Culture Shock Meets Social Shock

Arriving in a new country, so different from my own, was indescribable. All the rules change. I noticed this the most socially. Here is Tanzania people’s idea of time, happiness and problems are so different from the U.S. Time is not linear. If the guides say lunch will be about 12:30, then it could very well be at 3:30. Any worry or problem can easily be fixed with a simple “hakuna matata!” Despite the intense poverty that many Tanzanians face, people always seem to be happy and relaxed. Things happen when they happen. No one seems to feel pushed to get things done, yet the people here are some of the most hardworking people I have ever encountered. The thing that impresses me most about the people of Tanzania is how genuine they are. They have self-confidence and are not judgmental. The people want to hold your hand, put their arm around you or call you their friend. All of this left me wondering where America went wrong. Did we trade culture and love for the debilitating pressures of being the powerhouse of the world? When did we forget about people? Tanzania has over 120 different tribes, yet the people are peaceful. When did America forget that people are just people? How do the young Americans attack this problem effectively?

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