Rachel Pieh Jones

Is Something Bad Going to Happen?

by Rachel Pieh Jones on July 20, 2016

Disaster

*I am on vacation and so this is a repost from a blog during the early stages of the Syrian refugee crisis. It is sadly still relevant. Is something bad going to happen tomorrow? I mean, is something really bad going to happen tomorrow? Yes. I guarantee it. Maybe not to you. Maybe not where […]

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White Savior Barbie Nails It

by Rachel Pieh Jones on June 15, 2016

White Savior Barbie

Barbie has an Instagram account. In case you’ve missed it, White Savior Barbie goes to Africa where she poses in a variety of absurd scenarios with over-the-top hash tags that perfectly capture the White Savior mentality. Today I woke up to the most unbelievable sight….I have 100 followers! I never imagined when I started this […]

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TCKs and Failure

(revised from the original Who Wants Failure? on Djibouti Jones, written at the end of a year in Minnesota during which my husband worked on his PhD in Education Development) I opened the letter from my daughter’s first grade teacher and read it. “Crap.” I wrinkled it into a tight ball, threw it in the […]

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8 Ways for Expats Who Stay to Stay Well

by Rachel Pieh Jones on April 17, 2016

Staying Well

Before you move abroad there are orientation meetings and cross cultural trainings and seminars and books to read and lists to check off and personality tests to pass and character examinations. When you decide it is time to repatriate back to the ‘home country’ there are debriefs and readjustment seminars and repatriating coaches and Third […]

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The Language Learning Mother

by Rachel Pieh Jones on March 16, 2016

language learning mother

I moved to Africa with two-and-a-half year old twins. One of the first things people ask me about that year is how I learned language, because I did. And I don’t feel like I abandoned my kids or neglected my husband in order to do it. I’m focusing on the Mother here because I typically […]

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Making Your House Abroad a Home

by Rachel Pieh Jones on February 14, 2016

home

We rent. We buy used furniture or inherit ancient hand me downs. Our houses are not built straight so the hallway rug runs crookedly along the floorboards and the screen doors don’t fit into the door frames and the bathroom doors don’t quite close tightly. Our sinks and showers don’t drain well and we use […]

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But Are You Safe?

by Rachel Pieh Jones on January 18, 2016

but are you safe

ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab Civil war Typhoid, malaria, Ebola, cholera, tuberculosis Airplane crashes, car accidents Pirates Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis Theft Human trafficking, kidnapping Murder Rape I’m not trying to scare you, I’m simply listing the things that go on around the world that we could be afraid of and this is only a miniscule portion of […]

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Advent Longing in the Horn of Africa

by Rachel Pieh Jones on December 11, 2015

DSC00803

One Christmas Eve in Djibouti my family drove past a cart. It was a rickety wooden contraption attached by frayed ropes to the back of a donkey and clattered down the main road. A man sat on a makeshift seat and held a stick, hovering it above the donkey’s flanks. He wore a red and […]

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When Someone You Love Dies, and You are Far, Far Away

by Rachel Pieh Jones on October 2, 2015

Holy Ground w quote

Note: This was written a year and a half ago, but still holds true for today. My Grandma Jeanne died last week. Death sucks. Or, in the gentler words of my wise (and gentler) friend Sue, “I hate death.” Even if she was in her upper 80’s and, as Lucy says, “That’s what happens to […]

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The Teary Expat Mom, Shopping

by Rachel Pieh Jones on September 4, 2015

The Teary Expat Mom, Shopping

A confession… I am that woman who balances twenty boxes of shoes at the register in Payless. Four pairs of shoes per person. The same shoe in incrementally larger sizes for the kids. Buy one, get one half off. I am that woman who, in late August, needs two carts at Target. I am that […]

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The Normal Fallacy

by Rachel Pieh Jones on July 1, 2015

The Normal Fallacy

I stopped believing in ‘normal’ a long time ago and I can pinpoint the moment when the loss of that belief crystalized for me. I was in Minnesota, sitting in a hot tub at my parents’ home. Friends and family were eating brats and hot dogs, playing raucous games of spoons, enjoying the view of […]

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The Expatriate and Leadership

by Rachel Pieh Jones on June 1, 2015

leadership

Expatriates are often put into positions of leadership simply by nature of our physical presence or because of a certain number of years survived lived in a place. Sometimes it is because a person is a gifted leader (yes, that link is a shout-out to Marilyn Gardner), sometimes they are a reluctant leader, sometimes it […]

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