A Giveaway, Suggestions Solicited, & a Little Change

So as one who frequently rearranges furniture (in lieu of moving across international borders) I’m feeling Communicating Across Boundaries needs a bit of a change!

So – I’m doing a couple of things.

One: A Giveaway! Yes – it’s been a long time since I’ve done a give away, partly because it’s hard to do a giveaway when people from all over the world are involved. But with Amazon UK and Booktopia or Kindle I can still get a book or a certificate for a book to most of you. So here’s the deal: The give away is for a book!

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Catherine Boo


Finding Calcutta: What Mother Teresa Taught Me About Meaningful Work and Service by Mary Poplin


A Book of Your Choice (provided it’s not Fifty Shades of Grey)

What do you have to do to participate?

Send or share your favorite post from Communicating Across Boundaries (this includes guest posts!) with a friend who doesn’t read CAB, then share in the comments what post you shared and why. You can also share on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/CommunicatingAcrossBoundariesBlog. Or leave a suggestion or comment on this blog post.  I will draw the name through a computerized program so it is completely fair. The giveaway will close on Monday, May 13. 

Two: What do you want to hear about? What’s of interest to you? Do you have a series you’d like to see on Communicating Across Boundaries? Are there other guest writers that you’d like to hear more from? Share that either through comments or send an email to communicatingblog@gmail.com with your suggestions. I’d love to hear more about your heart, what you want to hear, what resonates with you.

Three: I’m looking at changing the design a bit. I have committed to a ‘no advertising’ policy on my blog – partly because I could never make as much money advertising as I do in my day job as a nurse, partly because I hate busy blogs that interfere with content and my guess is many of you do as well, so the design will still be simple and easy to navigate, just a little change. You know like moving the dining room into the living room and surprising your family!


What other changes would you like to see? What appeals? Do share through the comments or email!

And make sure you participate in the giveaway!

Meditation from a Reader

From a CAB Reader on Pieces of Childhood

One of the lessons of the Incarnation (God become human) is that the material world isn’t intrinsically bad or ‘evil’. Matter matters. It is the material world by which Christianity finds the vehicle of its redemption and grace. Thanks be to God.

So holding on to a few significant items, and/or mourning their loss, is appropriate and in a real sense, part of the Christian tradition. This is what allows us with confidence to say ‘this is my body, this is my blood….’ From outtasiteoutamind.

Resting in Truth this Saturday! 

It’s a Blog Party!

It’s a blog party and you’re invited!  I’m celebrating the birth of this blog and over 50,000 views in less than a year. I’m celebrating 312 posts, 2,289 comments, 65 categories, 674 tags, and 533 followers! Most of all I’m celebrating writing and communicating with people through the medium of a blog, and I’m celebrating you, the reader, for being willing to read, give feedback, email encouragement and be a part of this process.

In honor of the celebration (besides the mandatory Proseco that I am committed to) I am giving away three books. But to get these books I ask for something in return….

I am inviting you to do one of two things:

  1. Comment on this post giving the title of your favorite post, perhaps a reason why it’s a favorite and suggestions for future posts…..or
  2. Invite someone to read Communicating Across Boundaries who you think would enjoy the blog.  Make sure they comment and let me know that you recommended the blog. If you choose this way to participate, here are some of my favorite posts that you may want to recommend – A Sun Dial and a Swiss Watch – The Story of a Relationship; Learning to Speak Coffee; Meet me at Terminal E and Hookah Hypocrisy.

I will put the names of those who take part into a hat and randomly select three. Those three people will have their choice of one of the books I love and have talked about on this blog.

Here are the books you can choose from:

You have until Tuesday, December 20th to participate. I’ll send out a couple reminders as a way to tell you how much I want you to participate!

Please join in the fun. No one wants to party alone so if no one participates I will cry myself to sleep on my wee pillow!

(Notice that Digging to America and The Day the Chicken Cackled are missing from the photograph. They are on loan to friends!)

