Healing Words

In January of 2011, seven and a half years ago, 19 people were shot and six people died in Tucson, Arizona. The target was a U.S. representative, Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head. She survived, but her life will never be the same. The tragedy caused a nation that was hyper focused on … Continue reading Healing Words

Notable Quotes from Families in Global Transition

We are just back from an amazing trip to visit our son in Thessaloniki, Greece, followed by a conference called Families in Global Transition that encouraged and inspired us. My heart and brain are full. Being able to be with our son, see his surroundings, meet his friends and absorb the beauty of Thessaloniki was … Continue reading Notable Quotes from Families in Global Transition

An East-West Conversation

"So - your parents chose your husband for you."  The women speaking to me was not posing a question; she was making a statement. I took a breath, not sure of how to respond. No, my parents did not choose my husband. Cliff and I met in Chicago and realized after a short time that … Continue reading An East-West Conversation

Learning Our Enemy’s Stories

“An Irish proverb says, 'It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.' We can give shelter to each other by telling stories of what it means to be human, and by listening generously.”* A few years ago I had a long conversation with a physician. The physician was ethnically Indian, but … Continue reading Learning Our Enemy’s Stories

On East and West (and In Between!)

A few months ago I was invited to do an interview with Orthodox Christian Network. The interview was with Father Chris Metropulos, President of Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, Massachusetts. I was invited to respond to several questions about growing up in Pakistan, about living in both Pakistan and Egypt as an adult, but … Continue reading On East and West (and In Between!)

#OnlytheGood – Christmas 2017

It's Friday and I'm sitting by our Christmas tree. I could sit here all day, just writing, thinking, dreaming, and reading. I know that December 25th is a constructed holiday, that most probably the birth of Christ did not happen in winter, yet I am so grateful that we have this joy to brighten days … Continue reading #OnlytheGood – Christmas 2017

”I’m not from here…wherever ‘here’ is.”

I’m from the edges of the map the edges of the Pacific I’m from the edges of the room the outside looking in I’m from Southeast Asia unless you mean my nationality I’m from the U.S. unless you mean where my heart is I’m not from here wherever “here” is by Cindy Montgomery Wyneken A … Continue reading ”I’m not from here…wherever ‘here’ is.”

Lewiston, Maine – It’s a Good Story

“The way they play together, the way they get along, that’s the future of our cultures together..." - Coach Mike McGgraw The story of Lewiston, Maine is a good story. It's a story of integration and resilience and how a group of refugees and immigrants can revitalize a dying community. It all began in the … Continue reading Lewiston, Maine – It’s a Good Story

From Privilege to Responsibility

In the United States, Charlottesville, VA has occupied the top news for over 48 hours. This is not a cause for celebration, but a tragic reality where a rally largely controlled by alt right racists turned violent and ugly. The city is now mourning the death of a young woman who died needlessly as the … Continue reading From Privilege to Responsibility

“This is My Fate” – A Lesson in Cultural Humility

As soon as the angry words came out of my mouth, I regretted them. I was speaking to Rehmet, the woman who helped me care for my kids and my home. She was a Punjabi woman, uneducated, illiterate, with a smile that stretched across a beautiful, weathered face and a personality as big as her … Continue reading “This is My Fate” – A Lesson in Cultural Humility

On Perspective Taking

One of the best things about the Families in Global Transition Conference this past week was the diversity of perspectives from around the world. While all of us had an deep interest in living between worlds, we all come to it with different perspectives. Perspective taking - it's something I think about a lot. Below … Continue reading On Perspective Taking

People Have Friends; Governments Have Interests

When I first began dating my husband, I would joke that I dated him and 30 Iranians. Cliff had hundreds of friends and most of them were international students at the university he was attending. During those initial dates we would go to underground Marxist events, Nowruz parties, or sumptuous Wednesday night dinners of kebabs, … Continue reading People Have Friends; Governments Have Interests

Caution and Compassion: A False Choice

On Saturday night, my husband and I sat in the small kitchen of an apartment in a nearby city. This apartment is now 'home' to seven refugees - all young men. The apartment is heated solely by electricity, an expensive option in our cold northeast winters. All of the appliances are also electric. The electricity … Continue reading Caution and Compassion: A False Choice

When the Elephant in the Room is Bigger than the Turkey on the Table!

We here at Communicating Across Boundaries know that this might very well be an awkward holiday season for all of us. Families divided must now come back together around the Thanksgiving table. What on earth are we going to talk about? Here are a few suggestions to promote pre-Christmas “Peace on Earth” and “Goodwill toward … Continue reading When the Elephant in the Room is Bigger than the Turkey on the Table!

Friendship, Facebook, and an Impossibly Soft Couch 

"I miss you and your impossibly soft couch," my friend writes to me. I smile as I think of her and the hot mugs of tea we would drink as we would sit talking together. There was no clock in sight - time was unimportant. What was important was the friendship, kindred spirits meeting together … Continue reading Friendship, Facebook, and an Impossibly Soft Couch 

After the Election:How to Build a Bridge

At 2am I received a message from a Turkish friend living in Istanbul. She wished me luck with the election. "I hope it will go well for you" she said. I was deeply touched. Global friendships are a gift that God has given me and I am grateful. Right after I heard from Elif I … Continue reading After the Election:How to Build a Bridge

#Hashtags and Relationships

It's difficult to write today, but it would be worse to keep silent. "I don't want to become a #hashtag. Becoming a #hashtag is a very real fear in my community."  Yesterday at the end of a long and good meeting, a few of of us began talking. The conversation was around race and privilege, … Continue reading #Hashtags and Relationships

Exploring Third Culture Kid Bigotry – A Repost

"It's one thing to criticize a culture. It’s another to see that the culture being criticized is formed partly in response to other cultures, and that those cultures are, in turn, worth criticizing. This is why explaining human behavior is so difficult: the buck never stops. The explanations don’t come to an obvious, final resting … Continue reading Exploring Third Culture Kid Bigotry – A Repost