So it’s a bit late, but here we go: a bit about me.
In this blog I’m talking about my experiences as a third culture kid, and occasionally about my diabetes, and through the posts I have already written, there has been a patchwork of facts thrown up about me. But I decided, albeit a bit late, that it would be a better idea to make a post that puts all those scattered pieces together in one place (I’ll admit I never expected people who don’t know me to read this blog!)
So to start off with: my parents. My parents were, and are, missionaries. They met in Africa working for the same organisation, Agape/Campus Crusade for Christ, in their respective fields. My dad, the American, worked with local people helping them improve their farming skills. There’s a specific word for this but I can’t remember it at all! My mom, the Fin, worked as a nurse. They met and fell in love and got married. Some time later (honestly, I have no idea how much later) my older sister was born in Finland. A little less than two years later, I was born in Swaziland, the African country my family called home. Three years or so later, we moved to America where we adopted my brother and brought him home at three days old.
Cooking pancakes in Finland. From left to right: Taata (grandfather), mom, me, my brother, my sister
So already I’m a pretty mixed up kid! If my parents had met in America or Finland and lived in either country, I would still be a TCK: two cultures merging into a third one. Instead, I have four different cultures mixed into one. I’m still a third culture kid – the definition being that the first culture is that of your parents, the second the culture you live in which is different to that of your parents, and the third being the mix-up that we make out of the other two! The fourth culture is British culture. When I was five – a year and a half after moving to the States – we moved to England. We arrived about a month or so before my fifth birthday and my mom scrambled together a birthday party with other kids around my age whose parents they would be working with. So my fifth birthday party was celebrated with a bunch of kids I’d never met before! But it was fun and they are now really good friends of mine – and being five, you got on straight away anyway!
So all my educational years have been spent in England – with holidays here and there to Europe when we’re not visiting family in Finland or America. During my gap year (a year out between high school and college/secondary school and university) I showed my true TCK colours – and ran off for six months to Japan! I had a great time and settled into the quirks of the culture really well – it helped that my mom always made us take our shoes off at the door, so that wasn’t so much of a shock! Whilst in Japan, I hopped over to South Korea for a week and did some sightseeing (and lots of shopping!) Then I came back to England to get my degree – in East Asian Studies – and now I’m making plans to get away as soon as possible. I have the typical “itchy feet syndrome”!
So now about the diabetic. When I was two years old my parents found out that I had diabetes. It’s influenced me in ways that I’ve seen and I’m sure in many ways I haven’t. I’ll talk more extensively in my next post about diabetes in general, but suffice to say – diabetes has definitely made me a different person than I would be without it. How? When I find a definite answer, I’ll let you know!