I had puffed myself up because of my childhood in Thailand. I considered myself a world traveler, a cultural expert. This project would be an adventure but one I experienced on my terms. But pride is a funny thing.
A few days in, I couldn't understand my sour mood. The trip was going smoothly from my point of view. Bathing in rivers, walking several miles a day, eating mostly rice with the other food groups a rarity, not knowing if the next village had electricity, sleeping on a simple mat. Then I realized this quality of life was so far below what I was used to, even in Thailand. Bare necessities required much more effort. My mood was a direct result of culture shock which I had not experienced before.
It was a humbling moment in my life. I threw out my preconceived notions, tossed my 'experience' aside. Instead, I opened my eyes to see and my ears to hear. I adapted to the culture and people instead of bending them to me.