Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Culture Shock?

Many days Kevin can be found eating on the floor.

Kevin eating his salad with his hands?

Kevin enjoys reading and spending time with his nephews, Jaxson and Kolby

While in New Orleans, Kevin enjoys his first round of golf in over 2 years

Kevin enjoys watching the Cougars in the Sweet 16 in New Orleans. Too bad the final score did not go the way we hoped.

Many people have asked us if Kevin has gone through culture shock. Though he is doing very well, yes, there was some culture shock. Kevin was born a natural driver. When he was 15 and went to the DMV and got his learners permit he sat behind the wheel and drove home. No practicing on neighborhood streets for him. He earned a perfect score on the driving test. However, the first few days after arriving home he hung onto the car door handle saying, "Whoa." On two of the islands Kevin served there were no cars at all. On the main island in Chuuk it is not possible to drive over 10 miles per hour because the roads are so bad. On Pohnpei they race around at 35 miles per hour with very few other cars around.
Also, Kevin can be found sitting on the floor. Yes, that includes eating. He ate his first meal with his hands. (salad included) It did not occur to him that anything was wrong until he saw everyone looking at him. People sleep and eat on the floor in Micronesia. (at least on the islands Kevin served on) Some families had a set of silverware they would offer the missionaries to eat with, but Kevin learned to eat with his hands as he said if he was going to live among people he should live like them.
Many people have asked us if Kevin had a favorite meal request when he returned home. Not really. That might mean I don't make any memorable meals, but I think it is mostly because his tastes have changed. After several days he decided he wanted sushi. He did say it wasn't as good as the fresh sushi in Chuuk. He says nothing beats a little boy who just caught a tuna and slices it open and hands you some to eat. He also asked for a pineapple which is something he never ate before he left. He is calling stores to find if anyone carries breadfruit.
He does not seem very interested in American music and is listening to Chuukese CDs he brought home with him. He is looking around to find if other Chuukese music is available. One CD he has was made by a high school group, and is fun to listen to.
He has become very frugal and had "sticker shock" when we went to buy him a new shirt for church. He is cold most of the time.
Despite a little culture shock, Kevin is still Kevin. He loved cheering on his beloved Cougars in basketball the day after his arrival and we were happy the Cougars beat Gonzaga and did not let him down. He was delighted with his new I-phone and already does things with his that I still don't know how to do with mine. (Since it was handed to him he did not have to go through sticker shock). He was able to travel with his dad to New Orleans to cheer the Cougars on in the Sweet 16 and while there was able to enjoy a round of golf. (his father reports that sharing a hotel room with Kevin was interesting because he mumbled in Chuukese throughout the night) His dad was thrilled to win the round of golf. It has been a long time since he has been able to beat Kevin, BUT he only won by three strokes so once Kevin golfs a time or two more he should be back into the "swing of things." Golf partners are lining up with the hopes that if they play him early they have a chance of saying that were able to beat him at one point.
Kevin is excited to return to the Y and will do so at the end of April.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting reading. I learned things I did not know. I had noticed that when the missionaries came into Guam for Leadership Training they all sat on the floor for lunch even though there were tables 6 feet away. I am sure the driving was a big scare. I have been to Chuuk and know how slow they go. The Elders even comment on how fast we drive in Guam. Ask "Kevin" if he thinks the breadfruit would last through shipping. We would be glad to send him some.