Sunday, November 27, 2011


So, I thought I might as well address, for once, the whole reason for the name of the blog and some of the thought processes behind it.

As some, clever individuals may have noted (or may have previously known from prior friendships) I am a member of that select group known as Third Culture Kids (TCKs). What exactly is a TCK, you ask? Well, the best definition I've found is:
"A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of [their] developmental years outside the parents' culture. The TCK frequently builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture may be assimilated into the TCK's life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of similar background."
Unfortunately, I don't know the original source of this quote, but it can be found on most websites for or about TCKs. Basically, a TCK is someone who grew up in multiple cultures, drawing on different aspects of each of them, combining them, and creating a new, separate culture.

TCKs come in many different flavours. The main three, however, are Military Kids (aka Military Brats), Government Official's/Diplomat's Kids and Missionary's Kids (MKs) <- that's me. There's also a new branch of TCKs emerging, the Offshore Businessman's Kids.

There are a number of traits common to TCKs. These can range from multilingualism and possessing multicultural awareness to depression and isolation, depending on the individual. Some of the major, lingering effects many TCKs feel are restlessness (particularly those who've moved a lot), dissociation from home or host culture, ability to form quick relationships, inability to form deeper relationships, greater or lesser maturity (depends on the individual), and a loose, if not lacking, sense of "home".

So why the blog title? Well, I figured I'd start this blog as a sort of relief mechanism for me, cataloging the differences between "home" and "home" It quickly diverted from that intention, but there's still the underlying sense of "what a strange world the US is". Which one would think weird seeing as it is my birth country, but, if anything, I'd call my other home "home". It is, after all, where my family, friends, and memories are.

Anyway, I was browsing through the troves of Google for TCK (actually, I lie - I was trawling for my blog's name and seeing what else would come up, but shhh) and I happened to come across numerous blogs by other TCKs and links to support websites for TCKs and studies about TCKs (mostly performed by other TCKs themselves). All of these websites had many elements in common - it's  hard to put a finger on it, but there seemed a sense of world-weariness, isolation, and experience and right now, as I type, I can see, appreciate and associate with each of those sensations, but there's so much more.

Yes, we've slogged halfway across the world multiple times, yes, we've repeatedly packed our lives into boxes and suitcases, and yes, we've made and broken multitudes of relationships, but, I repeat, there's so much more. How many people know what mzungu price is, much less know how to haggle? How many have tried this in Wal-Mart? How many people do a mental juggle before meeting someone, trying to decide which language to use? How many people can say they can truly appreciate the luxury of consistent electricity?

Hello, we have unique experiences and we'd love to share them, so don't be shy, ask us questions*. Who knows, you might make a new friend and help one of us adjust to our new/old/re-new/i-have-no-clue-where-i-am "home".

For additional info, check this Wiki Page. It's fairly accurate in describing TCKs

*Don't ever ask these questions:

  • "Can you speak [x] language for me?"
  • "Which country do you like better?"
  • "If you're from [x] country, why are you [y] skin colour?" <- okay, you can ask us this one, but don't expect an answer until we've finished laughing our guts out.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving, Pay it Forward

So, this Thanksgiving I was thinking. Here in America, we're really well off. The grocery stores are well stocked, we have grocery stores, there are no homeless people on the side of the street, the unemployed are [supposedly] cared for, and the list can easily continue.

Now, look elsewhere in the world: children die daily of malnutrition; store shelves lie empty; over 90% of the global population live on less than $1 a day; parents sleep uneasily, knowing that their children might be taken in the night, and this is only the top of the list.

So, this Thanksgiving, be thankful for the luxuries you possess in your 1st world universe, despite the economic collapse, and maybe, just maybe, give a thought to the less fortunate in the world and consider those less fortunate.

Some causes/charities I recommend and support
Freedom 4/24
Invisible Children
Samaritan's Purse

Friday, November 18, 2011

We are the Revolution

Revolution [1]:

  1. the overthrow and replacement of a government or political system by those governed
  2. a radical, pervasive change in society and the social structure; usually sudden and accompanied by violence
  3. a sudden, complete or marked change
  4. a procedure/course back to the starting point
  5. a single turn
This year seems to have been a year for revolutions. From the masses of riots in the Middle East earlier this year to the Occupy Wall Street movement, there has been a recent fever of revolution, of replacing or overturning an established system. "Revolution" has become a catchphrase in a world dissatisfied with its current situation. It's a common theme in today's pop culture, sparking artwork and banners urging people into motion [2-4].

* Just because I have a Ron Paul image, don't assume I support him. I am making no statement of political support.

Now, did it ever occur to you that Christianity is a revolution? In fact, it satisfies, as an exception, definition number 2, and completely satisfies nos. 3 & 4. Don't believe me? Christ's message and life demonstrated a life markedly different from the surrounding, and modern, culture. Christianity also proposed and enacted a radical overturn of social strata: masters and slaves were declared equal, all races were declared equal and men and women were declared equal. All of this, though, serves only to underlie the main reason for Christ's coming: to return humanity to a right standing, the original standing, with God. As an example, let me show you some excerpts of Christ's teachings:
21 Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will even rise up against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of My name. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. [5]
Now, before you all scream  "Heresy!" or "Contradiction!" and attempt to condemn me to hell (which is a real place, consisting not of little fires and cartoonish devils prodding you with pitchforks, but of pain, agony, and anguish for eternity with no hope of relief or rescue), let me explain the context. In the overall passage from which this excerpt is taken, Christ is speaking to His disciples as He is sending them out into the province of Judea and warning them of persecution that they will receive if not then, then in in the future.

Later on, Christ, again, makes a radical statement
37 The person who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; the person who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And whoever doesn't take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. 39 Anyone finding his life will lose it and anyone losing his life because of Me will will find it. [6]
This time Christ is speaking about the priorities one holds in life in a revolutionary manner. One would normally think to care for and love one's family first and attend to one's own life before following God. Not so. Christ declares that, in comparison to how much you love God and put Him first, you hate your parents, siblings, children. Not only that, but we are called to selflessly lay aside our own lives and priorities, submitting to God and enduring, in His name, the hardships that come our way.

Christianity is a revolutionary concept. Want proof? Francis Chan describes the early church as "powerful," "spreading like wildfire," and unstoppable by torture, riots or other persecutions [7]. Don't just take his word for it, though. Read stories of the martyrs of the church as compiled by John Foxe or Voice of the Martyrs. Read the entirety of the book of Acts, in the Bible, and see the eyewitness recordings, or recordings of eyewitness accounts, of the actions and persecutions of the early church.

Face it, Christianity is supposed to be revolutionary, so arm yourselves, put on the whole armor of God and go. Proclaim the good news of the saving sacrifice of Christ for our sin. Spread the news of the revolutionary, Biblical way of living. Live life as though tomorrow's the day Christ returns.

Did somebody say Revolution?

Yeah, Christ did.

[1] "Revolution."
[5] "Matt. 10:21-22." Holman Christian Standard Bible 
[6] "Matt. 10:37-39." Holman Christian Standard Bible 
[7] F. Chan, Forgotten God. David C. Cook Pub.: Colorado Springs. 2009. pp 155. Print.