Culture Shock: When Your Soul Takes Longer to Arrive

First you arrive physically and you are very tired. But only after a while, your soul gets here, too. Because the plane is very fast, but the soul takes longer to arrive.* On Friday, my youngest son arrived home after two months of travel. He experienced hospitality, adventure, and food across Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, and … Continue reading Culture Shock: When Your Soul Takes Longer to Arrive

A Life Overseas -Thoughts on Entry, Reentry, and Third Culture Kids

Every summer I begin thinking about change and transition, about reentry and culture shock. With the first warm breezes of the season, I am transported to places and times where this was my reality. And I begin to hear stories from others who are going through these transitions. The stories are told in photographs and … Continue reading A Life Overseas -Thoughts on Entry, Reentry, and Third Culture Kids

“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

Where Our Experiences Find Life

My nephew, Tim, and his wife and baby are moving. They have been living in Mexico for the past two years, and their  time has come to an end.  When they joined the Foreign Service, they knew that theirs would be a life of hellos and goodbyes; that boxes and moving trucks would periodically turn … Continue reading Where Our Experiences Find Life

My Ramadan Baby

I remember the day like it was yesterday. The Islamabad sun, hot and bright, burned down on my mom and I as we walked to the hospital with my first-born - Annie - in a stroller. It was May of 1987 and it was Ramadan, only a couple of days before the huge Eid celebration … Continue reading My Ramadan Baby

My Heart Bends East 

 It's early morning in the Netherlands. I have just left The Hague and with it, a rich time of friendship and learning.  We are on a train headed to Schiphol Airport. Our family and friends in the United States are still in deep sleep. Our friends in the East have been wide awake for … Continue reading My Heart Bends East 

Finding Your Niche at #FIGT17NL

In 2014, I hosted a blog series called "Finding Your Niche: Using a Multicultural Past to Create a Meaningful Present." The result was a set of essays from adult third culture kids, each different and each exploring what it was to find a niche as an adult. Writers talked about the jobs and communities they had … Continue reading Finding Your Niche at #FIGT17NL

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

The Eclectic Nativity Set

I’ve been a little lazy about Christmas this year. I did most of my shopping on the Internet (something I’ve sworn off of in the past). I delegated all the wrapping to our oldest daughter who seemed to actually enjoy it. I let the girls do most of the decorating this year too. We’re leaving … Continue reading The Eclectic Nativity Set

The Simple Pin

Since November 8th, the day that shall live on in infamy, people have started wearing little safety pins. I was unaware of this until my friend Jill explained their significance and gave me one to wear. To wear a safety pin is to make a statement. Where this began is a little uncertain. There are … Continue reading The Simple Pin

A Short Correspondence on the Issue of Feeling Trapped

Dear Robynn, I enjoyed your "Friday's with Robynn" post (A Hidden Pearl. January 29,2016). It really resonated with me, so thank you for posting it. It was very thought provoking for me. Earlier this year I experienced a very similar feeling to the one you had having returned from Thailand. My friends and I arrived … Continue reading A Short Correspondence on the Issue of Feeling Trapped

Approaching the Holy

Our first task in approaching Another people Another culture Another religion Is to take off our shoes For the place we are approaching is holy Else we find ourselves Treading on another’s dreams More serious still, we may forget that God was there before our arrival. We have to try to sit where they sit, … Continue reading Approaching the Holy

The Cup of Mediocrity

"I would rather die of thirst than drink from the cup of mediocrity" A number of years ago, this slogan from Stella Artois brewing company hung on our kitchen cupboard. It stayed there for at least four years. It captured the essence of what we felt life should be - a striving for adventure, discovery, excellence, … Continue reading The Cup of Mediocrity

Pondering Privilege – a Book Review

Pondering Privilege - Toward a Deeper Understanding of Whiteness, Race, and Faith* by Jody Wiley Fernando could not come to us at a better time. As media and newsfeeds fill with images and stories, many of us who are white really want to know how to do things better. Many of us, as uncomfortable as it is, … Continue reading Pondering Privilege – a Book Review

The Bubbles Inside our Heads

Every time I do a workshop on culturally responsive health care, I use the picture above. The audience sees it on a big screen and I give them a minute to take it in. Then I ask them "What's wrong with this picture?" It's not long until someone gets it; until someone says "They are stereotyping … Continue reading The Bubbles Inside our Heads

Summer Fun Ideas that Promote Sanity and Potentially a Wider View of the World

These are ideas for (mostly) free stuff that can happen anywhere in the world. Teenage daughters should take note. Go for a walk. Create a scavenger hunt in your house, backyard or courtyard. Make playdoh. Play with playdoh. Brainstorm strange flavours of pancakes…make the top three strangest even if it means making up the recipes! Make window … Continue reading Summer Fun Ideas that Promote Sanity and Potentially a Wider View of the World