Monday, May 16, 2011

Third Culture Kids

Levi helping steer a falukah (Egyptian sailboat) on the Nile.

One of the magnificent touristic sites we saw while on the Nile Cruise. If you look carefully, you can see Tim standing at the bottom. This shows how big these statues are.

Dillon and Levi at the Great Pyramid of Egypt.

Levi's school playing soccer or "football" against a Sudanese school here in Egypt.

Anyone who has lived abroad, or knows someone who lives abroad and has kids has probably heard the term "third culture kids." I like the definition found in Wikipedia: A third culture kid (TCK) is "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."

It is very interesting to raise kids in a culture other than the one you were raised in. I often find myself "feeling sorry" for my kids because I think they are not getting to experience the "normal" things I experienced growing up. But, when I think about it, they are the lucky ones.

My kids, and other "third culture kids" here have gotten to experience things others only dream of experiencing. My kids have seen the PYRAMIDS of Egypt! They have gotten to see the King Tut Exhibition in the Cairo Museum, along with many other artifacts. They have ridden in a falukah (Egyptian sailboat) on the Nile, and have even taken a cruise on the Nile, where we visited many Egyptian historical sites, including the "Valley of the Kings."

We are getting ready to pack up and go back to the U.S. for a year. There are several reasons for this year-long visit, but that is not the focus of this post. Our youngest son Levi has lived 9 of his 16 years of life here in Egypt. He is probably more "Egyptian" than any of us. I know he is a little worried about making the transition to a "new" culture. I am praying that things will be easy for him, and that he will transition well. He will be a junior in high-school next year; not an easy age to change schools, make new friends, etc. But Levi is a very outgoing, special young man. I know he will be okay. Please pray for him, and pray for us as parents to have wisdom over this next year. Only God knows the plans He has for Levi, and knowing Levi, they will be something special.


  1. But Jackie you have done such a great job raising the kids in a completely different environment in America. Yes, they are the lucky ones.