The trip of a life time has started and we are all thrilled.  The nine of us embarking on this journey are slowly making their way to the Philippines and will all be together on Friday January 7, 2012.  There has been a lot of preparation for the trip and we have been busy packing last minute items and frantically messaging one another to see what we might be forgetting.  We are all arriving into Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and will be staying at the same hotel.  We have a few days before we actually start our first rotations and plan to soak up some sun and shop. It is difficult to prepare ourselves for exactly what is going to happen as we are not entirely sure ourselves. The culture is going to be an adjustment for each of us as the Philippines is a developing country and does not have the wealth and resources as that of Canada.  Culture shock is defined as ” … primarily a set of emotional reactions to the loss of perceptual reinforcements from one’s own culture, to new cultural stimuli which have little or no meaning, and to the misunderstanding of new and diverse experiences” (Zapf, 1991, p. 107).  We are going as nurses to enhance our medical knowledge, but will first have to deal with the emotional stretching of a new culture and way of life.  Each of us will personally and collectively need to come to terms with the new way of living we are about to encounter. None the less we are excited to become better nurses not just because of our knowledge, but the skills we are going to learn with being culturally competent.

Zapf, M.K. (1991).  Cross-cultural transitions and wellness: Dealing with culture shock. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling14, 105-119. Retrieved from$FILE/3%20-%20CultureShock.pdf