Friday, May 22, 2009
Levi and his Friends
My son Levi is 14 years old, soon to be 15. One of the nice things about living in another country is having friends that are in the same situation as you are. There is a term used to describe these kids that were born in one country, left that country, and are living in another country. That term is "Third Culture Kids". This term refers to someone who [as a child] has spent a significant period of time in one or more culture(s) other than his or her own, thus integrating elements of those cultures and their own birth culture, into a third culture". Because of living in a foreign country, sometimes these kids do not feel like they totally fit into the culture they were born in, or into the one the are now living in. So, it really helps when you are surrounded with friends that understand this.
Levi is involved in a youth group from a church here in Egypt where there are lots of TCKs. He has friends from all over the world that are involved in this group. There are of course Egyptians in this group too, but most of them have lived abroad in places such as America, Australia, and Europe, so they are considered TCKs as well. Other nationalities from Levi's circle of friends include Brazilians, Koreans, Germans, and Canadians, just to mention a few. These kids go through all kinds of struggles, but I think in the end, they realize they are very blessed to have been able to meet people they ordinarily would never have met and experience things that most people in the world do not get the chance to experience.
Today, Levi's youth group had a scavenger hunt out in the area we live in. For those of you who do not know what that is, I will explain what they had to do. They divided into 3 groups. Each group was given a list of things they had to accomplish, then they set about on their "hunt" to accomplish them. They had to go to different areas of our small suburb to do these things. One of the things they had to do was come by our apartment and one of them had to volunteer to do an assigned "task". The task was that this person had to put 12 pieces of bubblegum in their mouth and chew it till it was ready to blow a bubble, and then blow a bubble. I don't know what their other assigned tasks were, but I do know that this group of teenagers were having a great time together. It makes me feel good to know that Levi has so many friends, and that all of these friends are in the same predicament as Levi. When he grows up, what wonderful memories he will have of his childhood, growing up in a foreign land, and he will probably have friends all over the world.