Reflections

Don’t Take My Word For It

Welcome back readers!

I was reviewing my blog stats today, and I’m excited to report that this blog has been viewed in 16 countries! That includes Pakistan, Albania, Korea, Thailand, Switzerland, and Greece, among many others.  On that note, I’d like to say that I would love to hear from you, wherever you are!  What’s your name?  Where are you living? Are you a TCK?  Or am I mostly speaking to people who are new to the term “TCK“?

So, I’ve been researching TCKs lately.  In my research, I read a really interesting study on missionary kid repatriation (meaning kids returning to the country of their nationality).  Here are some of the most interesting and revealing comments said by these kids (ages 19-28… all TCKs returning to the US):

“Probably the most difficult thing was just not knowing the cultural norms. I always felt like I was out of my comfort zone, and on the outside of an inside joke that everyone else seemed to understand.”

“It was difficult being in big groups of Americans.  I just wasn’t used to being around all these white people.  I felt strange about it.” – said by a white participant

“Pumping gas for the first time was scary, I thought I was gonna blow the place up”

“People in America always seemed kind of mean and heartless to me, mostly because I came from a VERY hospitable culture.”

“…showing up on time is so unimportant [for the host country].  It takes a lot of getting used to.  When I first started college I realized that I had to show up to class on time.”

“My impression of Americans is that they didn’t know anything about the world.  I had to explain all the time that I didn’t live in the jungle or a hut, I lived in a city.  People couldn’t understand that there were cities in Kenya.”

Said by parents of Missionary Kids:

“They had trouble understanding how Westerners think.  When people talk about being poor… to the extent of poverty they’ve seen… Plus, they have been out of it as far as movies and terminology and language.”
 
“one of our sons said he wished he was a different color so he could stand out and be different.  He dreaded being the same.”

What do you think readers?  Can you identify?  Or was this a surprise to you?

Source:

Bikos, L. H., Kocheleva, J., King, D., Chang, G. C., McKenzie, A., Roenicke, C., & … Eckard, K. (2009). A consensual qualitative investigation into the repatriation experiences of young adult, missionary kids. Mental Health, Religion & Culture12(7), 735-754. doi:10.1080/13674670903032637
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4 thoughts on “Don’t Take My Word For It”

  1. I can’t help it… I relate to the pumping gas only because the first time I went to NJ and I got out and pumped my own gas everyone looked at me like I had two heads. I was like “What?”… Ok nothing about being a TCK….

  2. I am very much enjoying reading your blog. I remember Grandma Barker and Aunt Janet always telling me of your life over in Thailand while I was growing up. Glad to get some insight on it from your point of view. Great job

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