Preparing & 1st Year

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 Newbie. In August of 2001, that was me. Standing in the dirty house that was going to be my home, totally overwhelmed by the barrage to my senses–smoke in the air, humidity on my skin, roosters crowing. What on earth was I going to cook? How was I supposed to get anywhere? And what […]

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How to Communicate so People Will Care

by Jonathan Trotter on August 6, 2015

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Newsletters. Prayer updates. Itinerations. Reports. Furloughs. Presentations. Are you stressed out yet? For most of us, living and serving abroad means communicating back to senders. A lot. But this isn’t what we went to school for, and besides that, communicating in person or in print is scary. It’s exposing. It’s like learning a new culture […]

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Hello World!

by Rachel Pieh Jones on August 3, 2015

to kiss or not to kiss

How do you greet people where you live? I asked this question recently on Facebook because I was working on an essay: To Kiss or Not to Kiss? (check out that piece for a somewhat more thoughtful look at cross cultural greetings). I wanted to see what greetings were like around the world. Even though […]

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“Feeling so fearful and alone since moving as a trailing spouse” Last month someone found my blog because they did an internet search for that phrase. It reminded me how much pain a trailing spouse endures. I remember the struggle; I remember the suffering. And while whoever typed those search terms is actually not alone, […]

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Thoughts and Advice for a First-time Expat

by Marilyn on July 8, 2015

Ten commandments for Expats

A few weeks ago, someone who is moving overseas contacted me. This is her first time living overseas, she is going into the unknown, and wants to be as prepared as possible. Here is what I said to her: Dear Lucy (name has been changed) Wow – I’m excited for you and not a little […]

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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 […]

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10 Things Flying Taught Me About Missions

by Jonathan Trotter on March 19, 2015

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I love flying. It just doesn’t get old for me. I’ve jumped the Pacific a bunch; I’ve skipped over the Atlantic a few times. I have my own license to fly small aircraft, but still, every time I fly I feel like a little kid who’s milk got spiked with espresso. Sometimes I’m afraid the […]

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It’s been five weeks since we said farewell to the house in Laos that we were still calling “new home” and boarded a plane to “Nana Papa home” in Australia. It’s less than a week now until we get on another plane that will take us to “ocean home” in Vanuatu—a place the kids and […]

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How To Make A Long Distance Relationship Work: 50 Best Tips

Before we moved to Laos, I worked full time as a stress-management and resilience trainer for humanitarian workers. During those years I saw first-hand the pressure that living overseas places on people and relationships. After my husband and I moved overseas ourselves, I decided to focus my energies on supporting relationships—particularly long distance relationships—and last […]

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Language Learning Methods – Whatever It Takes

by Rachel Pieh Jones on August 11, 2014

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There are all kinds of language learning methods. LAMP (Language Acquisition Made Practical), GPA (Growing Participator Approach), community education classes, hiring tutors. Some methods require people to only listen for a set period of time, no speaking allowed. Some require classroom study. Some prohibit grammar study. My personal favorite is one called: Whatever It Takes […]

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New Girl

by Laura Parker on August 8, 2014

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The following post is one I have been re-living as of late, as we re-enter living in SE Asia after a two year stint in the States (original post is here). The whole family is thrust constantly into those awkward situations of being the new kids on the block, and I’m reminded of how hard […]

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