“Dia de Los Muertos, Halloween Weekend, Snapshots from Scary School and Last Minute Trick-or-Treating”

It’s still Thursday, and we’re already looking forward to the weekend. Our family’s been on a roll since last Friday, with the preparations for Halloween Weekend and all that came with it!

Halloween parties at two different schools, one “scary” birthday party, and a last minute trick-or-treating that caught us by surprise on a Tuesday night (it was Halloween night, so, neighboring kids were just doing their job!) šŸ˜®

After spending the afternoon at School #1, getting ready for Halloween at School #2

[caption id="attachment_6701" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="presenting the contestants for best costume!"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_6702" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="a happy witch!"][/caption]

The (scary) seniors…

An interesting costume for a teacher/mom…

Coming directly from the Movie to School!

 

And games for the “cyber-kids”:

Weekend event #3, Saturday: Classmate’s birthday party. The theme? Guess! šŸ˜®

And wrapping it up, husband and I were caught by surprise on Tuesday evening (the 31st), by some neighboring kids, who asked to “borrow” our toddlers for some “last minute trick-or-treating”! We couldn’t say no to that! šŸ˜®

[caption id="attachment_6713" align="aligncenter" width="645" caption="gotta give them candy.. whatever you have!"][/caption]

Good bye, Joker!

It’s still Thursday, and we’re already looking forward to the weekend. Our family’s been on a roll since last Friday, with the preparations for Halloween Weekend and all that came with it!

Halloween parties at two different schools, one “scary” birthday party, and a last minute trick-or-treating that caught us by surprise on a Tuesday night (it was Halloween night, so, neighboring kids were just doing their job!) šŸ˜®

After spending the afternoon at School #1, getting ready for Halloween at School #2

presenting the contestants for best costume!

a happy witch!

The (scary) seniors…

An interesting costume for a teacher/mom…

Coming directly from the Movie to School!

 

And games for the “cyber-kids”:

Weekend event #3, Saturday: Classmate’s birthday party. The theme? Guess! šŸ˜®

And wrapping it up, husband and I were caught by surprise on Tuesday evening (the 31st), by some neighboring kids, who asked to “borrow” our toddlers for some “last minute trick-or-treating”! We couldn’t say no to that! šŸ˜®

gotta give them candy.. whatever you have!

Good bye, Joker!

“Oso pardo, oso pardo, que ves ahi?” or Thoughts on the Creative Flow of a TCK

Although we’re on family vacation (it’s October, right?!)Ā , I’d asked our kids’ teachers to give me some work sheets for their time off, in order to help them not forget about school, during their traveling days…

Ā It may sound a bit “geeky”, but hey, that’s who we are, and that’s what we believe it is the right thing to do… at least, for now… Our oldest one is 6 years old, and experiencing the challenges ofĀ  “cursive letters”. This morning I spend a few good hours with him – it’s been raining, not a lot to do outside, and before weĀ jumpedĀ into the movie-marathon mode, we did some ‘homework’ together. And, actually, itĀ turned out to beĀ fun.

After we were done, it came to me the realization of how we’re been raising our kids, immersed into hybrid cultures, always moving, always surrounded by different languages, doing homework in Portuguese, and proudly showing it to grandma, explaining her (in English) the task performed, and thanking grandpa for letting him borrow pencils and eraser, in Spanish… It sure made me stop and think: is that how it’s supposed to be? The children seem to adjust well to changes,Ā  but how far is it possible to go, without stretching it out?

That said, my intrigued soul found some very good reading, from adult TCK authors, and we’re likely to become contributors, sharing experiences and thoughts, along the way…

Here it is –Ā  interesting reading about becoming an adult third cultured,Ā still remaining your own creativeĀ person.

“Creative thought, one of the worldā€™s most valuableĀ commodities, is something that has started to become somewhat elusive as our generations have progressed. Itā€™s a principal that is born of original thought, the need to invent, and the want to produce something that others will seek value in. It has led to the development of the wheel, to the creation of the keystone arch, the sundial, the plough, the lens, the camera, the story, the song, the car, the computer, and theĀ hadronĀ collider. It has developed our species, improving our state of living and the reasons for which we live. Creativity, as a force, is what brought us from hunting with sharpened sticks to flying through space.

