Friday, July 27, 2012

Culture Shock

Just when you think you're past culture shock in another country - something happens that reminds you that you truly have A LOT more to learn:
We went camping this past weekend with 2 local families that have acquaintance-like relationships with my boyfriend and his parents.  (Although in Mexico, is anyone just an acquaintance?) We go camping pretty regularly and have our packing and planning down to a science.  We like to go bare minimum in gear, medium on the alcoholic beverages and heavy on the snacks (good excuse to cheat on our diets)!  When we met up with the 2 families on our way out of town, I was shocked to find they had vans FULL of stuff and FULL of people.  I guess we had no idea how many people would be coming on this trip, but as we made our way out to the East Cape, we were a party of 22!

The vans opened up once we got to the sand and out poured the families like clowns from a circus car.  All I could do was laugh.  and E said, "Welcome to the real La Paz!"  That night the families set up a gazebo (though the sun was already down), 3 buffet tables, kitchen-ware, a gasoline-powered overhead lamp (like a workbench-style) which ran on a motor (forget listening to the waves), kitchen chairs and even a television!! They were stocked! and very gracious with their food, as they had told us before we left they were paying for all the food, no discussion. 

I feel like I'm pretty adaptable; certainly moreso after having lived in Mexico for 4 years. I pride myself on not being the "snotty american". But even this took some patience. It wasn't at all what I was used to "camping on the beach". Instead of quiet drinks by the fire, there was ranchero music, the lamp's motor buzzing away, children shrieking playing soccer (with a full size goal by the way) and loud shouting/discussion. In the morning, even though no one had been asleep before 2am, everyone was up with the sun! I admit I felt a little out of place, uncomfortable even. I tried to relax and see that everyone was having fun, relaxing together. And in that I saw the goodness of the 2 families being so close that they could do these things together. No one was bickering or fighting, everyone was genuinely having a good time together. After I realized that I felt the virtue of the Mexican family and how special it can be. And how special I feel to be welcomed into it.

Sunset in Las Cruces

Looking towards the beach, from my twilight desert walk

1 comment:

  1. I hear ya! Last weekend, we went to my in-laws' house for a small family cookout (immediate family only), only to find that half of the extended family was there as well.

    I've learned to roll with it most of the time, but sometimes family and friend gatherings are still overwhelming!