Posted by: Ali | September 23, 2009

Back in Lima

Okay so I got back on Monday, sue me.  It sure feels good to be back, which is kind of weird, don’t you think?  Cusco was a fantastic place to explore but it involved living with a family, and I hadn’t realized how much I like having my space!  I have been living on my own for years now so it is weird to have a mom around.  Anyways, I am glad to be back somewhere familiar, even though I have only been in Lima for a month.  I wonder what it will be like going back to Canada?

There is something called “reverse culture shock” which happens when you return home after a long absence.  The idea is that you look forward to coming home and seeing your friends and family and things are not quite the way you remember – people are older, have different haircuts, different jobs, different relationships.  You’ve missed events that people are talking about.  The city might be different – construction projects started or finished, different season.  And most importantly, while you’ve been gone you’ve changed, you might even have a new favourite food.  So when you return home and expect things to be the same, you find that things are just a little off, like you’ve taken a step to the left, and it is a little disorienting.

These next couple weeks I am going to be hard at work preparing.  There is a new group of volunteers arriving October 2nd, and Ana Maria wants me to lead parts of the orientation week.  I also need to make sure all the preparations are made, like rooms ready, keys available, house clean, reservations made, airport pickups arranged, etc.  And while I’m doing this, I need to also be getting ready for the group arriving November 6th, for whom I need to confirm where they will be working.  All in all a busy couple of weeks, so I apologize if my posts are boring, infrequent, or work-related for the next bit.


  1. We qre in england having a wonderful time. the weather has been beautiful ( we brought it from Canada). Meeting all the long lost relatives who send their greetings.

    `you now have the UK branch of the family following your blogs.


    G y G

  2. Part of reverse culture shock is that, while you’re away, you have a different sort of relationship with everyone. You’re writing and describing things new and different and unusual. When you get back home, life is not as exciting and there are not as many interesting things to say. The communication method is not the same and the topics are not the same.

    Although these days, with instant internet communication, maybe the method of communication is still the same!


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