Saturday, August 25, 2007

The ten stages of cultural adjustment

So my volunteer handbook has already mapped out the roller-coaster of emotions I will face over the next month.
The ten stages of cultural adjustment

1. Initial anxiety
2. Initial elation
3. Initial culture shock
4. Superficial adjustment
5. Depression-frustration
6. Acceptance of host culture
7. Return anxiety
8. Return elation
9. Re-entry shock
10. Reintegration

I am on stage two right now, but I can tell that stage three will be coming in a hurry tomorrow.

Today we just made it to our house and took a nap. Despite the fact that I decided to stay awake until night time and despite the rooster that wouldn't shut up, I was so tired that I fell asleep anyway.

Tomorrow we meet many other volunteers for breakfast and orientation, and I believe we will spend the rest of the day touring the town of Moshi and the other volunteer village (called Rau) to get our bearings. This is when the culture shock should set in nice and heavy.

Here's a quick little shot I grabbed on the way out of the airport.

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