Ah yes. I am back in the States, and have been for a couple weeks. I’ve only been at my family’s house for about a week, and I have found “re-entry” into the American culture interesting to say the least.
As my friend and team-mate, Madi, wrote in her blog (bottom of page) , there are a few differences between Polish and American culture. These were differences we all had come to love and cherish while spending our summer in Poland. However, one thing that did not cross my mind until our ending meetings, was “Reverse Culture Shock”. Reverse Culture Shock is when someone who has been overseas, comes back to his or her home culture. They had culture shock visiting the new country, but now have to readjust to the home culture they have been out of for a period of time.
So yes. That is what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been getting used to the noisy, hustle, and attitude that defines American culture. It’s not bad… Just different. Re-entering America has been hard. It has been hard not to be overwhelmed by everything.
The English conversations and being able to understand them.
How people run, jog, or hurry in general to get where they need to go.
The noise being well over the quiet tone of Polish culture.
Seeing how parents treat children, and how those children treat each other.
How Americans have such pride over our country and the freedom we have.
The friendliness of meeting random people in airports… and that being welcomed.
The dramatic, confident way people behave.
Not better or worse. Just different.
It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I am sure I will have more issues, especially as school starts, but I feel somewhat ready. I believe that being back here, happened at the right time and place for a reason. To share my adventures, sadness, and joys from Poland. To observe things between cultures and try to embody the characteristics I love about both of them. To share what I have learned with whom I am able, and to be understanding when others just want a short answer.
Learning how to do what I learned how to do this summer.
Much love. Much grace.
Want to know more about Poland? Check out my teammate and friend Madi! Her posts are such a joy to read.