[31 Days] Day 4 Learn

It’s Day 4 of the 31 Days in the Life of a TCK series! Welcome! You can find more info on the series here. And don’t forget to subscribe and follow the journey!

Come on, just do it and throw the ball. 
Ask them their names, ask them about the weather, about anything. 
Make some small talk. 
O wait, they don’t understand a word I’m saying. 
They don’t look like me. They’re so different from me. 
Or am I different from them?
It’s interesting how simple things can become the scariest steps out of a sudden. 
Ordinary things like playing ball with other kids can be a real adventure when you don’t speak their language and have no idea about how life works around here.

Slowly I made my first steps in the Ugandan culture. 

Playing ball with our neighbors, visiting other kids, trying to find a rhythm again.
It was like starting all over. 

I was a little child again, having to learn a new language and getting to know people. 
You quickly realize that language is so much more than new words and sounds. 
It’s a code of behavior, a stream of thoughts, a way of life.
You’re no longer on the inside and part of an established group. 

Your differences made you the outsider looking in. 
Making you want to observe and learn and belong.

The habit of observing and taking it all in is something I still practice and treasure until today. 
And I guess many TCKs agree that we don’t just want to look in from the outside. 

We long to belong. 

And this might take a while to observe from the background, learning the codes, and tuning our lives to these new rhythms. 

Do you remember your first steps in a new country? Share them with us! 

[Five Minute Friday] New

It’s Friday, so this means there will be a “normal” Five Minute Friday post here today. Join fellow writers over at Kate‘s!
But it’s also Day 3 of the 31 Days series in the Life of a TCK, so obviously it will all go under this theme. Never heard of the series? No problem, you’re welcome to join in! Find more infos here, then subscribe to get all the posts in your inbox!

Six years after I had left Uganda I once again stepped onto African ground.
Somehow my heart had drawn me to South Africa, so I would spend a year there doing voluntary work in a township near Pretoria.
While packing, while saying goodbye, while anticipating the adventure – my heart sang: Africa, I am coming back.

I thought I knew Africa.
I thought I knew how things would be, what clothes to wear, what life to live, what people to meet.
Well, in some respect yes.
From the moment my team leader picked me up from the airport and we drove through the countryside I felt at home. Driving on the left side just seemed so much more natural to me than the right (and I still prefer it until today).

But in so many respects no.
Houses looked different, the roads had less potholes and more asphalt, and the people were different.
There were white people who called themselves African, a concept that did not fit in my picture of black-African; white- foreigner.
It took me a while to get used to the mambo jambo of the Rainbow Nation South Africa.

This would not just be another year in Africa. This was something new. 
I was no longer the missionary kid tagged along by the parents and seeing what they did.
This was me being the missionary and doing the work, including all the joys and hardships.

Different good or different bad? Definitely good. But so new and challenging. 

This experience is true for many TCKs who move between cultures and lived in even more countries than me.
You cannot compare one or the other.
Every bit of their lives is different and new.
And that’s okay, it keeps you fresh and challenges a different bit inside of you.

This experience is also true for just life with all its different transitions and life phases.
New job, graduating from college, getting married, having a child, retiring.
We think we know life and yet we always have to discover that there are new facets to it every day. 
Different good or different bad?
Hopefully good.
And new and exciting.

[31 Days] Day 2 View

It’s Day 2 of the 31 Days in the Life of a TCK series! Welcome! You can find more info on the series here.

After a sad goodbye and completely overweight bags in Frankfurt we got on a plan heading south. We got stuck in Brussels and were between nervous, tired, and excited for what would await us.

Eventually, late at night, we got into Entebbe, Uganda. 
We stepped onto the airfield into the African night. 

The first glimpse of African soil. 

The first smell of smoked fish and red sand. 
The first breeze of fresh air from Lake Victoria.

The next day we could see things at day light. 

The first drive into the city, crowded with people, cars, motor bikes, and chicken running around . 

And then the two hour drive on streets full of potholes and stones. 

Seeing banana plants and cheering people. 
And finally the first view of the place I’d be calling home for the next two years. 

I will always remember that first view. 

There’s nothing like seeing Africa for the first time. 
Even when I returned to the continent six years later to South Africa it was the exact same feeling.
That first view is enough. 

Enough to welcome me, to feel like where I’m supposed to be.

What are your first memories when you stepped onto new ground?

[31 Days] Day 1 Move

It’s October and the writing adventure begins….It’s Day 1 of the 31 Days in the Life of a TCK series! Welcome! You can find more info on the series here.


