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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rule No.1 in the Expat Handbook

When you go on your first expatriate assignment, the first few months are spent being a little homesick, a little overwhelmed by culture shock, and a little overwhelmed with all the different people you meet.  One thing which is true about the expat community no matter where you are is that it is a very tight knit group.  Mostly because we are all sharing the common bond of being away from family and old friends. There is that "we're all in the same boat" attitude.   That is a really good feeling when you are in a country you don't know anything about.  After a few months of living in a new country, something happens that you never expect....actually it kind of sneaks up on you and you almost don't realize it.  This sneaky litle thing is the fact that you make some wonderful friendships with other expats you meet.:)  But, every expat knows that no assignment is forever.....and that dreaded "g" word comes up again and again...

IF there was ever to be an expat handbook written....the first rule would be:

 "Get used to making some wonderful friends, but knowing you will have to say goodbye".

Now that we have started our third year here, I have had to say good bye to some sweet friends I have made while living here.  This week, one of the very first people I met when I moved here is moving away to Holland.  Her daughter was Jeremy's very first friend ever at school here.  I still remember him coming home from his first day of pre-K and he told me, "A really nice girl played with me today!"  I asked him her name and he said he didn't know.  So, the next morning, he pointed her out to me on the playground, and she told me her name.  And after that, I met her mom, and we became friends.   Not to mention her son is in school with Elizabeth.  It's funny sometimes how small insignificant things like two children who happened to play together on the first day of school were able to link me to a very sweet friend here in Lagos.:)

So, now, it seems, it is my turn to say good bye to some really great friends of mine (and Jeremy and Elizabeth, too).  We went to a combo birthday party today for both of my friend's children before they leave on Thursday.  The kids had a blast!:)

I guess that is all part of the life of an expat.  But, then I remember rule No.2 of being an expat:

 " You are almost certain to cross paths again.":)

Lizzy jumping with her friend who will leave next week

Jeremy and his very first friend in Lagos:)

1 comment:

  1. That is hard no matter what country you live in...thinking of you! love-Kirstin