First Phase of Adaptation

Zin Mar Myint from Myanmar

Mingalabar! (Myanmar)

Chum reap sure! (Cambodia)

Xin Chao! (Vietnam)

Sabaidee! (Laos)

Sawaddee Kha! (Thailand)

I learned how to say hello in four different languages from my fellows in the past few days. I wonder how many words I could learn after the program. One big thing I have found out very recently about languages is that Thai language and Laos language is very similar. I noticed that My Thai fellow can communicate with another fellow from Laos with their own languages. They can understand each other. How cool is that!

My first impression when I set the very first footstep in the United States was like ‘Wow! This part of the world is really different from where I come from’. I’ve been here only for a couple of days and so I am still in a process of adaptation. Since I have arrived, I had funny incidents because I was not familiar with some of the technology here. On the first night we arrived, my roommate and I took showers with very hot water because we didn’t know how to adjust the temperature. (Don’t worry. We figured it out.) Yet, I still don’t know how the coffee maker from my hotel room works. Every morning, we take out an ironing board from the closet to iron dresses and we have trouble folding up and putting back into the closet. A very nice housekeeping lady has to put it back. I believe I will get used to all of these in a few days. And there are some things I have found very amazing in Missoula which are the weather (11 ‘C in spring time? It is far cooler than Yangon’s winter!), fat squirrels and super friendly Missoula people.

Myanmar people always say that the world have become a village because of globalization and internet. I am gonna disagree on that. In fact, Myanmar and the United States are pretty far. Therefore, the result of traveling a long way to be exact 8289.34 miles of air travel is ‘Jet Lag’. When everyone I know kept telling me to prepare for that, I thought like ‘I’m gonna be okay. I think I can handle it. I have confidence in my body’s internal clock’. Now, I am having trouble sleeping and feeling tired. It turns out my body cannot resist nature’s circadian rhythms .

Despite the jet lag, today was a very interesting and informative for me. We had series of lectures and discussions all day. Professors and teachers from University of Montana came in and discussed on topics such as American cultural values, NGOs and the U.S Economy, Media in the U.S and Cross-Cultural Conceptions and Contexts. All the participants shared their experience and knowledge during the sessions. I had a glimpse of mechanisms of the country. The day ended with Dr.Udo Fluck’s very funny and inspiring lecture. I am very excited to have more wonderful days in Missoula!

Thanks for reading this. Thanks for your warmly welcome, Missoula.

Oh, right! I should learn how to say ‘Thank you’ in those four languages tomorrow!

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