“I Have Never Met An Accent I didn’t Like!”

It’s Friday and all things are possible! Cambridge is alive in preparation for the Head of the Charles Regatta, bringing people world-wide for a two-day rowing competition.  The competitors are already on the river, reminding me with the rhythmic strokes of their oars that achievement comes with work, and in their case, muscle.

Stay tuned for more on the Head of the Charles on Monday complete with pictures and stories. For today’s post I will focus on an old post and the comments that came from it. Enjoy!

The post was Accent Angst from two weeks ago and struck a chord with readers. The comments were thoughtful, insightful and fun! So much so that they are worth a full post. So here you have it:

Pegi gave me inspiration for the title with her comment: “Actually I have never met (or heard) an accent I didn’t like. Accents are like magic and draw me in for a closer look.”

Lois commented “I have always thought accents were like the threads and colors in the tapestry of language, giving voice to our roots and influences along our way. Glad you shone the spotlight on the absurdity of ‘accentism.'”

This from Bettie “When JFK was President, a friend from Massachusetts said, “It sure is nice to have a President who doesn’t have an accent.” When Jimmy Carter was President, a fellow Georgian said, “It sure is nice to have a President who doesn’t have an accent.” I’ve met some brilliant people (read about others) from Alabama. And, I’ve met some dumber than dumb (read about those also) from our Eastern states. Years ago when my daughter-in-law from Scotland met my mother who had a real Southern drawl, I wondered how they’d understand each other. Afterwards I asked my mother, “Were you able to understand Fiona’s accent?” She replied, “What accent? We had no trouble whatsoever understanding each other.” Communication in whatever accent is described so beautifully by Lois’s comment above.”

My friend Sophie, who lives in Australia and blogs at Little Gumnut, married a man from France. She has experienced her share of accent angst which she echoes here: “And then you add to the mix all those mish kids coming ‘home’ from ‘living abroad’ who have a mishmash and don’t fit in anywhere and who become adept chameleons, changing their accents at will to fit in with whoever they are speaking to. I still start speaking American when I’m talking to an American and my family tell me I already sound like an Aussie after just 4 years. Who cares what accent people have??! What really really annoys me is when people become particularly obtuse about understanding someone with a ‘foreign accent’. Perhaps its a particularly British thing. Some friends after a few years of living with my French hubby still spoke to him in a slow loud voice or even worse, address all their conversation to me rather than him.”

Finally, a fellow blogger at TheRealSharon talked about a quiz she had just posted called “Yankee or Dixie“. Take a look and see how you fare!

So next time you hear an accent, think about the story behind the accent. I guarantee there is a story worth hearing that spans regions, worlds and continents left far behind.

Thanks to all for reading and keep up with the great feedback!

Responses to Designed for Travel

I wanted to share some of the great responses to the post “Designed for Travel.” As is often the case, it was a post that I didn’t think would be of much interest and it surprised me. I think most of those who responded are designed for travel themselves so their responses are fun and give the barest bit of information on stories that need to be told. I’m left wanting to know more.

Stan said “our daughter Lauren’s first trip from Kenya where she was born to the Khunjerab pass in Pakistan was at 6 weeks old, sleeping in a suitcase in the back of a jeep :)”

Dave responded “I remember moving a house full of furniture across the city of Karachi, on a camel cart. I was 8 I think and my brother was 5. Our dad let us find riding spots in the furniture and we spent the next 4 hours traveling from Nazimabad to P.E.C.H.S. We got to do this several time over the course of the next few days!! What adventure for two young boys!! …I look back on it and it was just the two of us and the camel cart driver. Yes, it was absolutely normal.”

Jenni says “I love all these stories. My parents made a bed for me in a dresser drawer when they were traveling in Libya after I was born.”

