The Best of Both Worlds

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I was born in the U.S.A. In California. My parents were raised as missionary kids (also known as M.K.'s) in Brasil and returned as missionary's after getting married, living in the United States for about 20 years, and having me and my three siblings.


The week I arrived in Brasil I got “dengue”, which is a dangerous disease that is carried by mosquitoes. That was my welcome to Brazilian culture and life as an M.K.. After living in Brasil for four years I had forgotten a lot about the U.S. (also known to M.K.'s as “The States”) and then we returned and it was culture shock all over again. I had to get used to : playing basketball instead of soccer, receiving amazed looks when I happily climbed trees, walls, houses, etc. Eating is very different in different countries and I had to get used to store bought American foods and drinks instead of home cooked beans and rice with Guarana (which is a delicious Brazilian soda made from a guarana berry) , which I consume frequently in Brasil. Happily however there are some really good foods and drinks in the U.S that don't exist in Brasil like Root Beer, Dr. Pepper, and Mountain Dew, which although I enjoy it, people in Brasil say tastes like medicine.


In Brasil I found the people to be generally more friendly than in the States, they also have very small personal space if any and stand a lot closer when they talk than the average American. Lots of the people in the Brasil think that all Americans are stereotypical, because of what they hear and see on television about them. The picture of Americans that they get from television is that Americans are all : fat, lazy, gay or lesbian, rich, cold, greedy, self centered, and deep in debt. Almost all Americans think that if you live in Brasil you must live in a mud hut without electricity, water, and transportation. Although technology is very expensive here we have it and we also have running water, electricity, cars and roads to drive them on, and I live on the outskirts of a big city in a concrete house with a wood ceiling, not a mud hut with a thatched roof. Even though they are right about that type of living existing in Brasil, not all of Brasil lives that way. You can see how people in different countries don't really know about somewhere until they have lived there for while.



All in all I think that although these are just a few of the differences, there are also a lot of similarities. Each country has its ups and downs, but because I am enjoying the best of both worlds I would have a hard time choosing between the two although one thing I know for sure is that I prefer humid Brasil over dry Arizona any day. As an M.K. You move a lot and meet lots of people but there is something that applies to almost every missionary. I came. I saw. I went.





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Mr. Stew said...
Jun. 3, 2009 at 1:41 pm
Great job, Andrew! It's fantastic having a literary neighbor!
 
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