A stoplight started this whole adventure. One measly stoplight on a back road in Australia started it. The car filled with laughter when I saw the opening in the traffic and encouraged my dad to take it. Looking up I realized my mistake, the light was red, but not being used to stoplights, I had not even thought of looking for one. I just figured if the traffic was not coming, we should take the opportunity. That was my first inkling that I would have a tough time adjusting to the technical life of the Western world.

Hi, my name is Amy and I spent my Junior High and High School years in Papua New Guinea. I loved the missionary kid life. I had close friends. We made crazy memories. I loved traveling. I loved the adventure of it all. But when I returned to the United States, my passport country, I realized the difficult adjustment that was ahead of me. It was hard always feeling like I did not understand things that everyone else understood. Two boys in my art class loved teaching me about things; they thought it was hilarious that I did not know what the national time for smoking pot is, or what many of the drugs are called, or even what some of the swear words were. Even though they were horrible influences, they helped me understand a lot of the things that I did not yet know. My Webster’s dictionary also helped explain things I did not understand. And, finally painful trial and error rounded out my education.

I wish I had an older sister to guide me along the path. Someone who could walk me through the process of automated checkouts at WalMart, tell me what things meant, and help me through the transitions. I did not. I am now that older sister for my siblings. And, hopefully I can be that older sister for you. I survived. I want to help you survive to. So pretend I am your favorite big sister and that I am with you when you encounter all of these situations, helping you through them. I wish I could go with you to the store and help you pick out some clothes that are cool enough to help you not stand out too much. I wish I could talk to you in person. But, since I cannot, I hope this will do.

Understanding (or more appropriately “hoping”) that my blog will be read by more then just missionary kids, I have decided to use the term travelers to denote those of us who have lived most of our lives in cultures that do not have the same luxuries that Western countries enjoy. The term third culture kid was coined by Dave Pollock and is an excellent one for explaining the odd phenomenon of kids like us who are neither part of our home country, nor of our host country, but who have a third culture entirely. But, for the sake of copyrights and such, I won’t use this term. So from here on out I will use traveler. I think it strangely poetic since that is what many of us feel like, travelers and strangers in this world.

If you have comments, corrections, or ideas for things that you would like to see here, please write. I don’t want this to be static or one sided. I want this to be a give and take; and exchange of ideas. Happy reading.

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3 Responses to “Backstory”

  1. Miranda said

    thanks for being that great older sister Amy. you did a marvelous job. I now feel that my clothes fit in and I no longer have that terror of not fitting it. Love ya, your younger sister.

  2. Nathan said

    Hahaha…I still remember that stoplight. Funny thing is it took me even longer to figure out why people were laughing. Of course I couldn’t see the light from where I was in the back, but it is still funny.

  3. Miranda said

    I remember thinking with Amy … yeah, why are we not going?

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