In the wake our our epic summer it has been a bit challenging to settle back in to normal life in Hong Kong. Part of that is getting used to public transportation, the congested city and the hot humid weather again. And while there are adjustments we have to make living abroad in HK there are many things that are normal and routine about our life here. School has begun again, daily chores and routines have ensued. Still we miss home…the wide open space, gardening, driving a car, family and friends, our dog and Mexican food! 🙂 As I’ve been pondering all of this I was reminded of a list that I started last spring. There is much I’m thankful for about this experience here in HK and so much I would never change. Our boys are learning so much from being here. I want to remember what I’m grateful for in these days and savor what we learn. So here it is, a list of reasons I’m glad here! Here goes….
10 Reasons I’m glad our kids are living cross culturally in Hong Kong
1. Living abroad is bonding. In this season we have not only had a new baby we have also shared so many new experiences just between the 6 of us. Places, people and memories we’ll never forget.
2. We have the opportunity to experience more of the creativity of God in experiencing another culture. Different sites, tastes, smells, traditions, flowers, animals! What an amazing Creator we have!
3. We get to be a part of the Body of Christ across the world. Going to our Chinese church our boys are getting a bit more of a global view of the Church. Instead of seeing it only through a Western lens we get to see how the Church lives out its faith in this corner of Asia.
4. The boys are learning that we are all really the same. They are learning that though their Chinese friends may look different, speak different and live differently we are still so similar. Their friends run, play, make mistakes, learn, have fun and want to be loved just like they do.
5. We get to be the minority. Being Gweilos (that is what caucasians are called in HK) we stick out. Though there is a large international community we are the minority. When we are out we get looked at and we don’t quite fit in. In every culture there are minorities. It is good for us to understand a bit of how they must feel and hopefully become more empathetic.
6. We do things we wouldn’t normally. Living here in HK our boys have gone swimming nearly every week, ridden ferries, played in tropical rain storms, experienced typhoons, eaten dim sum, played football and celebrated Chinese festivals. The kind of stuff we just didn’t do in Troutdale. 🙂
7. We meet people from all over the world. Hong Kong is so international! We now have friends from Hong Kong, China, Africa, India, Norway, Switzerland, Indonesia, Australia, England and Ireland just to name a few 😉
8. They have begun to understand that most of the world lives differently than we do in the US. They are learning that different isn’t bad it’s just….different. 🙂
9. We have the opportunity to practice learning another language. (A very difficult one I might add!) So many in HK speak Cantonese, English as well as another language. Learning a language is not an easy task. We appreciate more now those who know multiple languages.
10. Oddly it causes us to appreciate our home country, the USA more. We come from such an amazing, diverse, beautiful country with such incredible freedoms. We are even more thankful now to be Americans.
It is challenging at times living cross culturally but it is so rich. Remembering this gives purpose to our days and makes the harder cultural things not so hard. I’m not sure what our boys will remember from Hong Kong but I am thankful for these things and these lessons.