Seraphina made this comment: “YES!!! I think I’m finally coming into a place of peace and acceptance with this part of me…that it’s ok that I don’t want to own a home or a new car or the latest designer clothes…that I’d rather spend my money traveling and eating a variety of foods and experiencing different cultures…and have the freedom to go in an instant if necessary…which has happened more than once”

Karen talked about being in a travel agency recently and having her daughter look at her and say: “Mum, I can see it in your eyes”.

All the responses are a reminder of the unique world of the third culture kid and the many memories evoked as we pass on stories. The longing and design come through our eyes, our words, our actions and our memories.

Perhaps the most poignant response was from Sophie. Sophie is a great writer and global nomad. I have mentioned her in the past and love her thoughts. I’ll close with this:

Its interesting, as I read it, I felt sadness well up, it reminded me of that homesickness for a plane, that longing to travel but not being in a place of being able to. It’s so true that it never leaves you, just get packed away like a suitcase.

Thanks all of you for making the post so much more than it was when I began. Thanks again for reading – I never take it for granted! Have a great weekend.

Reader Responses

Sarah O'Keefe's presentation at Zurich STC con...
Image by nchenga via Flickr

Bloggers Note: As always, I have greatly appreciated the reader responses to my posts. I want to highlight a few of these from this past week as I believe they will resonate with other readers.

Sabr Jameel – weavingtapestries writes: I have not come across Sabr jameel much, but whenever something bad happens, I do often hear the Arabs say Allah Kareem.Innallalah ma sa’abireen . ‘God is with the patient, says the Qur’an.Patience is hard yet the fruits of patience are so sweet.’ In today’s world of instant gratification, how long does the pleasure truly last? When we have longed for something and waited for it and worked for it, how sweet it is to finally possess it.

Remember the Ladies – celebrating national woman’s day my mom, an incredible role model writes: “May God have mercy on the millions of women around the world who have no voice and know nothing of an International Women’s Day! And on us who so easily forget them and take our own privileges and freedoms for granted.”

Bright Pink Razais – a fabulous post by guest author Robynn Bliss brought many comments. Nancy writes “Fluidity is all too often disconcerting to me personally, and I am glad for your reminders that there is no escaping it. As a third culture citizen myself, it took me awhile (longer than I certainly wished) to recognize that I had developed my own core–a fairly confident sense of my own individuality. I am mostly grateful for how organic that core feels now. There’s hardly a day goes by that I don’t respect and value my desire and need for a sense of community, where there is laughter, friendship, justice, love–which means there is openness to seeing others and their perspectives.”

In Leaving for London, Patti, who has taken in foster children for many years bringing security and love into some of the hardest situations I can imagine says this: “And I also think of foster care. The children have unresolved grief, as they move from home to home and never really understand why. And we as foster parents have such heartache and tears when they leave our homes, sometimes swearing to never do that again…..but we do. “Trying to work through the complexity of being willing to get to know someone only to let them go is a challenge in this context. The tendency at points is feeling it’s not worth while”…..Oh but it is worthwhile.”

Lastly, my post on Identity Theft brought insight from various people. A reminder from Leslianne says “But think of this: You come from God’s heart. That is your home — and God’s heart is everywhere. You can claim whatever ‘place’ you like as your place of origin (and being conceived on the Queen Mary, you’re gonna need latitude and longitude!).” My neice Melanie makes this insightful comment “I felt even more confused because I didn’t live “long enough” in Pak to be a “real” TCK so it felt like I was excluded even from that group. Yet, growing up as the daughter of two TCKs you ARE a TCK whether or not you live outside of America.” and lastly Linda expresses this: “Growing up in Mississippi, many times I would hate to admit that was my home State because of the poor image the media gave to Mississippi. The Civil Right wars; the poverty; the obesity; the lack of a decent education; the Mississippi Delta. Even though I am not a third world kid, so to speak, there were times when I felt like one so I felt your “soul tears”.

All these comments help me process and create the language of dialogue. So – thank you and be warned – you too may end up as a blog post, copyrighted with all rights reserved.