Administrative Management responses

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Chrisnel – After watching the lecture video and reading chapter 8, I’ve come to realize that I have a lot of experiences from living in another culture. To begin with I grew up in Haiti and was used to the amazing Haitin culture and I remembered coming to the U.S. for the first time it was a big change for me which took me a while to adjust too. For example the food was a big experience I’ve had, growing up by the ocean there was a lot of seafood as well as other fresh vegetables and legumes, when I came to the U.S. that was a bit different because there was a bigger market that primarily focuses on frozen and artificial food rather than fresh and all natural food. Another experience was the school system because in Haiti in the school system we spent all of the school day in one class with one teacher teaching different subjects while here in the U.S. I had multiple classes everyday with different teachers as well as classmates. Another experience which also was the biggest difference for me to adjust to was the large amount of monthly bills, all though I wasn’t working at the time, I still remembered both of my parents working two job just to pay the bills to get by, that is one thing we don’t have in haiti as well a lot of the Carribean country because once you own your house you own it forever and you don’t have or need to pay taxes, hoa fees or other expenses comes with owning a home. That part was the hardest for me to adjust because that is something people from different cultures often talk about a lot. The advantage of being in a different culture is that our minds capture different ways of thinking, which means that we see the world with different eyes, and understand that one thing can be seen in different ways, depending on the culture. From my experience I’ve come to learn a lot and wouldn’t change anything.

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Esther – Twenty six years ago, I took the difficult decision of leaving my family and friends behind in search of a better future for my first born daughter and myself. I left my country of birth (Cuba), and moved to another country (Mexico) of which I did not have any ideas about its culture and traditions; a year later, my oldest daughter joined me in this new life adventure. As clear as yesterday, I do remember my first time seating in a restaurant, and ordering a dish of which I was told that it was not spicy at all (because Mexican food is very spicy). Trusting the waiter’s words “it is not spicy at all,” I placed my order and anxiously and very hungry waited for it. Once the meal was served, I remember my first bite of it as well as all the amount of water I drank after trying to calm down the spiciness which was burning me from inside out with no sign of stopping any time soon. Yes, it was a difficult lesson learned about Mexican food; because it is very spicy, and everything including desserts is spicy as well.

Because in Cuba, we do not consume nor add spicy condiments to any meals, it was a constant problem for me as well as for my daughter, who was only seven years old, to eat out or to ordering in. Every meal, dessert, fruit, candy, and so forth sell out in Mexico is very spicy. We found ourselves stranded and frustrated because we could not eat everything that we could want to without the inconvenience of finding spiciness in everything. I was very surprised to see children eating and enjoying their candies full of chili pepper like nothing to them; some of which I could not even taste without feeling the burning inside my mouth.

This situation was the major challenges for us, so we did what many people, like us, need to do to cope with this situation. Little by little, we learned how to eat spicy food by first eating candies like children do; then, we started eating the so called “not spicy” food little by little until we were able to eat it all without the struggle of the burning sensation in our mouths. Yes, the spiciness found in Mexican foods was one of the major challenges that my oldest daughter and I faced while living in Mexico. In addition, while living in Mexico, I have another child, and we learned about their customs, culture and traditions which we do love very much as those became part of us. My youngest daughter did not have to go through the pain and suffering of dealing with spicy food because she adjusted her taste for spicy food as all Mexican children do.

Eight years after, we moved to United States, and I found myself with my two daughters facing a new challenge, the need of learning a new language (English) of which we did not speak it before. The struggle was real because it was very difficult for us to communicate with others due to the language barrier. Sooner than later, this challenge stopped being one as we were able to learn the language and integrate ourselves as part of this beautiful country’s society. Exactly as Williams (2018) explained about the concept of “national culture”, it is “the setoff shared value and beliefs that affects the perceptions, decisions, and behavior of the people from a particular country” (p. 178). To deal with such “national culture”, we must take some steps toward finding the proper adjustments to it; some of the first steps to recognize such differences, is to “recognize that there are meaningful differences” between the culture of our country of birth and the culture of the new country where we are currently living in (Williams, 2018, p. 178).

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