Rachel Pieh Jones

Dangerous Riches

by Rachel Pieh Jones on April 14, 2014

I wrote last month about the troubling ways we sometimes talk about the poor – assigning the simplistic emotion of happiness while not allowing them a fuller, more complex array of human emotion. And about the way the poor are presented as inherently holy, simply because of their poverty. Today I want to talk about [...]

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Please Don’t Say, “They Are Poor But They’re Happy.”

by Rachel Pieh Jones on March 21, 2014

Katherine Boo talks about the western ‘conceit that poverty is ennobling.’ Tracy Kidder, in his book Mountains Beyond Mountains, quotes Paul Farmer, “There’s a WL (white liberal) line – the ‘They’re poor but they’re happy’ line.’ They do have nice smiles and good senses of humor, but that’s entirely different.” I am of the opinion [...]

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Its Not About You

by Rachel Pieh Jones on February 20, 2014

“You will not receive praise in heaven; no one will glorify your name. No one will say to you, ‘This person is here because of you.’ The praise will all belong to him because he has accomplished it all,” Elyse Fitzpatrick, Comforts from the Cross You know the song, that tear-jerker everyone sang for special [...]

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The Dreaded Question: Where Are You From?

by Rachel Pieh Jones on January 27, 2014

A young white woman asked my daughter Lucy to spin the globe and point at where she was from. Lucy rotated the globe until her hand hovered over Africa. Before she could be more specific the woman laughed and said, ‘no, tell me where you are from,’ and spun the globe toward the United States. “I’m [...]

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A Philosophical (Running) Life Overseas

by Rachel Pieh Jones on December 6, 2013

Other posts in the series: A Practical (Running) Life Overseas (tips for starting to run as an expat) A Communal (Running) Life Overseas (building community while doing what you love) A Philosophical (Running) Life Overseas  I run with my iPhone. In an armband. With earphones. In Djibouti this makes me feel excessively wealthy, especially when I consider [...]

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A Practical (Running) Life Overseas

by Rachel Pieh Jones on October 22, 2013

I used to hate running and at the end of the first run I completed in Djibouti I put my hands on my knees, nearly tumbled to the ground, and said (through heaving breaths), “People do this, like, for fun?” Apparently they do. And then I started to do it, like, for fun too. A [...]

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Terrorists and the Unshakable Kingdom

by Rachel Pieh Jones on September 25, 2013

I have felt quite shattered by the terrorist attack on Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Dear friends have been shattered by the bombing of a church in Peshawar, Pakistan. There are shattering events every week around the world but it is always these human-on-human horrors that shake to the core. Terror is nothing new [...]

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Back to School, Internationally

by Rachel Pieh Jones on September 2, 2013

Growing up in suburban Minneapolis, every first day of school was essentially the same. I knew the school, the teachers, the students. The school supplies in my backpack, all from Target, were familiar and reliable. I knew the date of the first day and it never changed at the last minute. I knew I would [...]

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The Introverted Expat

by Rachel Pieh Jones on August 7, 2013

Introverts seem to be getting more attention these days, which might make most of us uncomfortable. 35 Quotes for Introverts. 27 Problems Only Introverts Understand. Susan Cain’s book Quiet. Donald Miller wrote about How to Get Along With an Introvert. How about the expatriate introvert? Hi. I’m Rachel and I’m an introvert. I don’t like [...]

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Brave or Dependent?

by Rachel Pieh Jones on July 15, 2013

Some people tell me it is brave to raise my kids in Africa. They could get malaria or be bitten by a poisonous snake. They don’t have a Sunday School class. They can’t eat gluten-free foods. Their friends are Muslims. They live far away from cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents. My initial reaction is [...]

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Fourteen Things Expat Dads Want To Tell Expat Dads

by Rachel Pieh Jones on June 16, 2013

Last week my husband changed the oil on our car. Then he helped our seven-year old daughter sew a dress because I am worthless with anything remotely craft related. Then the two of them went outside and shot water bottles with a BB gun. This is one seriously rockin’ dad. Over the years I have met other [...]

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Bruising Seasons

by Rachel Pieh Jones on May 21, 2013

I stand at the entrance to the airport with my arm around her. Four of our children slide backpacks and trunks through scanners, turn for a last wave goodbye. One, for the last time. He’s graduating from their boarding school this year. Mine won’t get that old, will they? I counted, on the drive to [...]

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