Thursday, September 20, 2007

To Be or Not To Be


One of the main reasons for joining the Peace Corps is to experience another culture by actually living in it. The question soon arises as to how much of this new culture do you actually want to experience or, more fairly, how much of the new culture are you able to tolerate before reverting back to more familiar ways. I am sure every person who has lived abroad has faced this dilemma. We are no different.

Like Maslow’s pyramid of needs and wants, we are now at the bottom level of survival that is food and shelter. Shelter we seem to have made the steps to the Samoan way. Food is a deeper issue.

On thing good about Samoa is there is lots of food and it is prepared for us as if we are royalty. This is the Samoan way of treating guests…us. But the food is very different and we know it creates demands on our host family to prepare it for us. Efforts have been made to accommodate of tastes, but it is still different.

Now do we prepare our own meals and maybe offend our host family who may think their ways are no good or that we are ungrateful, or try harder to adapt to the culture in which we are so fortunate to be living?

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