Understanding Cultural Differences: Lessons Learned From an Air Conditioner

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I love my air conditioner! While I am a person who much prefers the hot summer months to the cold winter ones I don’t think I could survive without an AC. I am sure many (if not all) my friends would share this point of view. Air condition is simply a part of life here in America!

I have spent over 2 years in a country where the average temperature rarely falls below 90 degrees and the humidity is always somewhere between 70-100 percent. Despite these horrific weather stats, Air Conditioners are not only hard to find but often times not even wanted in the country of Cambodia!

When sleeping in the same room as my Cambodian friends I have been asked multiple times to turn down the AC. I have even seen many members of the church I attend walk outside halfway through the meeting because they need to warm up! After telling my Cambodian friends that I caught a cold they always blame it on my air conditioner!

It is amazing to me the difference in perspective between cultures! The AC conundrum is a small reminder to me that interventions in other parts of the world need to be done only after careful consideration of a country’s cultural. Something that seems so great to one person can really be detrimental to another.

Aw, the lessons one can learn from an Air Conditioner.

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