Following Up on The "Ex-pats" of D.C. Saturday February 1, 2014

When I was a kid I grew up in the Middle east in variety of British ex-pat communes in Kuwait, UAE and Saudi Arabia. One of the things that stuck with me when I grew older, was the interesting bond and friendship that popped up around those ex-pat communities. Basically, when people (white western families) get tossed in to a foreign land, westerners will tend to rally around in a community with a bunch of other westerners that they may not have necessarily associated with if there were at home. During the early 80s, all of the families of roughnecks in the middle east would rally together around the various consulates and British/American clubs in which ever city they were in. Now, one of things my parents were always interested in, was what happened to the people after everyone left. They would always tell me of stories of the things our friends in those communities had done post “ex-pat”.

And as my wife and I round out to the second year since we left D.C., I find it funny that a similar sort of friendship is forming around the friends we made in my wife’s Conflict Analysis and Resolution program. Now obviously, Washington D.C. isn’t Kuwait and our friends there were from all over the world and different backgrounds. But a similar thing is happening around the people who had left home to take part in that program. And because of the interconnectivity of Facebook my wife and I are able to follow what our friends are doing, much more closely than my parents every were.

Now a majority of the people my studied with have dispersed from the D.C. area. Some are headed to Malta, Mozambique, and The DRC and others returned home. Some are starting families. Some are starting businesses. Some are running for office. But because of the web and our increased connectivity due to social networks, once and while we get to see some of the cool stuff that our friends are now doing… and because I felt like it I thought I’d share a couple of the most recent things that have crossed my social screen.

For example one of our friends was involved with a project in the DRC to let children colour the vehicles of War Childe.

While another has expanded his role at Voices of America Armenia.

Anyways, a long rambling story short. With all negativity that people write about social media, I thought I’d show some of the benefits. I know, my parents would have loved to have this level of connectivity across boarders in their day and frankly nothing makes me happier than seeing our friends succeed and do crazy things.

Oh and if you’re curious, of the friends my parents made in the middle east as ex-pats… a good percentage of them ended up in jail in some form or another. And if I recall correctly, one was charged with murder.

okay, well maybe my parents wouldn’t have loved to have this level of connectivity…

Categories: The-Past, the-dc, The Random

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