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Nov 21 1982

It’s peculiar how I’ve been preoccupied with enjoying ‘the comforts of life’. I’m afraid its culture shock but not quite the kind I had expected. I had guessed, perhaps wrongly, the I would be overwhelmed by how different the Jamaican and the E.C. culture would be. The shock would be in the obvious dis-similarities in lifestyle. Thats definitely not true. The shock is in the subtle differences between the U.S. & E.C. Singly, the differences are not much to sneeze at. But when taken as a whole, its almost too much to deal with. Our need to escape to a lifestyle more ‘compatible’ with our histories, is an indication that we are suffering from culture shock. We tired of living with and indifferent family who doesn’t talk to us, tired of being called Jake. Tired of being asked to buy sensimilla or cocaine. I could go on but suffice it to say that we are tired of dealing with those things which go with living as an expatriot in the E.C. Thats the culture shock. It’s not the differences that burns you out. Its a very insideous kind of “shock”.

Well, anyway, Deb and I are at that point. Where it almost seems easier to go home rather than to stay. Where having to deal with it is much harder than to escape from it. Our host family situation plus our homesickness is enough to break the camels back, almost. I’m not quite sure why we haven’t decided to go home. Perhaps its because we hope things will improve when we get in country. Perhaps its because we know that its and expectation that, from time to time, we’ll suffer from culture shock. Its all part of the job, the experience called Peace Corps. Mostly, its the knowledge that whatever the reason for joing the Peace Corps, it must’ve been of greater weight than a few mosquitos & a bunch of barking dogs. At least, thats what I feel now. In the midst of a pack of barking, flea bitten mongrels, its a completely different story.

Needless to say, I am anxious to find ;home’ in St Lucia, St Vincent, St Anywhere. We have 9 days left. About 7 too many but sooner than I’ll know we;ll be sworn in in Barbados and packed off to our respective islands.