible.

Step 3: Re-integration Stage

During this stage, you start refusing to accept the differences you encounter. You're angry, frustrated and even feel hostile to those around you. You start to idealize life "back home" and compare your current culture to what is familiar. You dislike the culture, the language, the food. You reject it as inferior. You may even develop some prejudices towards the new culture. Don't worry. This is absolutely normal. You're adjusting. This is actually a pretty common reaction to anything new. Think back to when you started a new job or moved to a new house or a new city or when you moved in with someone. Any adjustment can cause you to look back in awe and wonder why you made the decision to change.

Step 4: Autonomy Stage

This is the first stage in acceptance. I like to think of it as the emergence stage when you start to rise above the clouds and finally begin to feel like yourself again. You start to accept the differences and feel like you can begin to live with them. You feel more confident and better able to cope with any problems that may arise. You no longer feel isolated and instead you're able to look at the world around you and appreciate where you are.

Step 5: Independence Stage

You are yourself again! You embrace the new culture and see everything in a new, yet realistic light. You feel comfortable, confident, able to make decisions based on your own preferences. You no longer feel alone and isolated. You appreciate both the differences and similarities of your new culture. You start to feel at home.

Michael’s Response:

hahahahahhaha Your so dumb! ha YES im going through a crazy culture shock, i think i might die hah The one thing of culture shock im expiriencing is diahrrea!

I guess the hurician didnt really hit here but it was way windy! hah they didnt even tell us about it tho so i guess theyre not to worried about it here. I gotta go! love ya sis!

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