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Susanna Perkins

Expat Focus Columnists

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Susanna Perkins

Susanna Perkins

The Culture Shock Of Repatriation To The USA

by Susanna Perkins, Saturday September 20, 2014 (07:52:26)   (79 Reads)
Susanna Perkins
“Repatriation is a bitch,” I’d been warned. Somehow I suspected it might be.

After two and a half years in Las Tablas, Panama, my husband and I and our two dogs arrived back in the US. It wasn’t something we really planned on doing, but some opportunities opened up, the stars aligned, and here we are.

We’re in South Carolina. It’s our first experience living in the “real” South. (Florida isn’t the “South” in any meaningful way, it’s only “south” because of an accident of geography.)

In some odd ways, our time in Panama was good preparation for what we’re finding here.   more ...

Susanna Perkins

Susanna Perkins

The Culture Shock Of Repatriation

by Susanna Perkins, Saturday September 20, 2014 (07:51:59)   (47 Reads)
“Repatriation is a bitch,” I’d been warned. Somehow I suspected it might be.

After two and a half years in Las Tablas, Panama, my husband and I and our two dogs arrived back in the US. It wasn’t something we really planned on doing, but some opportunities opened up, the stars aligned, and here we are.

We’re in South Carolina. It’s our first experience living in the “real” South. (Florida isn’t the “South” in any meaningful way, it’s only “south” because of an accident of geography.)

In some odd ways, our time in Panama was good preparation for what we’re finding here.   more ...

Toni Hargis

Toni Hargis

The Special Relationship

by Toni Hargis, Tuesday September 16, 2014 (22:50:09)   (239 Reads)
Toni Hargis
At some point during World War 2, the United Kingdom and the United States of America put aside their previous military differences and announced that theirs was a “special relationship”. In truth it’s been a rather tortuous rivalry ever since they first chucked our tea overboard, but what the heck; let bygones be bygones. Only recently we saw Hillary Clinton (as Secretary of State) pointing out that the relationship “stands the test of time”, even though said “time” has only been a matter of decades. Now, various polls show that a majority of Brits think the USA is quite good, and Americans return the compliment with similar, positive numbers.   more ...

Marla Sink Druzgal

Marla Sink Druzgal

There Is No Man In The Moon In South Africa

by Marla Sink Druzgal, Tuesday September 16, 2014 (14:09:55)   (728 Reads)
Marla Sink Druzgal
2014 saw its final supermoon of the year. A “supermoon” of course, is when a full moon, or new moon, happens at the same time the moon is closest to earth during its orbit, appearing so large it can seem as though it sits on the horizon. It’s simply mesmerizing when you have a clear view.

Pretoria affords that view consistently. Before moving here I never saw so much of the night sky. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is not far behind the infamous Seattle, Washington in number of overcast days per year. My home there is beautiful with its changing seasons and green on green rolling hills, but skygazers like me had to hold our breath for a chance at a clear sky. We learned to find our passion in enjoying the way all those clouds cast an eerie glow on the night of a harvest supermoon.   more ...

Victoria Twead

Victoria Twead

Tales from a Spanish Village: Two Old Fools And Wildlife Photos

by Victoria Twead, Monday September 15, 2014 (22:11:29)   (338 Reads)
Victoria Twead
After 10 years in our Spanish mountain village, we know what to expect in summer. The village fills up with people we haven't seen for a year as families arrive to escape the heat of the cities. Children, a foot taller than last year, run wild in the streets and the jasmine-scented air is heavy with the sound of our neighbours' guitar music.

In summer, the swallows wheel high overhead, snatching insects on the wing. House martins return to claim and refurbish the nests under the eaves that they use every year.

This year has been slightly different, and we don't know why. The swallows arrived, but there were far fewer than previous years, and our house martin pair never showed up at all.   more ...

June Finnigan

June Finnigan

A Month In The Life Of An English Writer In Tuscany - August Reflections

by June Finnigan, Monday September 15, 2014 (21:23:45)   (186 Reads)
June Finnigan
The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat.

Benvenuto to all my Loyal and New Followers

Here in Beautiful Tuscany, August is the month for winding down a bit. Nevertheless, it remains busy from a tourist point of view, despite the fact that eighty percent of shops, restaurants and café bars are closed as the owners disappear off to Il Mare (the seaside) or the mountains. It’s a peculiar thing, Italians never think to take advantage of the potential trade as they are too driven by tradition, and in August off they go again. It is particularly evident once Ferragosta begins on the fifteenth, the celebration of the summer’s toil before the Vendemia (grape harvest).   more ...

James King

James King

South Africa Diaries: PART 3 – Launching the Transkei Lottery [Dec 1990]

by James King, Monday September 15, 2014 (18:55:03)   (209 Reads)
James King
Score-a-lot

Mvezo village, Umtata, is the birthplace of Nelson Mandela who was only released from prison in February 1990. Nine months later the main square in the centre of Umtata had been decked out with gazebos, a massive stage had been erected, loads of bunting and enough plastic chairs to seat the nation were in place. This was a big occasion and there was feverish excitement over the launch of the Transkei lottery ‘SCORE-A-LOT’. Hundreds of black and white footballs, the Score-a-lot signature, were placed around the square ready for the ‘kick-off’.   more ...

Helen Aurelius Haddock

Helen Aurelius Haddock

When Living The Dream Needs A Helpx Hand

by Helen Aurelius Haddock, Thursday September 11, 2014 (15:09:29)   (2006 Reads)
Helen Aurelius Haddock
I moved to France over ten years ago, as part of the burgeoning army of those who wanted to set up home in a country where we had spent many wonderful holidays. I came with my eleven year old daughter, with my husband doing a weekly commute to London , and my elder daughter studying at university. We had a lovely new home, projects a-plenty, paid work and a wonderful lifestyle.

What could possibly go wrong?

Simply put, six years ago I was diagnosed with a genetic condition called Hemochromatosis.   more ...

Cary L-D

Cary L-D

Studying Abroad: How To Apply To Universities In The UK

by Cary L-D, Monday September 08, 2014 (21:48:47)   (586 Reads)
Cary L-D
Having studied in England myself and wholly enjoyed the experience, I would like to share how one applies to the universities and colleges in GB as a foreigner with you. Many people are daunted by doing their whole degree abroad purely by the fact that the application procedures are different from home, and stick to the limited opportunities on offer, that center mostly around spending a few months to a year abroad. Also a good option, but I would like to take away some of the stigma of studying abroad completely, and maybe some of you, or your kids will find the information useful.   more ...

Diane Lemieux

Diane Lemieux

It’s All About The People

by Diane Lemieux, Monday September 08, 2014 (14:15:05)   (836 Reads)
Diane Lemieux
You can go to the best party in the world, with your favourite music, the most succulent food in the most amazing venue, and still have a terrible time – if you are alone, for instance, or you have a fight with the person you are with. This is because the quality of our experience and the memory of any moment are shaped mainly by the people we share these events with. For example, I came back totally invigorated from a work-related dinner party that I was dreading the other night because of one inspirational conversation I had with a person I met that evening.   more ...

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