COLOMBIA AND THE U.S. I came to the U.S. four years ago. It was very difficult for me because of the language, and being far away from my family, but I have learned many things about the life and culture here. Even though Colombia and the U.S. are on the American Continent, the life in these two countries is different and they have their own customs. One difference is the family. An example of this is when the children leave the parent’s house. In Colombia the children stay at home until they get married. On the other hand, in the U.S. they typically stay at home until 18. Because the children stay at the parent’s home more time in Colombia, they are normally close with the family and the relationship between family members is very strong. Another difference is when the big meal of the day is eaten. For the Colombians the big meal is the lunch. We take between an hour or two for the lunch time. However, in the U.S. the big meal is taken at the dinner time. The people in this country don’t have much time at lunch, so some times they eat a sandwich or a snack for lunch. One other of the many differences is the way people greet. In Colombia we greet with a lot of affection, a kiss, a hug, and shaking hands. In the U.S. you just say, “hi” or “bye”, depending on the case. I noticed that here the people are aloof, so some times that makes me feel sad because I miss the warmness of my people. At the beginning it was very difficult for me to get accustomed to all this, and I still haven’t quite gotten used to this culture. The closeness of the family, the meals, and the warm greetings are things that I miss a lot. However, I hope I can get used to this, because I will be here maybe for the rest of my life.