AN EXPAT CHRISTMAS

Every expat can tell you stories of holidays overseas. I’ve been watching moms across our city search for advent calendars, cream cheese, peppermint sticks… anything to make the holidays feel like “normal” from their lives before. Other times, I think, it’s in a genuine effort to share what a “western” Christmas looks like with their friends and neighbors who haven’t ever experienced it before.

We are learning a new dance between the traditions and family gatherings and abundant holiday lights from our home culture, and the quieter, distant culture here that doesn’t celebrate at all. In a sense, we’re finding a new balance between worlds.

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IN LIGHT OF TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

We were supposed to leave the country tomorrow. We were supposed to be sharing tearful goodbyes and making last minute preparations. Instead, COVID-19 has left us ALL in a state of uncertainty. All our country’s international flights are now shut down and we expect it to be a few months before we can travel. 


Our counseling team has been incredibly encouraging. Some have traveled back to the States, avoiding quarantines that would restrict anyone over 65 from leaving their homes and seeking out the safety and familiarity in their home country. Others remained behind, hunkering down around those relationships they trust to keep them safe. Together, the team is navigating how to best serve cross-cultural workers from around the world.

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