Rachel Pieh Jones

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


The Expatriate and Leadership

by Rachel Pieh Jones on June 1, 2015


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 […]


6 Ways to Be Certain of the “Call”

by Rachel Pieh Jones on May 4, 2015

6 Ways to Be Certain of The Call

There is much debate and discussion around The Call. Mysterious, spiritual, dreamy. Everyone else’s Call story is better. The Call is supposed to come in a flash and be so powerful that it under girds every decision and emotion and experience for the rest of your life, no questions asked, no doubts ever encountered. It […]


Responding to Beggars

by Rachel Pieh Jones on April 2, 2015


I’m not even going to pretend to offer rules on how to respond to beggars. I’m not even going to define ‘beggar.’ There are lots of varieties of people who ask for money or help and I don’t like calling them beggars. I prefer to call them Saada or Abdul but for simplicity, I’ll call […]


Keeping in Touch Long Distance

by Rachel Pieh Jones on March 4, 2015


Like pretty much all Life Overseas readers, my kids are growing up 12,290 miles from both sets of grandparents. Their aunts, uncles, and cousins are equally far away. Sometimes my youngest spends a month away from me in order to visit her grandparents. My oldest two attend boarding school. And yet, I think my kids […]


Jet Lag and Heart Lag

by Rachel Pieh Jones on February 2, 2015

heart lag

Jet lag, sweet terrible jet lag. It leads to entire chocolate bars consumed at three in the morning or entire novels devoured in the first three days after an international flight. Might lead to sickness, crabbiness, headaches, complaints, arguments. Every expatriate knows about jet lag. Do y’all know about heart lag? Every time I come […]


My Hope For You in 2015

by Rachel Pieh Jones on January 5, 2015

my hope for you1

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could hope for you only and fully that all your days be merry and your nights be bright and your path be smooth and the sun shine gently on your face? I do hope the road rises to meet you and that you find joy in every relationship and […]

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Rethinking the Christmas Story

by Rachel Pieh Jones on December 17, 2014

the christmas story

*edited and reposted from the original Rethinking the Nativity on Djibouti Jones and I encourage you to read the comments there. I am tired of the Christmas story. Clarification: I’m tired of the way I keep hearing it and seeing it and reading it. Of course I’m tired of the way consumerism has hijacked this holy […]


What’s Your Name? On Adopting Local Names

by Rachel Pieh Jones on November 14, 2014


I moved to Somaliland and when people first heard my name they wanted to know why I had man’s name. “Why is your name Rashid? You aren’t a man. Are you a man?” Eventually I got tired of explaining that I was, indeed, a woman, despite all nomenclature to the contrary. Someone suggested I needed […]


Funny Things Third Culture Kids Say

by Rachel Pieh Jones on October 1, 2014

tck fun1

Kids say the darndest things. Parents make the darndest lists out of them. Writers published the darndest lists of the darndest things those kids say. Sorry. Some of these are from my own Third Culture Kids, some are from others I know. I want to say before quoting them that I love these kids. I […]