Monday, May 25, 2009

a stranger in a foreign land...

at the beginning of this calendar year i had decided to blog about my experiences as an american living in the dominican republic. honestly, though, i've been so overwhelmed with work and family and keeping house and projects that need to be finished that i haven't really been living in the dominican republic so much as living in my house.

i don't feel that i can describe life in a foreign country if i've limited myself to the safe, secure "non-culture" of our house.

people ask me how we raise samil - american or dominican? are we going to "allow" him to be friends with the "natives"? don't we worry about all of the things he's missing in the states?

we don't raise him dominican and we don't raise him american. we're raising him to be a good person, with good values and morals and to respect and accept others as they are. what is this about raising someone to "be" a certain nationality? and of course, he will be friends with whoever shows up to be friends with. am i planning to keep him away from dominicans because they're different than us? no. do i plan to keep him from americans because they're different than us? nope.

i do worry about what he's missing. his family. people who care about him who he might only know on holidays and phone calls. am i worried about the toys he doesnt' have? or the television programs in english? no. and i've learned not to worry about the parks and museums and landmarks either, because who really visits those places all the time? he'll do well enough on vacations.

i do worry about his education. and not because we can't afford the fanciest, english speaking, american school. because, honestly, i don't think those schools are that much better. i worry because the overall picture of education here is dismal. but from what i'm seeing, it's not much better at home.

that all said, we do what we can to acclimate our children to the environments in which they live. i hope that, white and blonde as he is, samil will not be the "american" student, or the "white boy" or the boy with the "gringa mama". and that. five years later and while i blend quite well, i'm still a foreigner. my beliefs are different, my upbringing, my education, my habits and routines and even what i eat for breakfast.

work is less overwhelming right now, we're winding down the school year and getting ready for the culmination of the biggest thing to happen to us ever. i've got a project set up for july, working with my brother and some big ideas for the fall that will give me more time for my family and still allow me to contribute financially. hopefully i'll get out more. break out the stroller and take advantage of living in the caribbean where it's never too cold to take a walk. make new friends, try new things.

i'll be back soon. i've got some posts about ex-patriating myself in the works that i'll schedule to pop up when they're finished. have a great memorial day!

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