What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?
Formal training: no, Internet / books: yes, Nica Friends: yes
If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?
No. I will have to attend school. The person I moved with, however, speaks moderate Spanish.
Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?
No ... just language barriers because I arrived 1 day before my friend did.
Moving to Nicaragua
Moving to Nicaragua soon? AGS Worldwide Movers is a leader in the international moving industry. Their experience and expertise allows them to guarantee their clients the best quality moving services. Get a moving quote today.
How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?
1) Arrival at airport. Overwhelmed by what was NOT a typical hotel but too tired to give a damn.
2) Ride from airport along Carretera Masays and Carretera Sur: I saw only poverty and debilitation of habitats even though I passed major structures. I really didn't expect that even though Nica is a 3rd world nation.
3) Got over the initial shock in 1 week and proceeded to finding a home. I then saw again the filth and poverty when riding around searching for a rental home with my friend. At the end of the day I went to bed at 7:00 and woke up at 5:00. That says it all. I usually only sleep 5 to 6 hours. I was so overwhelmed by the bombardment of language that I didn't understand, by the poverty, by the 'difference' from my home country that I couldn't even think at the end of the day.
4) It's been 5 weeks and now I am growing used to what initially shocked me. I keep thinking that it is better in another town but I kept seeing the same thing in all the places I went to. It's a MAJOR adjustment. But I am a "fighter" / survivor and this too shall pass.
Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?
I am in the Honeymoon stage. After the initial shock, I 'settled' into a rental home and a routine and the curious mode of seeing Nicaragua.
What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.
I had one bout of depression equivalent to "what the hell did I think I was doing?" It lasted one day as I was able to express myself to my dearest friend of 20 years by sending an email. I lost weight (10 pounds in one month) from eating differently but not from culture shock. This resulted in having to adjust my insulin level (for type II diabetes) and I was really surprised by that. I did miss my friend of 20 years (and her daughter / my godchild) and my Teddy Bear (that I had to put down before leaving due to a serious illness.) I missed them but I also know why I left and knew that staying wasn't the answer either.
What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?
The loving, kind, generous personalities of all the people I've met. These people (of which there are many) were mostly bi-lingual Nica's with hearts of gold and silver. I think that's why I didn't suffer so much culture shock. I was immediately surrounded by loving / caring people.
What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?
Buying things that I perceive as "necessary" like furniture, basic household stuff etc. You can't go to one store like Walmart or Target or Home Depot and get what you need and go home. It takes LOTS of time, effort and savvy to get the basics of living.
Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!
Mostly language stuff. I would say muy bien for "things" when I should have been saying muy bueno. I started mixing the Italian language with Spanish by accident. Words that I've heard my mother use slipped out of my mouth and didn't make sense to the person I was attempting (very badly attempting) to communicate with. My friend kept catching me on making up words in my desperate attempts to communicate. It made everybody laugh.
Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?
Nothing could have prepared me for the "reality" check I got when I came to Nica. Words, pictures, books, magazines, internet etc cannot effectively communicate what one experiences. Like I said, I am a survivor / an adapter .... sooooo .... I don't think it is in the preparation so much as the attitude / personality of the person experiencing it. Unless one has experienced poverty or "less than" before, there will always be culture shock. I was overwhelmed by the count of homeless dogs with their ribs showing. I wanted to rescue every single one. It's in my heart.
Residencies Processing Faster
I posted this earlier on another thread, but it was a long thread that meandered in many strange directions :)
I've seen three really fast residencies,, where before it was taking a year or longer,, now six months or less seems to be the norm. Here's the post:
This seems a good time to be applying, despite the political situation. I found INTUR very welcoming.
I used a young lady in Estelí to package my residency and interface with INTUR. My package was perfect, and they began to process it that day. You need three trips, one to present your package, one to pick up your collila (get out of jail free card), one to pick up the INTUR paperwork, which you can immediately take to Migracion for your cedula. The cedula takes about an hour or two, depending on the line, and costs C$5000.
I paid Arielka $350,, she accompanied me on all the trips,, and I paid Arielka's lawyer $200. Arielka's English is flawless, and she handled the lawyer as well. A thoroughly pleasant experience
Arielka Torrez, 505 8909 4421, ArielkaTorrez24@gmail.com
Post a Reply
Retiring in Nicaragua
I was convinced I would retire in Colombia, but their taxes on worldwide income even SSN or pension income, and mandatory 12.5% for their government EPS health makes that look difficult if I keep paying for Medicare . In Latin America I can only find Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, and Nicaragua that do not tax worldwide income. I am a single, 62 year old guy, and was hoping for thoughts on retiring there. Thanks so much in advance!
Post a Reply