Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cultural Responsiveness

To be responsive to a culture...I have lived through times when we were taught to be culturally sensitive, then culturally competent and now culturally responsive. If cultural responsiveness was walking down the road...what would it look like? I stole and adapted that line from Dr. Desiree Stepteau Watson. So what would it look like? I can learn about the Belizean culture. I can understand the culture. I can be sensitive to the culture. I can even adjust to the culture. It is trying to be me, which includes being an educated woman who loves people of all shapes and sizes and ethnicity and race and education and whatever...anyway, it is hard to be me and truly be accepted into this culture. Of course, tourists are accepted as tourists. Ex-patriots - pretty much stick together. Did I mention that I want to be emersed into the culture to really learn about it? That does not include living here and watching it from the outside or playing the role of a tourist. Suffice it to say that really emersing myself in the culture and among the people requires a lot of trust and the problem I am having is the way women and men treat each other here. I am still trying to understand the relationships and how they work or don't work. I do know that the children are suffering a lot due to the nature of the adult's relationships with each other. Thoughts at the end of the day...I have been into San Mateo three times today - I guess that is why I am thinking. Yesterday I continued to work on the issues from the day before and it became more and more evident that the problems between parents are cuasing so many problems for the children. I am going to immigration with one of the moms from Guatamala who needs to get here papers. She is scared to do but she has two Belizean children - on in our school - she keeps allowing a man to beat her who is threatening her with going to immigration to report her, etc. She needs to be legal. Pray that this works out ok. The Ole Miss students are coming tomorrow and Saturday. I just met another Ole Miss student who took the semester off to help his uncle build a bed and breakfast in Cayo. I convinced him to stay on the island until our students come! didn't take much. I met a couple from Taylor, Mississippi here on vacation.

Love an miss you all.


  1. Wow! Is this world amazing or what? I think there is nothing like living for a time in a different culture to learn so much--about ourselves as well as others. You amaze me with your stamina and dedication and desire. I am glad you are going to have some helpers this next week and hope it is a wonderful experience for them, you, and the people of San Mateo.

    Don't be jealous, though, I got to go to Tupelo today! :)

  2. after reading all your blogs i have an opinion about adult relationships on this island. to me, it seems as the adults have no respect for each other, lack of communication, and are jealous and angry. why is this? is it poverty? or their culture? men leaving their women and children for days with no communication of where they are or where they are going... even when they are coming home. mothers leaving their children at school or taking hours before they pick their child up... what gives??

    i do not care what culture i am in, that's my child. america or belize.... that is my baby and i want to make sure he/she is alright and home safe with me when the night falls.

    adults fighting with each because of what i said above causes them to be angry and take it out on their children.

    life is just merry go round that goes round and round and round and round. makes my head spin!!

    i think if we, as adults changed our self and realized that our babies are watching and need us the world would be a better place. swallowed our selfishness, anger, and pride who knows what could happen.

    when the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.


    love you.

  3. How are you Kim? I miss you. You and Kully are going to have to get together when you get home. You are both going to be missing the "other" life. Know however that you are both needed and loved here. There is so much both of you have to offer the children of this state and the lives of those you touch here -- children and adults.

  4. FYI BTA I posted the above comment at 10:11 p.m. on the night of the 14th. I know you have been researching the posting times of commnentors.. this I know has been an independent research study which is absolutely fascinating... at least to the one researcher.. it noted that I posted two hours prior to my post.. go figure..

  5. I hope these new set of students do not give you as much worries and stress as we did! I am extremely jealous that I am not there this week! You are doing a phenomenal job there in Belize. I am very thankful that I was given the opportunity to experience the Belizean culture with you! You are a true inspiration to so many people in Belize and here in the U.S! Hope all is well and miss you!