31 Flavors of Foreigners

by Angie Washington on February 4, 2014

Next Door NeighborsWhat’s your favorite ice-cream? Baskin Robbins’ 31 flavors of ice-cream are fairly well known in the States. They’ve added some more flavors, but they founded their fame on the great number 31. My 1st choice is Rainbow Sherbet. So yum!

This is a get-to-know-you post! Let’s take it a little deeper than ice-cream preference, though, okay? Dessert information is mighty vital in any acquaintance; but we shall go to another classification of flavors.

What flavor of foreigner are you?

Charts make me happy. I put together a fun chart to help you answer that question. I call it “The Foreigner Classification Chart”. Start on the left and follow the flow to find out what flavor you are. Then leave your answers in the comments section.

The Foreigner Classification Chart:

31 Flavors Image.docx

(You might try clicking the above image to enlarge it if the text is hard to read)

novtrip 196

DaRonn and Angie Washington

Neat, right? Connection empowers us. True story: most Bolivians assume at first glance that I am German and they think my husband is Brazilian, even though we are both from the U.S.  Many presuppositions placed on foreigners about origin and occupation might give us advantages, and they might hinder us. Our minds classify people, whether we like it or not. Expanding our classification system helps us to interact with a broader spectrum of people.

Questions to answer in the comments section:

1. What’s your favorite ice-cream?

2. What flavor of foreigner are you?

You might want to check back and scan the comments periodically to see if any other readers here at ‘A Life Overseas‘ happen to be the same kind of foreigner you are.

For further reflection you can think, and comment if you like, on this bonus question:

BONUS: What’s the general opinion of the people native to your region regarding your flavor of foreigner?

Whatever flavor you are, it makes us super pleased to know YOU are a part of the conversation here and we hope that you find the content on this site helpful and thought provoking.


– Angie Washington, co-editor of A Life Overseas, missionary living in Bolivia, South America

blog: angiewashington.com twitter: @atangie work blog: House of Dreams Orphanage

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About Angie Washington

Co-Founder, Editor of this collaborative blog site: A Life Overseas
  • Pingback: Charting and Ice-Cream()

  • Fun idea Angie!
    1) Any type of ice cream or ice cream like substance. Though green tea is a high favorite

    2) religious-social aid -affiliate

    • Oh, I am glad that you think this is fun, too, Abuk! So the green tea is a flavor of ice-cream? Or a pleasant alternative to ice-cream? If it is a flavor it sounds intriguing! Thanks for adding your ‘flavors’ to the chat.

  • John Donaghy

    1. Mint chocolate chip.
    2. Since i usually like two or more scoops of different flavors in my waffle cone (if I can get it here in Honduras) I am religious community development, religious affiliate leadership development – and maybe more.

    • There you go, John! I am sure many would relate to your ‘two scoops’ idea when they attempt to define themselves. Thanks for adding your ‘flavors’ to the conversation. ¡Bendiciones!

    • John Donaghy

      In the rural parish where I help I feel really accepted. Having a different style of facilitating education and faith formation helps. Instead of speaking AT people, I’m trying to work in a participative, popular education style where people learn by doing and where we combine formation and information – so that we can be transformed in Christ.
      Being here for more than six years helps being accepted.
      I’m planning to move to a rural village to be able to better serve int he whole parish and the people there are anxious to have me move there. It’s humbling.
      One other point. I’ve also helped in some diocesan wide programs and so I keep getting surprised when I’m somewhere and someone greets me – ¡Ola! Juancito. I usually have to ask them where we know each other – and apologize for not remembering.

      • Juancito, the acceptance and favor you enjoy speaks volumes to your commitment and lifestyle choice. I hope for a good new adventure for you and the people you will meet in the rural village. Thanks for telling us about your life!

      • Colleen Connell Mitchell

        John, Your word choices of parish and diocese gave me a hint you might be a Catholic missionary so I looked up your blog. My husband and I, and our five sons, are lay Catholic missionaries in Costa Rica. It was nice to find you here!

        • John Donaghy

          Colleen, if you folks have a blog, send me your address. Connecting with other Catholic lay missionaries is not at all easy here in Central America.

          • Colleen Connell Mitchell


            This is our web site: http://stbryce.org/

            And this is my personal blog: colleen-fromthefield.blogspot.com

  • 1. Rocky Road
    2. Religious Independent Evangelical (Baptist)

    • Do those two answers go together, Michael? 🙂 I’m just playing.

      Thanks for letting us know your ‘flavor’. I find it interesting that you consider yourself independent AND Baptist. Care to elaborate? I love hearing about what people have dedicated their lives to.

      • Never thought about it that way Angie but I guess that sometimes they do go together. My family and I are sent directly from an independent Baptist church, which is to say that we are not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. So, that’s where the two denominators come from. We’re just one family here in Portugal trying to make a difference in people’s lives for the cause of Christ.

