As a librarian, I love to see the excitement when readers discover books with characters who are like them. Third-culture kids (TCKs) have a unique identity, not tied to any one place, growing up in one or more countries that are not their passport country.

The upheaval of this past year has provided the opportunity to establish new norms and to think outside the box in every aspect of life, especially professionally.

Spring is my least favorite season of the year. Why? It’s allergy season, the season of sneezing and itchy eyes and generally not feeling great. This was true in Colorado; it’s worse in Jordan, where I’ve discovered that I’m allergic to olive pollen.

It hit me like a punch to the gut: news of another colleague moving on. However, rather than doubling over - the normal reaction to receiving a wallop to the entrails - I took a deep breath and turned to the next email in my inbox.

“Where can I make a phone call?” I asked my roommate who had lived in Casablanca for a year longer than I had. “There are no pay phones here,” she replied. Hmmm, I thought. Many people in the city don’t have the money for cell phones. How do they make calls?

The beginning of a new year is a time to look back. In spite of all the challenges, there have also been many moments of rejoicing. I’ve seen small seeds of change begin to take root and new doors open.

I feel incredibly privileged to be with IDEAS! My husband and I joined IDEAS in 1999, specifically because we embraced its vision to see transformed lives in communities of contagious hope. 

Are you like me, just waiting for the world to open up so you can travel again? Can you hardly wait to buy that next airline ticket to take you overseas? I really get that. I’m right there with you. In the meantime, I’m learning to evaluate how I view the cultures of the places that I long to visit and to become better prepared to fully enjoy those cultures.

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2020 was a year of reminders for many of us, including the fragility of humanity, the necessity of community, and the unpredictability of life. Entering into 2021, I've been thinking about how to put into practice what I learned in 2020.

Books change lives. Several years ago, I was visiting a library here in Jordan. As the librarian and I talked, a high-school student approached us and showed us a book, saying, “This book changed my life.” The book was "Quiet Power" by Susan Cain. In a very extroverted culture, this student had always thought something was ...