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Family Travel Photo-Spain

January 20, 2009

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In a tiny 15th century village in Spain where Jews, Muslims and Christians lived side by side in peace for 800 years, our 8 year old watched America's first multi-cultural, mixed-race President's Inauguration. We watched it live from the BBC on our SkyTV right in our home here as fireworks exploded outside to emphasize this historic day that the Spanish press called "¡Una Nueva Era!".

(The fireworks were for Saint Sebastian Day, but Spaniards were happy that Bush is out and Obama is in and so are we!). We don't think Obama is a perfect candidate and hope he listens some to Ron Paul and others. I don't think it is ever easy to be president and today may be the worse time in history, but some how Obama gives us hope and the world needs hope, now more than ever. We also need a uniter.

We really never watch our TV here, but were so glad that we had it today. We feel our country has been badly hurt by the last eight years and hope to see a real change. Obama has a powerful image and voice and just that can be an instrument of change. It was a perfect day for a social studies lesson for Mozart!

They do call Obama, America's first African American President and indeed he is that and that is a fantastic thing, but I think his multi-culturalism is more significant. I find it interesting that many in his cabinent grew up overseas like he did, as studies show this kind of childhood tends to bring a different way of perceiving the world, so says
Ruth E. Van Reken. These things interest me, because we are raising our child in such a manner by traveling the world on an open ended world tour.

"According to a body of sociological literature devoted to children who spend a portion of their developmental years outside their “passport country,” the classic profile of a “TCK” is someone with a global perspective who is socially adaptable and intellectually flexible. He or she is quick to think outside the box and can appreciate and reconcile different points of view. Beyond whatever diversity in background or appearance a TCK may bring to the party, there is a diversity of thought as well."

We called home and talked with friends on twitter and felt very much part of this special day. I cried when Aretha sang America and when Perlman and Yoyo Ma and friends played their sweet song demonstrating the many hues within our country, blessed with magnificent creativity. We felt so proud to be American and we pray for Obama, our country and the world as we all walk together though these tumultuous   times.

"America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace"
President Barack Obama

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Sarah Morgan

What's a TCK?

Nathan Davies

A great post and some good comment on the hope that Obama brings. I think he does have a different way of viewing the world - more united and much less 'us and them'.
Thanks for another great post

Soultravelers3

@Sarah So glad to see you here & I really am trying to get back to you via email still...ah time. ;) TCK stands for third culture kid..one raised outside of ones passport country. Most of the research on that was done in the 50's & I think today's internet makes it a much less isolating experience, but I do think many of the positives remain, but few of the negatives. Today one can immerse deeply in a new culture while staying connected easily with your home culture.

Thanks @Nathan I love how Obama unites & see such a difference in his gracious approach compared to Bush. I also think in these time periods of history, the masses need a strong image & good speaker. Just his mixed race self & demeanor gives the world a whole new view of America.

Sandra Foyt

You bring an interesting perspective to Obama watch. I hadn't thought about the multi-cultural aspect, nor heard about TCK.

Since I'm the epitome of TCK, I now have a new way of looking at my life as well as domestic and international politics.

That's a lot to take in this morning!

Millionaire Mommy Next Door

Your daughter is fortunate to be raised with such a multi-cultural experience.

I told my 3.5 yr old Chinese-American (adopted) daughter yesterday that Obama was the first American with dark skin to be President. She then looked down at her arm and mine and said, "My skin looks yellow and yours looks pink. Can we be Presidents, too?"

I replied, "Yes, no matter the color of our skin, we can become anything we set our minds to be. We are all the same color inside."

I am so thankful that my daughter is growing up with Obama and his family as proof-positive that anything is possible.

rich whitaker

great post... I agree that Obama's cross cultural understanding is significant.

Soultravelers3

@Sandra Foyt- Cool! I knew there was a reason why I liked your thinking! ;)

@Millionaire Mommy Next Door- I understand & agree completely. I loved that quote from your daughter!

@Travel'n On Radio Show - Thanks! I look forward to being on your show!

@Rich whitaker- Thanks, I really enjoyed your post on the same topic. Great minds think alike. ;) I think his experiences ( especially in Indonesia as a child & the only foreigner and only African American had a huge impact).

Karen (KayKay)

I think that as the entire world becomes closer that being raised as a TCK will be a wonderful advantage in life. You are all lucky - especially your daughter. Inauguration day was pretty exciting. Everyone I knew was glued to the coverage even if Obama hadn't been their candidate. There was definitely a sense of - I don't know - pride isn't exactly the right word, but it comes close, pride, hope, fear, joy, excitement all rolled into a very satisfying feeling.

Paulette Bethel

Thanks for a wonderful post. I strongly believe that due to his multicultural "patchwork" background, both in terms of race and ethnicity, but also coming from the experience of diversity within in extended family and though his early years spent living and traveling abroad will serve our country and our globe in ways that we have only just begun to witness.

His election, I believe, will inspire children from all kinds of backgrounds to know that the sky's the limit for their life’s aspiration.

jamie

School kids everywhere tuned in (it was early here on the west coast), which was cool. Mine are 6 and 9...I wonder how much they'll remember?

Lifecruiser

Great post and thinking. I almost wish that I'd been an TCK. We do have lots of immigrants here in Sweden, but that's not quite the same as seeing people and their cultures in their own home countries.

Well, I'm doing my best to compensate that now instead! *giggles*

Jen @Heading North after Naptime

Very cool that you were able to check it out where you are. It is a piece of history no matter who would have taken over the presidency...a new president (we don't see those every month!), woman vice president running, first woman with a fighting chance for presidency candidate, first African American president, first time in a while we have had wee ones in the White House (and how cute are they?!), first one in a while that has been on the young side...the list goes on...it is history in the making no matter how you look at it!

Brenna Gibson Redpath

What a wonderful way to bring in a new era! A global perspective is what America needs right now.
We are so happy that you found our site and grateful for your encouraging words. We are also happy to have found YOURS! We leave sometime this summer, and the (loose) plan is to start in Serbia. Maybe we can all hook up somewhere in Europe. Our children are 7 and 10, and home-schooled, and will continue to home-school as we travel.
Best,
Brenna Gibson Redpath

Dominique

Your posts always make me wish I had more travel experiences (especially outside of North America) in life.
My blog really is an attempt to make the best of blooming where I'm planted at this point, and enjoying as many diverse experiences within my own region as I can now. Meanwhile, I enjoy the vicarious thrill of wider travel with folks like y'all!

I'll be interested to see how the U.S. image as a country changes (or doesn't) over time with a new administration. There is a definite sense of hope turning this new page seems to bring everyone right now...and right now, we could use all the hope we can get :)

Liz

It's great what you are doing. I think exposure to different cultures and languages is a huge benefit, for exactly the reasons you wrote here. Even more so for children.

I'm glad Spain was celebrating with you!

jen

Hey, I've just read some of your posts for the first time and I'm really impressed. I know more families probably take to travelling than you hear of but the fact that you have raised such an incredible little girl whilst showing her the world is quite inspirational! Hats off to you! I hope to read more soon! Best wishes x

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