It is a long book. I have about five more chapters to go. It is about a Third Culture Kid named Jim. He is a white boy who was adopted by a Crow (Native American) tribe. This book is about his quest to find out who he is and where he belongs.
My husband read it out loud to my children and my children loved it. Somehow, they were able to identify with Jim, the main character. They read several pages each night as part of our bedtime routine read-a-good-book-aloud tradition; so once they were all done, I decided to read it for myself. It has been difficult to put it down. I can also identify with Jim.
I miss my full time house help: 8 hours a day for five days a week. She cleaned, washed clothes, prepared lunch, loved and cared for my kids. Oh… I was so spoiled! Sometimes I ask myself: Why did we move to the US?
It is culturally acceptable even for lower-middle class families to hire full or part time help in the home. For foreigners, it is almost expected. Labor is cheap in the developing world. Work is also scarce, even for highly educated people living in urban areas, not to mention people who live in rural areas. I needed to run a home in a hot, humid and dusty environment where floors needed to be swept and mopped daily and clothes and sheets got moldy – not to mention we did not have a dishwasher nor air conditioning, and had to hang clothes to dry on a line because electricity is really, really expensive. That was my “old normal.”
A very useful tool in preparation for our departure has been the book Third Culture Kids. In Chapter 4, the author writes about the following five stages of transition: Involvement, Leaving, Transition, Entering and Re-involvement. I will summarize each stage:
Involvement: comfort, belonging, familiar, settled. Our status is clear and we know our place. We know and follow the social rules, customs and traditions.
Leaving: ending, detaching, pain, backing away, confusion, denial. Our time is coming to an end and we begin to detach from responsibilities and relationships. Continue reading