and Reverse Culture-Shock

Sometime after Thanksgiving 1984, after almost 3 years of living in Boulder, CO, we left for home (Read 6 Ways We Were Welcomed to the USA.) Four kids under the age of 10 were loaded in the back of a blue Subaru station wagon with most of our possessions in the cartop carrier.  We were driving 2,865 miles back to our house, our family, our home in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  We stayed a night or two in Houston, crossed the border to Mexico, stayed in a few hotels along the way and made it to Mexico City by Christmas.  We spent an unforgettable Christmas with Honduran friends, had the best flan I can ever remember tasting.   Continue reading

and Surviving Intercontinental Flights with Children

WHAT HAPPENED? 

Tokyo airport has got to be the most kid-friendly airport in the world!

Tokyo airport has got to be the most kid-friendly airport in the world!

Our family took a long trip from Central America to South East Asia for our company’s bi-annual gathering/employee training.  We traveled from SPS-SAL, 30 minutes; SAL-LAX, 6 hours; LA-TOKYO, 11.5 hours; TOKYO-BGK, 7 hours, BGK-Chiang Mai, 1 hour (2 ways).  Our seats were not all together in the same rows for most of the flights.  Most of the flights went smoothly; nevertheless, our recently-turned 3 year old son threw a MAJOR fit on the 7 hour flight from Tokyo to Bangkok (kicking, screaming, biting, hitting – yes, we have been through it all) after waking up from a long nap. It was sad, embarrassing and tiring; but it eventually ended and we were thankful to be on ANA (All Nippon Airways).   Continue reading

and Deciding what to Leave Behind

In other words… what stays and what goes?  What is worth keeping and shipping versus what should we sell or give away?  To a single minimalist, the answer is very simple; but when it comes to a family where one parent or child likes to get rid of things and another one doesn’t, it is more of an enigma that requires a lot of prayer, wisdom and patience.  These are the things we are doing: Continue reading

and Welcoming Foreign Families

IMG_3453It has been more than 30 years since my parents took their four children on a journey that would change our lives. We left our home country, Honduras, and traveled to Boulder, Colorado in the winter.  One of my first memories of that journey was looking through the airplane window down at the endless white of winter snow.  I had never seen snow before.  My dad, who had been awarded a scholarship to study at CU, was waiting for us at the airport gate with all our winter coats.  He had gone six month ahead of us to begin his ESL (English as a Second Language) studies before commencing his master’s degree in economics.  Those three years in Boulder, as I recall them, were pretty amazing. Why?  What made them special?  Here are some suggestions of what I am able to remember: Continue reading

and Pet Relocation

IMG_1798Nilla is about four years old and was given to us as a kitten by a local friend.  She is a good hunter and loves to eat geckos.  Being the good outdoor cat that she is, we haven’t had any snakes or mice in our house.  She is also our daughter’s pet and we can’t part without her.  It is certainly more convenient for mom and dad to leaver her in a familiar environment that is warm and full of geckos.  But, when children are about to be uprooted, it is worth the time and money to take their most precious items (and pets) so that they will not be parting with everything they know to be familiar and loved.  Here are the steps we’re taking to take Nilla with us: Continue reading