  • 1. I am also a two scoops kind of person. Love mint choc chip with mocha cappuccino.
    2. Religious social and evangelical independent education

    • Hi E Maize. That ice-cream combo sounds dee-lish!
      There really are so many cross overs as we talk about what we do as foreigners. I am glad to hear you are mixing in the evangelical with the social. Thanks for your comment!

  • Marilyn Gardner

    Love this! For icecream – I think I’ll go peppermint…or rasberry vanilla twist. In term of affiliation – I grew up with parents who were religious association, evangelical, church planting and Bible translation. When my husband and I first went overseas we were nonpolitical, not for profit, occupational, education. For a long time I felt like that wasn’t good enough, like I was outside of a club. Then we moved into a loosely affiliated religious association, social aid, affiliate, education. I have to say (whether rightly or wrongly, the move over did make us feel like we had people in the parent organization concerned about our well-being and part of something bigger. Thanks for an interesting conversation Angie!

    • A whole lot of minty goodness going on right here in this talk. So fun!
      So, Marilyn, you found a settled feeling when you mixed your upbringing with your starting out situation. That is so cool. It makes a big difference to have the sense that you are cared for, and/or that you are a part of something bigger than yourself. I appreciate you talking here with us today about your ‘flavors’.

  • Lynn

    1. Butter pecan and orange sherbet in my 2 scoop waffle cup.
    2. Religious, evangelical, affiliate, education & leadership development on a church plant team.

    I’ve been mistaken for a German and a Dane by ex-pats. People in my native region just think I am crazy – as in insane – because I came without being married. I can work with that 🙂

    • You can totally work with that, Lynn! The culture of marriage and gender run deep in any region. Good for you keeping a good attitude, and being aware, as you go about your work in eduction, leadership development, and church planting. Also, quite interesting that other ex-pats would err in their assumptions of where you are from. Thanks for adding your ‘flavors’ here!

  • Rachel ‘Pieh’ Jones

    1. Cookies and cream, for now.
    2. Non-religious, non-political, non-profit (lots of nons there), occupational – education mainly. Though we are also clearly people of deep personal faith.

    • My favorites rotate, too, Rachel. 🙂
      Amen for being people of a deep personal faith. I have a friend who is a Marine. He tells me that he considers it a high honor to serve in nations that try to prevent people to come in who have a religious purpose, i.e. missionaries, because he takes the love and light of Christ in wherever he goes. It is interesting to me to watch the ways different people allow their faith to permeate their existence.

  • Black cherry ice cream
    Religious, Evangelical, affiliate, education, leadership development/ discipleship.
    Most can tell I am an American, but I get mistaken for a tourist rather than a “local” after 8 years

    • The subtleties allowing a person to recognize nationalities astound me. I can now differentiate between a black person from Brazil, a black Bolivian, and a black person from the States if I see them walking down the street here in Cochabamba.
      Thanks for your dedication to the work you do, Chris. You are one of the good ones, brother.

  • Colleen Connell Mitchell

    1. Key Lime Pie Blue Bell ice cream, but since that is Deep South U.S specific, I have adapted to a love of mint chocolate chip.
    2. Religious in both evangelical and social aid ministry…outreach, community development and maternal health care…with a little orphan care thrown in on our down time.
    3. There are very few foreigners where we live so we are definitely an oddity where we live. And to the indigenous people to whom we minister even more so. Many of them still hide when we show up to their villages until they get to know us. I do think it is funny that my Spanish has improved drastically in the last two years and many people think I am “tica” (Costa Rican) or that my mother was, and that react with surprise when they find out I married a “gringo”. Mostly, I think people who don’t know us still are not sure what to make of us with our boisterous band of brothers and being constantly on the move and having a constant flow of indigenous moms and U.S. visitors and priests and every other variety of person in and out of our front door. Sometimes we laugh that we are the closest thing our town has to a tourist attraction.

    • Another minty person. How interesting! 🙂

      Colleen you made me laugh out loud with your last line: Sometimes we laugh that we are the closest thing our town has to a tourist attraction. Ha! You seem to have owned your oddness with a good dose of humor. Good job!

  • Wendy

    1. Ice cream with a cheesecake flavouring will do it for me.
    2. Evangelical, mission affiliate. But we’re support-team, rather than “front line”. That is not the usual type of missionary that people back home think of. I can relate to local’s assumptions being wrong. They usually assume we’re American (we’re both Australian). And if they see either of us on our own, they always assume that we’re married to a local. Why would we be in their country otherwise!?!

    • “Why would we be in their country otherwise!?!” Ha! That’s rich! Amazing the assumptions, right, Wendy?

      We have a shop in town that sells cheesecake ice-cream. Yum!

      Support teammates are vital! We are not designed to go it alone. Good on ya’ for serving in such an important capacity.

  • DM in Mexico

    1. Coconut and/or dark chocolate.
    2. Religious – Social Aid – Affiliate – Orphanage

    • Hello DM. 🙂 An ice-cream shop in Cochabamba, Bolivia has placed fun names on their flavors. One item on their menu is called: Dark Vader Chino. Seeing as you are in Mexico surrounded by Spanish the ‘chino’ part might sound funny to you, too. Actually it is in reference to the Frappuccino style drink made with dark chocolate ice-cream. It’s yummy!

