Dear Expat Friends

Quick link: To My Expat Friends

Yesterday I wrote what is essentially a love letter to my expatriate friends for A Life Overseas (and this totally includes online expatriate friends I have yet to meet face to face). They have scattered all over the world, some I am still in touch with and others, not so much. But all of them hold a special place in my heart and my memory. Some carried me through childbirth abroad, others through loss. Some trusted me to care for their children or pets. We rely on each other in unique ways that leave us vulnerable.

I don’t want to close myself off to all that these new, sometimes too short, friendships bring. That’s hard. With all the hello’s and the goodbye’s, it is tempting to be cold and distant. But I need these friends and I hope I can be the kind of friend I need, as well.

When I say my husband and I are arguing about packing suitcases and that my back hurts, you know what I mean. You’ve also slammed doors and said things you regret because peanut butter weighs a lot and tennis rackets don’t quite fit. Thanks for letting me vent.

You aren’t afraid of dengue fever, typhoid, or malaria. You’ve been vaccinated and have that little yellow card and your kids have the BCG scar on their upper arms. You aren’t grossed out when I mention that we deworm our entire family twice a year. Thanks for helping me feel normal, healthy even.

When I’m broken about the poverty I see and conflicted about how to respond to beggars and barely able to hold all my spiritual questions, you’ve carried it with me, and helped me process. Thank you for sharing your own messy insides…

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