My Host Family

I think this was the biggest culture shock.

I’m almost speechless. Mindtrip right now.

So here I am at the Baobab Center learning how to eat with my hands, learning to not compliment someone unless you say kaar, learning to not ask how many sisters or brothers you have because of superstitious beliefs. Ready to tell my family all about what California is really like, ready to assume that I would not be able to speak English, or have wifi, or a pillow, or toilet paper.

Never. Assume. Anything.

Okay, well, there’s still no toilet paper. That must be cultural. But their house is huge and their furniture is beautiful and my room is huge. They have two maids who wear beautiful dresses come nightfall. One of the girls has a macbook. And was that an iPhone over there? The wi-fi is way faster than it is at my school. And the educational capital…

I spoke mostly to Bigie(sp?), who is 20 and studies economics in Paris. She’s been to Los Angeles twice and speaks perfect French and very decent English. Her sister, who wants to live aux Etats-Unis is studying in Maryland, and her brother is also studying in France.

WHOA. Why am I suddenly the unworldly one? And she and her two cousins who were there are all tall and beautiful and intimidating, and it’s hard for me to remember that she is younger than me because I feel like such a stupide americaine.

I was preparing for a family where there might be 10 family members and 3 rooms. I was not preparing for something like this.

Laugh at my duct-taped boxes in my huge room. There are floor-to-ceiling cabinets not included in this picture.

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