Sunday, October 19, 2008

Japanese Garden I

I'll post more photos of Japanese Garden in next few days.

September 19 - October 19, 2008; One month has passed since I came to the US. I feel that I'm getting home sick a little. :(


Laurie said...

Oh Meead, I am sorry you are feeling homesick! I remember how I felt when I left Texas and moved to Los Angeles. It's hard to be away from your family.

I'm really enjoying your Portland photos. THanks for sharing your new life with all of us.

USelaine said...

Meead, it's natural to feel homesick at this time. You have made a big change in your life to come to a strange country to live.

About forty years ago, there was a pattern noticed by friends and relatives of Peace Corps Volunteers (aid workers who go to live in undeveloped countries). The families told the Peace Corps headquarters administrators that the letters they got from their sons and daughters were very sad, and talked about how different their new country and job was from what they had expected. Everyone in the new country did things so differently, and responded to the workers in completely unexpected ways. It was difficult for the workers to express exactly what they wanted to say, even after having language training. They felt isolated and homesick. They dreamed of making quick progress, but everything happened so slowly. After a few months, some Volunteers decided to quit and come home. But most of them stayed in their new countries for the two years they had planned. Gradually, they adjusted their ideas of what they thought the new place would be like, and adapted themselves to what the new place really was like, and they became happier.

When sociologists and psychologists observed these changes of feeling happening in the same way with all of these workers, they called it "the Morale Curve". They could draw a line on a chart showing the high feelings of anticipation and arrival at the new, exciting adventure, and then see the line of feeling drop over the course of the first few months. Then, if the person didn't give up, the line would gently swing back up, over the passing of about 6 - 10 months, to a good level of contentment again.

With further study, the social scientists realized the Morale Curve applied to most big changes people might make in their lives, especially when it is about doing something completely new that they had no previous experience of, but had a lot of positive imagination about.

I hope I'm not talking too much, again, but I want you to know that I sympathize. You are not alone in your feelings. I'll bet most of the other new international students, who are new to the US, are feeling similar feelings. Unfortunately, only time will help it get better. Even knowing about the Curve doesn't make it feel better. Your Aunt Elaine wants to help, but this will be up to your own heart. I know you have a big heart. Blessings to you, Meead.

Hope said...

Sending thoughts your way, Meead. I'm sorry to hear of your homesickness....I hope happiness will return to you soon! I do enjoy reading your blog and your photos are wonderful! It's nice to read about your new life here in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

These cranes are beautiful. Very sensitive craftsmanship. I really like the wrinkles on the leg joints.

Becky said...

It's true - homesickness is natural. Just enjoy every moment you can, but don't feel as though you shouldn't be missing your home. That's why it's called "home." Have you heard the old phrase we use a lot over here: "Home is where the heart is?" Everyone goes through this at some point in their lives. You'll make it!

Have you visited the Portland Chinese Gardens yet? They are fabulous. The Japanese Gardens look nice, as well- I've never been there. The Chinese Gardens includes a tea house, and the ambiance is truly amazing. You should try it out!