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Culture Shock in the U.S.A.

My first time in the U.S. was a long time ago. I was 5 years old and I honestly don’t remember a lot. I know that I went to Orlando, FL and my family and I went to Disney World, and other different theme parks in the Orlando area in Florida. It was a magic experience for me but at the same time the only thing that I remember about my first experience was being completely overwhelmed by all the things that I was living and seeing. Mountains of food at the Restaurants, Ultra High Technology, Stores as big as football stadiums, cars as big as house- well, everything was bigger and “better” than in Ecuador, my home country. When I went back I talked to my friends day and night about every single thing that I did. I was excited, and at the same time sad because I was not in the US. anymore.

View of the MAGIC KINGDOM PARK In Disney World, FL. The first theme park that I went to
Characters from Disney. I used to watched the cartoons in Ecuador, and just to see them in Real Life could cause a heart attack to a kid. I still remember the first time that I saw them. I was so excited I wanted to run and touch them, talk to them, play with them. I was crazy!
The food here was always an amazing thing, coming from a country where things like a Snickers Bar would cost $3.50!
My first time I visited the Kennedy Space Center was unbelievable! Astronauts were real!!!
Stores were so big here! I was used to go to my small neighborhood store and look at up to 10 shelves, and that was as many options as I would have when I went to a store.
Magic Ha?
After many visits to the US, I started realizing how everything was not as I pictured it when I came here for the first time.
Here are a couple of things that I realized:
1. Going to a Disney World Theme Park costs almost $80 per day, and not even 5% of the world’s population would be able to ever go there.
2. Eating at those colorful and food places (BBK, McDonald’s or Pizza Hut) makes you really fat, is really bad for your health and is the cause of one the major problems in the US: obesity.
3. Visiting those huge stores would keep giving money to big corporations who do not pay their employees, pollute the environment and even have children working in sweatshops. (the same children that would never go to Disney World)
4. The amount of money that the U.S. spends in the NASA projects could actually be used to help build schools, hospitals and many other basic things that the world needs and even the same U.S. A lot of more people could go to college or have health care.
But, even that a lot of things need to change here in the US, I still think that people can make a big difference. Even though there are a lot of constraints to people’s freedom, there is still hope out there.
Many people show us everyday how you can make a difference if you want.
This is the undoubtedly one of the positive sides about living in the U.S., a country where there is still a chance of reaching as far you want to reach, if you just work hard and determinedly.
Maybe one day we will free all those kids from sweatshops in Asia and Latin America, bring them over here to the U.S. and why not take them to Disney World?

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