Month 3: culture shock

Wowza. Month 3. How time flies. My dance presentation went super awesome and about 80 people showed up! That’s really what I wanted. I hoped for a big audience for my group so the dancers who were performing for the first time ever could feel how awesome it is to perform. I also was super proud of them all. They danced beautifully, especially together as a group which is something we worked on throughout the two month process.

We’re shooting for an encore performance around Dec. 9th in la Parque de la Independencia in the center. There’s a new section of the park that just finished construction and they have beautiful in-floor lighting. If it doesn’t happen, I’d like to try for an encore performance sometime before I leave next year. I hope to begin rehearsals for the next dance piece I have in mind in late Jan/early Feb. That way, I’ll be able to present something in April/May (I leave on May 31st).

Recently, I’ve been feeling a little homesick. I miss my mom, my friends, and parts of living in NYC. Some days at work are long. Bogota is quite a city, but I kind of miss the metropolis NYC is. Now, this is all probably a bit of a phase. I’ve been reading a lot about culture shock, and it seems I’m experiencing that. There’s a honeymoon phase, a culture shock phase (with feelings of uneasiness, anxiety and/or homesickness) and a recovery phase (where one has accepted their new environment/has learned how to cope). I’m in the culture shock phase for sure: sometimes I compare cultural norms here to that of my home and I get frustrated. I feel that Bogota is sometimes a cold and serious city. Not too long ago, I overheard a colleague say “Americans smile for everything!”. Perhaps it is true that we smile more than Bogotanos do and that kind of depresses me at times. The upside of all this is that I believe I will feel better with time. I believe in the culture shock theory and I have some ideas that basically involve lots of self-care. I have begun to do the following:

  • sleep at 8.5 hours a night (I need lots of sleep and haven’t gotten much of it lately)
  • wind down at night by listening to a meditation recording (good way to quiet the mind!)
  • eat more at home (now that my hand is looking a lot better, I have begun to cook again)
  • see more friends (dancing/eating/watching a movie with others)
  • be more active (whether it’s choreographing in my room or doing a workout video from youtube)

So, that’s my plan for now. I’m going to wait this phase out and take care of myself as best as I can.

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