Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Predicted Causes of Culture Shock

Jack and I will be returning to the United States next week for a series of holidays and fundraisers in addition to an agriculture conference and a family wedding. In anticipation of our trip home (after about three months in Haiti) we compiled a list of things that will likely weird us out:

1. Not having to remember which light switch to turn off when the electricity cuts off at night.
2. Not hiding flashlights in every room in anticipation of losing power.
3. Not refilling water bottles/ filter every morning.
4. Having sink stoppers that work.
5. Washing dishes without using bleach.
6. Not carefully planning what to take out of fridge each time it's opened and executing plan as quickly as possible.
7. Drinking tap water
8. Brushing our teeth with tap water.
9. Not washing produce for an hour after returning from market.
10. Speaking English.
11. Not taking emergency rations, flashlight, hand sanitizer, dictionary, and two cell phones on every excursion.
12. Amusements beyond cribbage, gin rummy, and fly hunting.
13. Electricity 24/7. Weird.
14. Not carefully planning when to plug and unplug the fridge.
15. Not needing a match to light the oven/stove.
16. Not having to ration internet use.
17. No mongrel dogs howling at the 5 am, 5:30 am, and 6 am church bells.
18. No mongrel dogs sleeping on our door mat.
19. No church bells at 5 am, 5:30 am, and 6 am.
20. Mass in English.
21. Music in English (other than Celine Dion)
22. Market (grocery store) less than an hour away
23. Eating meat in dishes other than soups or stews.
24. Not haggling over produce prices
25. Not hearing "blan!" ("whitey") wherever we go
26. Being anonymous.

27. Cars other than Toyota or Daihatsu trucks.
28. More than 5 vehicles in the area.
29. Driving.
30. Andrea wearing engagement ring.
31. Lunch without "Diak" (the deacon)
32. No Anouse! SAD!
33. Not running out of gas for generator at crucial moments
34. Not using generator power.
35. Not obsessing over ways in which solar panels, generator, and batteries are incorrectly installed.
36. Not having children break local water source weekly.
37. Not having children operate local water source.
38. Not anticipating spiders while removing items from medicine cabinet.
39. Hot water.
40. Seasons. Winter?!
41. Bitter coffee.
42. Not having rat poop on front steps.
43. Not worrying about trash disposal.
44. Dairy.
45. Mass less than 2 hours long.
46. Not eating beans and rice everyday.
47. Not wearing skirts everyday.
48. Not constantly smelling like bug spray.
49. Washer/ dryer and dishwasher.
50. No hordes of uniformed kids smiling at us on their way to school.

We're very happy to see our friends and family but unexpectedly sad to leave the place we now call "home."



  1. so funny about celine dion! i completely forgot how obsessed their radio stations are with her! you forgot taking long showers and walking around barefoot!

  2. loved the list and loved the pictures.
    Can't wait to see you!

  3. 51. Long HOT showers (thanks, Lauren)
    52. Not hearing chickens/ roosters 24/7

  4. I sure hope that #47 applies to you Andrea...I hope you are doing well and will enjoy your time back in the States!

  5. Have a safe trip back!

  6. Mr Mouse is sad he gets no shoutout on your list...