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Monday, November 6, 2000

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Sick Day

I could not get to sleep last night and tossed and turned till well after midnight. I woke up suddenly about two in the morning with violent diarrhea and did not make it to the bathroom in time. For the next six hours I spent more time in the bathroom than out and, together with lack of sleep, felt totally exhausted. I stayed home and finally got back to sleep for a couple hours this morning after but then I was wide awake, though still exhausted.

I'm not sure how well I feel now. My stomach is sort of queasy but not really sick feeling and I'm very tired. I just hate having stomach flu, or whatever it was. This is the beginning of a very busy time at work and I've also worried all day about missing some meetings. It didn't help that I had to do a load of laundry since my pajamas and some other things were just nasty. Not a good day.

I did finish reading "The Global Soul" by Pico Iyer. This is such a good book and hits close to home. Iyer, of Indian ancestry, who was born in England, grew up in California, while being shipped off to school in Oxford each year, and now living in Japan talks about the many people floating between countries and part of many countries. Since I was born in Mexico and went to school in the US, this resonated with me. I've never really felt I belonged anywhere and always felt not quite a part of anywhere.

He tells of a Japanese man living in England who remembers, as a child in an English school, very carefully pronouncing his words so he wouldn't sound different. My mother told me how when she was ten and had come over from Australia, where she was born, of Scottish parents, was laughed at in school and learned to talk American so she would fit in, only to be scolded by her father for not wanting to sound Scottish.

The author takes us on a wonderful trip through LAX. where he lived for several weeks, to Hong Kong where a friend and his wife wife live in a self contained hotel and have phone bills larger than most of the world make in a year. We are taken on a tour of Atlanta and the olympics which is both inspiring and sad, and takes us through the planned multi-culturalism of Toronto and finally his experiences in Japan.

Through all these he weaves the people both insular and global. He makes us see the people who are global by choice or their parents choices and those who were flung out of various clashes and civil wars around the world. Always he talks about those who walk between cultures and countries. I felt so many times that he was talking about me.

By coincidence, in the mail today was a letter from Wycliffe about a missionary kids group and some websites including one for global nomads (http://globalnomads.association.com). They were talking about the same thing, people who as children lived in a country or countries other than their passport country. These include not only missionary kids, but military and diplomatic kids and children of businessmen who spend most of their lives overseas.

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(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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