In order to deal with the vegetarian issue, Sarah would need to have a greater understanding of Mexican cultural practices and the behaviours associated with this culture. Her host mother had not been bothered by Sarah’s vegetarianism, as she did not want to offend her or make her feel uncomfortable. She put on the pretence of accepting her dietary restrictions, as it is customary in Mexico to have close and strong relations with one’s family, and her host family did not want to jeopardize this (Siehl, Leading Across Cultures: Mexico). Mexicans also place a high importance on loyalty and would not want to disrespect or not be loyal towards their guest; therefore seeming to accept her restrictions reinforced their loyal relations (Siehl, Leading Across Cultures: Mexico).
Sarah was confused and upset by the transportation issue, where her host mother did not drive her to the airport after indicating many times that she was going to do so. In order to avoid confusion regarding this issue, Sarah would need to consider the Mexican approach to immediate action; Mexicans generally theorize what they would like to achieve, yet have a hard time translating this into action (Siehl, Leading Across Cultures: Mexico). Although her host mother assured her she would be getting a ride to the airport and they had discussed this issue, her host mother had likely been considering it theoretically and had not planned to translate this into action. Mexicans also have a more flexible view of time, as it is a relative concept (Siehl, Leading Across Cultures: Mexico). Due to this viewpoint, her host mother may have realised at the last minute that she was not able to adjust her schedule to accommodate Sarah’s trip to the airport.
The final issue that Sarah was faced with was the extra payment for the hours she spent at home before going to the airport. According to analysis of Hofstede’s five cultural characteristics, Mexicans are threatened by uncertainty and take various precautions in order to create stability and security in their lives. They act in a manner to avoid risks or ambiguity (Siehl, Leading Across Cultures: Mexico). Due to this cultural standpoint, her host family may have taken measures to plan for the extra hours Sarah spent in the house, therefore expecting payment for their services and accommodation. Mexicans also have a lack of trust towards strangers, as they are more inclined to favour friends and family due to their close relations (Siehl, Leading Across Cultures: Mexico. This lack of trust could play a part in their request for payment, as they may believe that Sarah was abusing their hospitality.
By becoming more aware of these cultural differences and by considering the different practices and