Can you say CULTURE SHOCK!

Trip Start Jan 06, 2012
Trip End May 08, 2012

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Where I stayed
Maria del Carmen

Flag of Peru  ,
Saturday, January 7, 2012

I have finally arrived in Lima and let me tell you, culture shock is definitely settling in.  Once I got off my last five hour flight that was late, we were all herded like cattle to the long line for immigration.  Everyone was exhausted and I personally had been up since 2:30am catching two other flights.   I exchanged my US dollars for soles and clung to my classmates at the baggage claim.  It was around one in the morning and we were all wondering what we needed to do and if our host families had left because it was so late.  
Once those automatic doors opened up to let us in the terminal we were overwhelmed by the amount of people waiting to pick up others.  There were so many signs and one by one my classmates were leaving me to go with there own families.  I was panicking because I didn't see my name on any sign or my professor and all of my classmates were heading out with their new families.  Finally I heard, "Atchley?" (That's how they pronounce my name.) and I turned around to see my new host mother Maria and my new host brother Fernando.  Maria embraced me and kissed my cheek and asked me how my flight was.  At this moment all I could think was " What am I doing here?  I don't know Spanish? Maybe if I yell "BOMB!" they will deport me."  Fernando helped me with my "portmanteaus," (New word I learned while reading Sherlock Holmes.)   I fumbled with my Spanish all the way to their car. 
And I thought that the people in China were terrible drivers,  I'm going to have to hand that torch to the Peruvians.   I had never been so terrified.  I sat in the backseat of their red four door and gasped at everything.  People obviously do not follow any traffic regulations.  Most cars decided that they needed to take up two lanes and that their blinkers didn't exist.  I thought at least six times that I was going to get in an accident in my first hour.  
I was so exhausted, by the time we arrived at my new home it was 1:30am.  The houses are inside their own gate with bars on all front windows.  They all look so small from the outside but they are actually just narrow.  My home is a nice off orange color and has 3 floors.  The inside is so beautiful I couldn't believe how lucky I was to get such lovely people and a perfect house.  Maria took me up to see my new room and once she opened the door my jaw literally dropped.  My room is huge and I have a gigantic closet, two beds, and chair, tv, and mirror.  The room here is bigger than any of the rooms I have ever had.  And the best thing is its all mine.  The first thing I said was "Oh my god!"  (add the long pause with jaw still dropped) "Wow!"  But that's not all folks,  I get my own bathroom equipped with a shower, two sinks, a toilet, and a 
Bidet(?).  I have absolutely have no clue how bidets work, and I did not ask.  When ever I go in there now I just act like it is an extraterrestrial and avoid it at all cost.  
Maria takes me back to my room and opens the enormous sliding window with no screens and turns the fan on. It is so hot here because it is summer; I didn't even have to sleep under the covers.  But even though my Spanish is not good I am so excited to be here and to finally start my new adventure!
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Barbara Amundson on

Ashley - love your blog. I will enjoy following your adventure throughout the semester. All the best - it will keep getting better I'm sure.


Ann Marie Park on

What a great entry! ; )

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