Rachel Pieh Jones

Upside Down Dependency

by Rachel Pieh Jones on March 15, 2019

Humanitarians often talk about the issue of dependency and how to avoid creating it. The whole: teach a person to fish scenario. What if the conversation is backward? What if the person at risk of developing the dependency is the humanitarian? Humanitarians need the local person to be needy. We need a job, we need […]

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Moral Injury

by Rachel Pieh Jones on February 15, 2019

I first learned the term “moral injury” in a Plough magazine article by Michael Yandell, Hope in the Void. He quoted authors Rita Nakashima Brock and Gabriella Lettini who say moral injury, “comes from having transgressed one’s basic moral identity and violated core moral beliefs…Moral injury destroys meaning and forsakes noble causes. It sinks warriors […]

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A Blessing on Your Life Overseas

by Rachel Pieh Jones on December 17, 2018

I’ve walked through darkness this year. In the lowest moments, a friend sent me blessings every day. I started reading John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us. I am now sending blessings to someone I love dearly, to walk with her through her own dark days. My brother is getting married to a woman […]

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6 Good Things about a Cancerous Life Overseas

by Rachel Pieh Jones on November 16, 2018

I have cancer. The first time I said it out loud, I actually had to shout it into my phone. Like shout. As in, “I HAVE CANCER!!!!!” And since I am anti-exclamation points, let the fact that I just used, like, a bajillion, communicate how loudly I shouted it. I shouted, “I have cancer,” because […]

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Let’s Talk about Sexual Harassment

by Rachel Pieh Jones on October 15, 2018

#metoo Kavanaugh vs. Blasey Ford Running while Female (aka, living while female) Its time to talk about sexual harassment again. I am not coming at this from a political angle. But recent US political events highlighted, again, that sexual harassment is a very real and present danger and can have long-term consequences, sometimes leading to […]

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10 Dangerous Things for Kids and One True Danger, A Quiz

by Rachel Pieh Jones on September 17, 2018

(I wrote this a long time ago but never hit “publish.” Two of my three kids are now adults, which slightly changes my personal context. But, the essay still stands, a little encouragement for expats as we face life in sometimes challenging locations.) “You’re Much More Likely to Be Killed By Brain-Eating Parasites, Texting While […]

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Gourmet Expat Food: When Dinner is Popcorn and Bananas

by Rachel Pieh Jones on August 15, 2018

(this post was originally published on the Multi-Cultural Kids blog) My first day in Somalia my two-year old daughter fell off the roof and I had to make spaghetti from tomatoes (no jar of Ragu) and beef (ground by yours truly) and noodles boiled in water that my husband drew from a cistern out front. […]

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Third Culture Kids, College, and Culture Shock

by Rachel Pieh Jones on June 18, 2018

This year two of my three Third Culture Kids are graduating. Last year, we went on college tours in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We observed some, um, interesting cultural things. Our observations were specific to the Midwest and our perspective comes from 16 years in the Horn of Africa. But, they just might help you with […]

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Finding Home: Third Culture Kids in the World

by Rachel Pieh Jones on May 18, 2018

What a season of books for A Life Overseas! I loved seeing Amy Young’s post earlier this week about All the News That’s Fit to Tell. And Elizabeth Trotter released a book recently as well, Hats. Such a privilege to write alongside these wise and creative people. Definitely check out their books! And I’ve got […]

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Parents, Call Out the Beauty

by Rachel Pieh Jones on April 18, 2018

I don’t know if there are studies about this or if it is purely anecdotal, but I have heard over and over that how kids respond to a life overseas is directly related to how parents, especially moms, respond to it. No pressure, moms. Seriously, no pressure. All is Grace. But also, seriously, how ya […]

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To Donate or Not to Donate?

by Rachel Pieh Jones on March 18, 2018

*This was originally published as Don’t Send Your Used Shoes to Africa on Djibouti Jones in 2014. I bring it up again because on a recent flight to Kenya, my husband sat beside a Kenyan small business owner. Her clothing shop sells locally made dresses using Kenyan materials and Kenyan employees. She said these used […]

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Don’t Forget the Things You Know Are True

by Rachel Pieh Jones on February 21, 2018

(This is going out to all the new expatriates in my life, you know who you are, and all who are newly arrived in your host countries.) All the training, preparing, packing, and planning has left you utterly exhausted, unprepared for reality, insufficiently packed, and carrying plans that will be chucked out the window upon […]

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