Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tuesday Topic: Adapting

Send me some questions, please! I'm not doing to well with coming up with my own. This is inspired by Ashley's comment earlier.

How have you adapted to the culture you live in? How have you not adapted? What parts of you blend in, and what parts don't?

(If you have a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to me at fylliska@gmail.com. Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, or specify if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)


  1. I think it's so important to find a "middle ground" in order to survive and thrive long-term. We cannot adapt to leaving the house with the kids to make social visits at 10:00 p.m. on school nights!!!

    But we've learned to be much more flexible and hospitable, and we've learned to always offer something to eat or drink to drop-in guests. We've learned about hospitality big-time!!!

  2. I can think of two really big ones where we don't fit in: (massive!) family size and homeschooling. Otherwise, we're pretty normal. ;-)

  3. Clothes--I wear Nepali clothes. (Men wear western clothes.)

    Food--we eat a lot of Nepali/Indian dishes, or have added certain local ingredients into US dishes

    Transportation--walking lots, taking buses and taxis rather than our own vehicle

    House help--having it

    Expressions: have adopted some gestures

    Don't fit with homeschooling which really affects a lot of our life because I am not out-and-about with people as much as I would be if the children were in school.

    Don't fit with polite, behaving children. Honestly. We have always gotten stares when they obeyed without whining, etc.

    Slightly larger than normal family. 4 kids. No in-laws in the home, though.

    Expressions, the way we carry ourselves--it is just different.

    I'm sure there's more if I asked a Nepali!


  4. funny... family size is one way we did fit in... one reason our nigerien friends said we were more nigerien than some nigeriens. :-) i think 8, statistically, is the average number of births/woman in the country.

    1. i felt like we were always chameleons in one sense - with our kids in local schools, we mingled much with the "upper middle class, lots of expats but not western expats." then we were part of the typical expat group, especially once older kids were there and once i started working part time there. then we had our nigerien circle. sometimes there was cross and overlap - but we found that we were "different" with each group. even now, back in the states for home assignment, i can honestly say that the group that we feel most comfortable with is probably the expat world - even though we love and enjoy all of those circles.

  5. Ah, yes. Our parenting style is different. (But then, it's rather different from standard American, too.) Part of that is just necessity. The usual family here has one baby and 4-6 adults completely focused on him/her. We have the opposite ratio. We just can't cater to our children the way they do, and we don't really want to either. :-) So, we have to work on not appearing to be neglectful, while also fostering the sense of being a part (not the center) of the family that we want for our children.

  6. Here in Nassau, we are trying to adapt to a culture, where, "white American" is synonymous with "rich." And compared to many, we are. But we were lower middle-class in the U.S., often needing financial help from parents, friends, and sometimes our church. I won't ever get used to the "rich" identity. Food...super high carbs here and a a lot like southern U.S. food. My husband hates fish (especially with the eyes in it...which of course, is like a delicacy here!) Nearly every woman works full-time outside the home, and I am looked at quite strangely for being home and not sending my children to school. Nearly all the folks in our church send their children to private school so they can get ahead academically and go on to U.S. colleges. Many of the daughters here plan to be doctors. I'm just happy if my girls graduate homeschool, love Jesus, and are able to support themselves should God not give them a spouse. So in that, I can be seen as "not wanting the best" for my children. We came from a U.S. church where at least 75% homeschooled, so this is an adjustment for my children as well. The bugs, tarantulas (in the house), rats, and snakes have me on edge, but learning to trust God for the most basic areas of protection.