By Donna Kushner
Tragedy is no stranger to the global community of missionary kids and their families. Amongst us grief is a common theme. Sometimes the grief is the result of a tragedy. Recently I experienced this sort of grief, but from a distance–three times in a few short weeks. Our wired world forces us to experience grief this way, now that social media can inform us of a death or other sudden loss within hours of it happening.
I have pondered on this today as I learned of the third tragedy. It is not unlike the grief that we talk about for MKs—sometimes geographically distant, sometimes experienced alone and, certainly, cumulative. Sometime I wonder how we can all bear so much grief, especially when it is accompanied by a sense of helplessness because of being several steps or possibly many steps, removed from the site of the tragedy.
By Genny Rice, adapted from Tea Time Traveler
It hit me today that I am halfway through my junior year at college. I am closer to graduating than I am to starting. Two years that I chose to sacrifice on a cultural alter to the South. Freshman year I dedicate to culture shock, as I attempted to adapt to a culture that was familiar, yet different from my old life. I was never good at keeping secrets. My cultural differences are easily spotted; they are very friendly creatures. But over time, I learned to feel them coming. And then, my cultural alter would receive another sacrifice. I thought that, over time, my differences would disappear as I learned how the South operates. However, after two years, I have learned that this belief was wrong. I am not a local. I never will be. But I have recently stopped believing that that is so terrible.
I’ve had my fair share of cultural experiences. I had a Greek woman insistently tell me where I needed to go buy underwear in Athens. I can only wonder if she had searched my bags earlier. I spent a week before summer mission in Thailand with Thai CCC staff Yui and Yokie. During this time they gave me new foods to try and would occasionally laugh as they did so. I have had a host of new experiences which could lead to culture shock, but given my experience as a TCK I always thought I was immune to it. I’ve since been corrected. Continue reading