culture shock

6.5 Myths About Expat Life

by Rachel Pieh Jones on October 18, 2017

(this is a repost from Djibouti Jones) Myth 1: Adventure I’m an expatriate! Cue the Indiana Jones soundtrack, give me a whip and a cool hat, and let’s have an adventure! Okay my husband does have an Indiana Jones hat and I have used an Ethiopian whip, but life as an expatriate is not all […]

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When Missionaries Think They Know Everything

by Amy Medina on July 4, 2017

A few years ago, a video started making its way around my Facebook feed–shared by lots foreigners who live in my part of Africa.  The video showed two African men shoveling sand.  There was a very large pile of sand to their left.  The two men were shoveling the sand into a wheelbarrow, filling it […]

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Visiting Home Might Not Be Everything You Dreamed

by Amy Medina on April 30, 2017

When I’m overseas, I dream about Target.  Everything I need, all in one place, at reasonable prices!  So when our furlough started a month ago, I visited Target the day after I arrived. We’ve been missionaries for 13 years, so I should know better by now.  Target’s awesomeness can be a little too much to […]

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How Living Abroad is Like Marriage

by Rachel Pieh Jones on March 20, 2017

Compatibility is an achievement of love. It shouldn’t be its precondition. Alain de Botton The same could be said for living abroad. I hear many people say they ‘fell in love with Africa’ as soon as their feet touched the ground off the plane. I’m not sure how Kenyan or Nigerian or Burundian tarmac has […]

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By Beth Barthelemy It’s been almost six months since we stepped off the plane and onto South African soil. Six months of glorious new experiences, of meeting new people and trying new foods, of seeing new sights and relishing (mostly) sunny weather… and six months of that dreaded companion known to all cross-cultural workers: culture […]

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Dear Life Abroad — I’ll keep my identity, thanks.

by Jerry Jones on January 25, 2017

“Loss of identity.” It makes every list doesn’t it?  Right near the top.  Up there with rootlessness, culture shock and horrible toilets. When you take a two column, pros and cons approach to life abroad, the word “identity” rarely makes it into the pro column.  In fact, if you compiled the sum of all of the […]

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Don’t Ask Me About My Christmas Traditions

by Amy Medina on December 1, 2016

My first Christmas on African soil was when I had just turned six years old.  We had arrived in Liberia only three weeks earlier, and my mom was in the throes of major culture shock.  My parents had shipped over a few presents, but nothing else for Christmas.  My mom managed to find a two-foot […]

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Culture Stress, when There’s No Hook to Hang It On

by Craig Thompson on April 22, 2016

When most people open up their closets in the morning, they usually ignore the out-of-style shirts on the edge, the wrong-color sweaters, the too-tight pants. Instead, as much as they can, they grab something that looks right, something that fits right, something that feels right. When you transition between countries, your cultural closets get switched. Your choices become limited, and you often have to put […]

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America, Meet the World

by Chris Lautsbaugh on March 18, 2016

Hello America. Meet the Rest of the World. Note: This is not a political post but one of identification. The closer we get to the election in the United States, the more comments, eye rolling, and jokes I am hearing as an American living overseas. My journey as an American in missions has spanned over […]

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I Believe, Help My Unbelief

by Chris Lautsbaugh on December 30, 2015

In work, ministry, and life we all experience frequent seasons when things don’t work out quite the way we had hoped. In missions, our internal dialogues consist of “Am I making a difference?” or “Will these things ever change?” When we are trusting for provision, for a breakthrough in our health, or seeing a life […]

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Same Same, Thankfully

by Editor on November 3, 2015

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As I am in the middle of wading through culture shock,  I am so thankful for things that seem to transcend time zones and culture. Things that I know are the same no matter where I am or who I’m with or what language I’m (kind of) speaking. Like the normal, everyday things that make […]

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The Far Side of Somewhere

by Elizabeth Trotter on September 21, 2015

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I remember my first home service. All those awkward experiences like drinking water from the tap and flushing the toilet with potable water again. Or feeling naked and exposed with no metal security bars on the windows. Or handing payment to cashiers with two hands (like I do in Cambodia) and then being embarrassed, because […]

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