Saturday, February 1, 2014

Global Ambassadors

"In humility, I realized I am a child of all nations, of all ages, past and present. 
Place and time of birth, parents, all are coincidence: such things are not sacred."
- Pramoedya Ananta Toer

We become global ambassadors for the countries where we live. I have lived in Kenya, Benin, Ethiopia, Mauritania, and now Algeria. I still follow the news and current events there. I don't write my friends as often as I would like to do but I think of them every day. These countries are a part of me. I think about the similarities and differences between each country and my experiences in each place has helped me to understand the world around me. 

Often people ask me about my favorite country. I always explain that I don't have a favorite - no country is better than any other. All countries have amazing people and fascinating cultural traditions. I try to represent the positive qualities of each country because I saw immense beauty in each place, separate and unique. It doesn't mean I can't talk about the negative issues because of course there are many challenges to overcome in every country, and the United States is no exception. I want to share my love for the people and places in every country where I have had the privilege to live because I genuinely loved every day I was there. I am a better person than I would be if I had never lived in so many countries. It is a gift.