Tag Archives: Culture Shock

Okay so she’s right

I remember the first time that my little sister told me no.   I had to be about fourteen so being told no was an unsettling event all by itself.  Having my eight year old sister tell me no was shocking.  She’d never told me no before.  I was the big sister.  She stood in the hallway after being asked to go get some random object of mine with her hands on her hips and quite firmly said no.   I went and told my mom.   Further shock to my world view happened when my mother told me that the little sister didn’t have to do exactly what I told her to every time.

I was an only child for almost seven years.    I was thrilled when that stopped.  I even convinced mom to bring the baby in for show and tell in my Kindergarten class.   When she was about two, our parents left us for the evening with a babysitter.    I remember being the translator then and wondering how in the world this teenager couldn’t tell what my brilliant sibling was saying.  I also remember telling the babysitter that it would be her last time watching us if she continued letting my sister cry instead of rocking her to sleep.   I was a bossy eight year old.  Not much has changed.  I still rush to defend or rescue and I still give entirely too much unsolicited advice.

Before our trip to Rwanda, my little sister was in charge of helping get our team ready to travel.  She handed out a form all about culture shock and dealing with the return to America.   I thought this meant that when I got home I’d be all upset at our culture and mad about excess and I duly prepared to keep my mouth generally shut on those topics.   Turns out the culuture shock is deeper than that.   Turns out I’m having a hard time in general.   Its hard to remember to pay your bills here when all I can think about are the balances on account ledgers in Rwanda that mean one child will go to school and one will not.    Turns out my sister was right.

When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us?  ~Pam Brown



Filed under Family, Rwanda