The adjustment is going well. I haven't experienced any major culture shock. This may be because both Aaron and I have travelled throughout the world quite a bit and seen many different cultures and lifestyles. This may be because we have just been to busy to process much. Only time will tell.
So how are we adjusting? Mostly I am thankful for the conveniences and choices I have available to me here in the States. Just look at the grocery store. In Haiti, we had to drive at least an hour to get to a grocery store. A store that was about the size of the produce section at Kroger. And there was no guarantee they had what you needed. And if they didn't have what you wanted, you couldn't just hop in the car and go about 5 minutes to another store like you can in the US. There really isn't anything that I can't buy in the grocery store that is just 5 minutes from my house.
The one thing I have been doing is comparing things I am thankful for in the States and things I miss in Haiti.
Here are some things I love about Haiti:
- The way people worship at church. They really worship. No holding back, just pure joy and exuberance. Not like the stiff worship here. I mean, some people get into it at our church, but most don't do much more than stand there. Maybe they will bust out a clap once in awhile.
- The way everyone (and I mean everyone) says "hello" as they pass you.
- My American-Haiti Family (Aubs, E'Tienne, Brooke, Brodie, Jim, Cheryl, Jannessa, Jamie, Adam).
- My daily talks with Aubs... pretty much anything with Aubree.
- My Haitian-Haiti Family (Clerice, Jolina, Eliana, Louna, Amos, Clemant, Lupson, Claudette, Natasha, Rose, Franzy, Natamara, Kris, Wadline, Sandi, Ericson, Yolande, and so many more!)
- The weather! I mean, c'mon it's a Caribbean Island! This cold and gray stuff sucks.
- Being a daily hands-on part of an amazing ministry to even more amazing people.
- All the people walking along the streets. The business of the streets in general. There is so much more human interaction. Here in the US everyone is in their car, house, or building. No one is just out walking... esp. not in this weather.
- Driving in Haiti. If there is a space... it's yours. Traffic laws are just mere suggestions. Driving presents much more of a challenge in Haiti. And people drive SO fast in the states. Everyone is in such a hurry.
- The mountains and beach. Simply gorgeous. Walking out my door in Haiti= mountain view. Walking out my door in Indiana= corn fields.
- The Coca-Cola. Made with pure cane sugar, in a glass bottle... nothing like it on a hot day. And the fact that you can buy it on any street, anywhere, for about 50 cents.
- Waking up with 10 new mosquito bites every...single...morning! No mosquitos here!
- Giant tarantulas
- Spiders in general... all the time.... everywhere. I have only seen one spider since we have been back (and I am pretty sure it actually was a Haitian spider as it crawled out of a bag of toys that was packed in Haiti and not opened until said spider came out).
- Living with 6 people in 500 sq.ft. of space (especially in the mornings). I love my house in Indy. I mean, I really love it. It is so nice and clean and big and quiet.
- Eating every meal with 30-100 other people. It is nice to sit down and have a quiet meal with our family.
- The grocery store (see above).
- The limit on ingredients to cook with (I can literally make anything I want now).
- The perception of danger. It is everywhere. There is such a perception of safety in the United States. On the roads, in your house, pretty much everywhere you just feel safe. I never fear being kidnapped or carjacked in Indy (maybe I should... who knows).
I am sure there are many more too, but that should do it for now. So, is it better to live in Haiti or the United States? I don't think I can answer that. Both have their good and their bad. Neither is better or worse... they are just different.