Upon arriving to our destination, cultural changes have hit us more than expected. We prepared the best we could to embrace a new culture and even though changes are evident, all of those changes have been interesting and exciting for us to experience.
The first sign of being in a different culture was the traffic patterns. Cars, tuk tuks, motos, and bicycles weave in and out of each others' paths with little regard for what we would normally see in western societies. Interestingly enough, drivers are friendly and accidents, rare. Lanes are not marked and at times bicycles and motos travel on the opposite side of the road. This has been interesting, exciting, and challenging for our team, as we have all purchased bicycles for our main form of transportation this summer.
The climate here is also much different than in the States. Heat and humidity are normal factors year round, yet the beautiful modesty of the people is evident everywhere you look, as most citizens dress in full pants and half or long sleeves.
Despite language barriers, traffic-filled roadways, and the hot climate, the people are consistently showing kindness. We are nearly always greeted with broad smiles, waves, and greetings traditional to the culture. The people's kindness has smoothened the transition to a new culture.
We are excited to begin working with university students by teaching English and building relationships! We can already see the potential for how these relationships will facilitate learning about each other's cultures!
Addie and Ashleigh