This from my friend and colleague Lisa; a link to a Wikipedia article on children raised outside of their primary culture. I think it is very true; as an army brat and now having taken my kids to live in Egypt, the Phillipines, Indonesia and Southern California (just kidding on California,.. kind of,..) I can say that I relate to a majority of what the article states. I've always thought of myself as kind of a chameleon and remember consciously thinking about the fact when I hit the states in high school that I had to make an extreme effort to 'fit it' when I got there. That I had a choice to 'sink or swim' and I'd seen a lot of military brats like myself sink if they didn't figure it out quickly.
I was lucky to find someone naive like my hubby who thought moving around the world would be cool and was able to continue doing it. Since we are both over achievers, we have moved a little TOO much,.. (well, and the whole September 11th thing really screwed up the game plan and kind of sent us into a tail spin) and are thinking of settling down,.. for a while. Until we get a majority of the kids booted out the door. (As our friend in Boise smartly told us, "My kids' graduation present from high school is going to be a set of luggage and a one way bus ticket.") Then it's back to dreams of me looking all ethereal and giving loving children vitamin K shots in deepest, darkest Africa. Yuck, yuck. I can dream, right? But seriously, we greatly enjoyed our CRS adventure and hope to do it again, although it's tough to be an adult and say no for the greater good of the family. Two bouts of malaria, two bouts of Dengue fever, me as their teacher, friend, mother, cook, confidante, etc,.. no hot water, not a lot of power, and lots of bugs makes me look forward to unlocking that front door in Yucaipa, California again. But we haven't seen the last of the great big world.