      Sigue adelante con tu trabajo con los huerfanos. ¡Bendiciones!

  • Jeri

    Mint chocolate chip forever!

    We are etcetera. Non-religious, non-political, not-for-profit, personal…etcetera. Retired professionals who spent years working in our fields in closed countries. And hosting the world in Jesus’ name. Then we retired to one–intentionally. We are the only believers in our area, embedding ourselves in the community, and also welcoming individuals and small groups who desire space for contemplative prayer and listening, or doing writing and quiet forms of art, in a peaceful, beautiful setting. A spa for the soul. Just a couple of cracked old pots. Who sometimes wonder why there aren’t a whole lot more of us scattered over the world.

    How are we received/perceived? A multi-faceted question. We are American but our looks and dress seem to suggest we are German to those who first encounter us. We enjoy favor in this place, where locals frequently remark that we are different from other foreigners. How? (We ask when they bring it up.) We are interested in their lives and ways, and in them personally. We are always up to something interesting–projects and adventures, and our guests are always good and loving people. We’re a bit eccentric. So we are told. As they dig deeper, the ways they see us as different seem to us to be Jesus-oozing-through–not something we could manufacture, and not always when we think we are looking our best.

    • The mint is taking the cake in this forum! …er… taking the ice-cream? 😉

      I love your etcetera life, Jeri. It would be great to visit you and find out the nuts and bolts of how you designed such a beautiful existence. What preparation or training did you have? How do you fund it? What is your answer to why there are not more “cracked old pots” scattered around the world? I could see myself in a similar set up somewhere in the world when I am old. You are an inspiration! Thanks for chiming in on this one. Peace.

      • Questions that invite longer answers…. Perhaps in a more private forum. Things I think are worthy of discussion, though. Thanks for your sweet reply. Smiling.

        • Marilyn Gardner

          I have questions as well! This is exactly what my husband and I want to do. So many questions about how you decided etc. I’ll contact you separately but thanks for responding to this.

    • Jeri, it is remarked about my husband and I that we too are different in a good way. I could never put a description to it but you did when you said “we are interested in their lives and ways, and in them personally.” I believe some missionaries just want to know enough about the people to get by in their work without truly caring and being involved in their lives.

  • Richelle Wright

    1. plain ‘ole vanilla… or when it is super hot… raspberry sorbet (which isn’t technically ice cream, but…)
    2. religious, evangelical, affiliate, etc. (or support [local church planters and administrative] + education + leadership development)

    Until they “talk” to us, people often assume hubby is German and I am Irish – I have no idea why. They assume our biggers are French, especially after they talk to them.

    • I suppose that super hot raspberry sorbet would not technically be ice-cream for it would be something akin to a hot, flavored, sweet tea. 😉 Get it?!?! Ha! I’m just playing around with you! 🙂 I enjoy a nice raspberry sorbet too!

      It’s a great feeling when our children assimilate to the culture and/or language. What a testament to your immersion efforts. Good job mom and dad!

  • Anna Wegner

    Raspberry Sorbet, maybe with some dark chocolate pieces. 🙂

    We have religious association & social aid. (At Hôpital Evangélique ‘Le Pionnier’ in the Republic of Congo). Most people in our town see white skin & think French, but quickly can tell we’re American. I did have someone ask me if I was French before, but only because they can’t really speak French themselves. My French is so horrible, they would have realized! I’ve also been called Chinese & asked if I’m Swedish. My favorite was when I was in Spain, and someone thought I was from Ireland. I would love to at least visit Ireland, so I was quite flattered!

    The country in general is a little suspicious of foreigners. As most Americans in the area where we live work at the hospital, the overall view is a favorable one. You do get the random person who hasn’t seen white people and want to touch. My son is blond and he has to keep his hair covered when we are out, because he hates it when strangers want to feel his hair.

    • Hello Anna. My kids have super curly hair and many people love touching it, here in Bolivia as well as when we are back home in the States. Thanks for sharing your flavors! Peace.

  • 1. Chocolate Chip
    2. Religious-Social & Evangelical-Affiliate-Community Development & Church (Discipling)
    We get Afrikaans spoken to us but as soon as we say “sorry” they learn we are 100% American. In the South African villages and in Mozambique they know we are Americans.

    • I have heard, Debbie, that the pronunciation of the sound of the letter R is the give away for one’s native language. It’s a toughie. I would imagine the regions with a population consisting of less diversity would clue it’s citizens to your nationality. Thanks for commenting!

  • Chocolate chip mint

    religious-social aid- independent – orphanage, community development, business, and education. thecharisproject.org Working on keeping kids out of orphanages by strengthening families, and helping kids in orphanages too.

    We live near several refugee camps and there are NGO workers all over town, from many different western countries. The local reaction seems to be positive, or at least accepting. And westerners bring money and opportunity that people are happy to take advantage of, and not in a bad way.

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