I thought my dad was out of his mind. 
He couldn’t be serious.

“We are going to move to Uganda. I feel that God has called me to do ministry there.”

A phrase TCKs are all too familiar with. Move.
The sentence after might differ, may it be that the parents felt called by God. 
May it be that their assignment within the military had changed. 
May it be that some new fancy business or diplomatic position was awaiting them.

The result is the same. 
They’re going to move and you as their child have to move, too.
Pack your things yet again, fit all your belongings into one suitcase. 
It’s not your first time, so you’re an expert in that already.
Saying goodbye to friends and places once more, not knowing if or when you’ll ever see them again.

I didn’t want to move, didn’t want to step out into the world again. 
I was a teenager who had just changed schools and discovered new places, friends, music, teenage culture. 
I didn’t want to leave the thing behind I had called home.  
I wasn’t ready for this feeling.

It’s that feeling of being pulled by the roots, forcefully removed from a place of comfort. 

About to be planted into unknown ground.
That mixture of wild emotions, somewhere between anger, sadness, despair. 
And a tiny bit of hope. 
Hope that your roots will touch new and better ground.
And so it begins.

(I have to add that this was just the very beginning of the journey, about a year before we actually left for Uganda. In that year God surely worked miracles in all three of us children. He turned our rejection into excitement and we were finally ready to go; yes, actually wanted to go. Miracles still do happen, folks.) 

How did your parents tell you about moves? What were your reactions? 

Welcome to 31 Days!

Welcome to 31 Days in the Life of a TCK!

In the midst of state board examinations, organizing weddings and birthdays I have boldly accepted the challenge of writing every day in the month of October. 
Yup, we’ll see how it goes…:)

However, I am not alone in this endeavor: I am linking up with Kate Motaung, who you might know as host of Five Minute Friday
The posts won’t be that long so you can read along easily. You can find the direct links to individual posts below.
And of course, there will still be normal Five Minute Friday posts on Fridays. 🙂  

I am also linking up with TheNester, the platform for all the people taking part in the challenge as well. There are about 1000 of them writing on all kinds of topics – why don’t you go check out a few of them!

The topic I have chosen for this challenge is 31 Days in the Life of a TCK.

TCK stands for Third Culture Kids – people who grew up in multiple cultures, incorporating different elements in their lives, feeling they could belong everywhere and nowhere. You will hear stories about the different stages in my life (Germany-Uganda-Germany-South Africa-Germany-USA-Germany-…) and what I have learned along the way. You will get a glimpse into what it means to live between worlds and what TCKs might enjoy or struggle with. Even better, I hope to get some other voices of dear friends on board, too. Different countries, but with similar experiences and great insight. 
You can find more information on TCKs here. Otherwise just ask! 

I hope you enjoy going on this journey with me! 
I am not just writing for myself, but would love to hear from you. So share your questions, thoughts, experiences…

New face but the same inside/Neues Gesicht, aber innendrin noch diesselbe

I’m excited to present my new blog today; in the midst of studying for my state board finals I really needed a creative outlook and this is the result – I hope you enjoy it!

You will see that while so many things look different on the outside, many things on the inside are still the same.
I am still writing about life, Third Culture Kids, faith, thoughts.
Just look around and discover more about me, Third Culture Kids, or what I do every Friday.
Definitely stay tuned next week for the launch of the 31 Days Writing Challenge!
The easiest way to stay connected is to subscribe. Just enter your email address at the top right and you’ll get every new post directly to your inbox!

So glad to have you around!

Ich freu mich, dass ich heute meinen neuen Blog vorstellen kann; mitten im Lernstress fürs Examen brauch ich eine kreative Abwechslung und das ist das Ergebnis – hoffentlich gefällt’s dir!

Obwohl viele Dinge äußerlich anders aussehen, sind viele Dinge im Innern die gleichen.
Ich schreibe nach wie vor über Leben, Third Culture Kids, Glauben, Gedanken.
Schau dich um und entdecke mehr über mich, Third Culture Kids, oder was ich jeden Freitag tue.
Bleib auf jeden Fall nächste Woche dran, wenn die 31 Days Schreibchallenge beginnt!
Der einfachste Weg für dich, in Kontakt zu bleiben, ist dich anzumelden. Trag einfach deine Emailadresse oben rechts ein und du bekommst jeden neuen Post direkt per Mail geschickt!

Schön, dass du da bist!