I have been thinking a lot lately about how much community means to me. We moved across the world, back again and then to a new city all in the last year. I know many families move a lot but our family had lived in the same house for 12 years in the same town that I grew up. We are really not world adventurers!
What we discovered was that the ex-pat communities in other countries are close knit and they really went way out to help us get settled. I worried about whether or not my kids would have friends. Would I have any one to talk to? Would we feel isolated in a strange country where we did not know the culture and language? Sure it was the chance of a lifetime and something our kids would never forget but would it be good memories? The people we met were wonderful. They shared tips on where to shop, where to eat, how to hire an Ayi and even found us a tutor so we could learn a little of the language. They made sure to invite my kids over for play dates and church youth events. I found that since every one is in the same boat they where all far away from home!
When we moved back I didn’t worry about the kids, their friends were near and it would just take a little time to get hooked back up with them. Then my husband’s job change and we would be in a new city. In our home country would we find people as friendly? Americans are so busy now (too busy! We are certainly too busy!) Would any one have time to get to know a new family? Especially one whose heads are spinning with all the changes, many unexpected, we were going through. I found the home schooling community really stepped up and invited up to Park days. My kids are getting to know new friends and are excited about the new activities for this year.
I miss my old community. I have friendships there that are almost 20 years. I am not a telephone person. I have trouble keeping up with friends long distance. I am trying to be better because other than my husband and family these are the people that mean the most to me. I love the internet and I love that I can go back to see my old friends but I am really thankful that we are here and God is sending us so many new friends.