We landed in Nashville at about 9am this morning. Fortunately, we had zero delays, all of our layovers (Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Dallas) went smoothly, and all of our luggage arrived! Upon arriving, Mark and Roy picked us up in a giant van to cart us up to Owensboro, KY where our journey began two months ago. But before making the two hour trek, the team decided to make a pit stop at the local coffee shop… And that’s when I experienced my first real taste of culture shock.
After having just spent two months focusing on others and gaining a larger, more global, world perspective, I walked into a coffee shop like any coffee shop I had been in hundreds of times before… The place was full, people on their laptops, cell phones, reading, chatting, you know, the usual. But this time it was different. When we walked in, nobody noticed us. Nobody greeted us. Nobody stared. At first, it was nice… We didn’t stand out like sore thumbs anymore. But after a second, I realized that it wasn’t because we blended in that nobody noticed us, but more so it was because everyone in entire place was so self absorbed into their own little world that they didn’t notice anything that didn’t directly effect them, nor were they concerned. The war, the economy, the poor, the lost, none of it mattered…
So we ordered our coffee in an orderly manner and received our orders promptly. Someone commented how nice it was to receive prompt service, while I was freaking out at the hustle and bustle of the place. Someone else commented about how the lady in front of them was very demanding with their order… I want this and this and this and not that and hold this, and change that… And she got it! How privileged are we!!! Or is it “spoiled”? Or “self-centered”? At this moment, I don’t believe I was looking down on anyone in that coffee shop, but more so realizing how much like them I was before this trip and the things that God was working to change in me. Whatever the case, I couldn’t have gotten out of the place fast enough. Thus, my first experience with “reverse culture shock.”
The two hour van ride to Owensboro was great. We got a chance to discuss our reverse culture shock, along with add a couple more quotes to the quote book! Not sure if I ever mentioned it before, but for some reason, whenever the team gets into a vehicle together, our individual IQ’s immediately drop 50 points as though laughing gas were being pumped through the vents! Good times.
Once we arrived in Owensboro, all was well. The weather was a gorgeous 78 degrees and dry and my host family simply left the door open for me to make myself at home. Though the Keith and Holly have an awesome house and the guest room the left me was like a palace compared to a cot with a mosquito net I had grown accustomed to, my favorite part was that they had hot water!!!! Traveling with Family and Friends is my favorite thing in the world, but I believe hot showers has moved into the number two spot!!! After a little relaxing, we all headed over to the home of another host family for dinner. As soon as we finished dinner, all of the girls fell asleep on the couch so we decided to give into the jet lag and head back to our individual host homes.
Upon arriving, I finally got to meet my hosts Keith and Holly… Talk about a great couple. They are both high school teachers / counselors (another sign from God) and the have a 6-month old son who is the best baby in the world.
A little CNN, and little Sports Center, and all is right with the world again… Sunset in Owensboro pictured above.
Until next time,