Its been a while, and there's much to tell. So far, so good considering. I've had a series of health frustrations...but, I'm still in one piece. As my AMC supervisor puts it, my body is adjusting to a whole new world of bacteria and its information overload.
Besides that, I've made so much progress with my Spanish studies, and I'm very excited to continue my studies.
What I've noticed the most so far are the cultural similarities and differences. Similarities first. The shopping culture here is very much like that in the states. People have a lot less money, but everything costs a lot less, so in some odd way, it works out...at least in the city...except for those who purchase brand name clothes for the same price as they would in the states. LOCO. In the campo (country) where people are much poorer, my opinion is that it doesn't work out, because people do not prioritize the important things, such as diversifying their diets, buying medicine and soap..etc. Instead, they spend money on cell phone minutes, bags of chips and sodas. Often I see television sets and cell phones in houses with dirt floors where people eat beans and rice for every meal. Its so similar to what I felt when I worked with a poor population in North Philly -- very poor conditions, but satellite dishes on their rooftops.
Things I've noticed that are different are interesting, because I'm learning that not everything is what it seems -- I assume certain actions to be inherently natural, as if they are instinctual part of human nature. What I'm learning here is that assumption is far from true. For example, to point at something, people here use their lips, not their hands. To wave for someone to come over, they point their hand down and wave, not up. One thing I am most grateful for is the whole emphasis on word problems in the States -- we learn logic through paragraphs of words where we have to sort out what is important for solving the problem, what is just extra detail, and how to logically work through that. Here, they do not have such education..and its obvious. And it makes me feel really impatient. But, I'm learning more patience and how to be a much more empathetic and understanding individual.