As a 4th grader growing up in Bolivia, South America my pending return to America for 5th meant one thing to me: Snow! I had not played in the snow since we left America in 1991. The thought of the coming winter of 1995 had captivated my mind for 6 months. It was Saturday afternoon when I looked outside and this “weird white stuff” starting gracefully falling to the ground. I had absolutely no idea what it was! After watching it for sometime I proceeded to wake my sister up from her nap just to ask her what was going on. She was quite annoyed that I would wake her up but she looked outside and promptly told me that the “white stuff” was actually…snow! She went back to sleep and I went outside for the first of many times playing in the snow that winter!
I was born in Missouri, USA and moved to Bolivia in the second grade. I was convinced at one time that my heart in fact “bleeds” red, yellow, and green, (colors of the Bolivia flag) instead of red, white, and blue. (colors of the America flag) One of the struggles in my home growing up was reconciling the differences between my TCK upbringing in Bolivia, my father’s in Kenya, and my mother’s monocultural upbringing in America. I very vividly remember watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics with my parents and each one of us had tears in our eyes when our respective countries marched into the stadium. God has helped me come a long way towards understanding and valuing my mother and the monocultural upbringing she has from America.
I love the fact that being a TCK has opened my eyes to the world. I have an appreciation for different countries, cultures and peoples. The diversity that this world contains speaks to the awesome creator God I serve. My TCK experience has caused me to welcome with open arms God’s leading in my life thus far. Since Bolivia, I have lived parts of my adult life in America, Uganda, and now China. Now as a 29 year old my heart at times just might “bleed” the colors of the following flags: Bolivia, USA, Uganda, and maybe someday…China.
I came to China in the fall of 2013 to work at TIS as the Student Life Coordinator. God has given me an opportunity to work with and learn from the many TCKs at TIS both students and staff! Many winters have come and gone since that first snow of 1991 but I still love snow! The picture in this TCK corner is a picture of me and the Foundations Class at TIS, during the first snow of 2013! Potentially Mr. Strong will forever be “etched” into the memory of those TCKs and their first snow!