Yet that word, creativity, one we use so frequently for so many things, holds a weight to Third Culture Kids thatā€™s only outmatched by the word ā€œculture.ā€ Of course, if you were to look a little closer, to really examine the core concepts of both those words and the implications that each of them posses, you would find that not only are they connected, but they are almostĀ inseparable.

Being creatures of culture, TCKs posses that natural ability to rapidly evolve their cultural standpoint based on the community that surrounds them. We have a way about us, one that does not allow for us to be considered the same as those we interact with, but instead allows us to be accepted by them. We can see what others cannot, can move in circles where others would be outcasts. We view culture not as aĀ boundary, but as a gateway into the heart of the world.

As TCKs, we do it subconsciously, unaware that we are behaving this way but aware of our talents and our ability to meld into something new. We missed it as we grew up, took it for granted as children while we hopped from place to place, but since we have matured and grown and become the Adult Third Culture Kids we are now, we have seen howĀ naturallyĀ these behaviours are to us by watching how impossible they are for our First Culture Kid friends.

The question that remains, however, is what power does creativity have in the hands of a TCK? Creativity is a mental state thatā€™s not accessible by everyone. Itā€™s a unique problem solving technique for an extremely unique type of problem. Humanity is hard-wired to only understand patterns. For example 1+1=2 because every time you take the number one and add another number one, you always end up with two. Why? Because it always happens, and it happens because thatā€™s just the law ofĀ mathematics. Creatives, however, push the bounds of that human limitation. We accept the laws because they are there, but we believe in that off-chance that maybe, just maybe, by some freak possibility or coincidence, the next time I take one apple and add another apple to it, a third apple will spring into existence and Iā€™ll have three apples. We know itā€™s foolish, we know that based on the laws of mathematics and the physical restrictions of our universe itā€™s impossible. But we hope for the alternative.

This constant longing for the middle ground between impossible and spectacular is a trait that we incorporate into our regularlyĀ occurringĀ existence. Thereā€™s no denying the fact that we, as TCKs, do not have a cultural home, possess no country in which we can return to, and have no place on this planet that we truly fit into. We are trapped outside the realm of normal human interaction, completely incapable of returning to a community or culture that is truly our own. So instead, we have turned to creativity.

Through creativity, TCKs have built-up groups of people, from friends to colleagues, that are so strong and so interwoven into our lives that they have become our own little cultural home. We have selected them for their differences, for the ways in which they can help better our lives and the lives of those around them. We have selected them for their value, for their desire to improve upon a situation and the relentless need to always take that next great step. We have created a culture of people who will stop at nothing to change the world.

So when you are next asked what it means to be a TCK, answer in whichever way you believe best resolves an impossible question. But know that if you and I are ever fortunate enough to meet, and you ask that question to me, I will simply smile and say the following:

It means that one day, with the help of everyone else, one plus one will equal three.”

“I love you dad!”: Schools in Brazil celebrate Father’s Day

This past weekend, schools in Brazil found their way to honor and celebrate fatherhood, offering activities for the whole family, sports games, craft projects…Ā you name it!

It’s a national celebration, honored by public and private schools throughout the country, famous or unknown school groups; simple or modern academies; sophisticated or just a room in a house where a teacher shares her experiences with the students – in some way, fathers were remembered during the second week of August. It’s a tradition. There are a few exceptions – some schools choose not to do anything, for different reasons, leaving the few parents a bit disappointed and somewhat frustrated, but it’s just a small portion… The majority of the schools open their doors to happy and proud dads, guaranteeing that at least once a year, they will be able to share the joy with their ‘offspring‘, saying: “I’m his/her father. I’m a school dad”…

I’m now sharing a few images from this past weekend’s school activities – the American School of Recife offered a breakfast for the dads (and moms!), followed by an Open House. Our kids’ school had a full Saturday of activities, shown below. It was great to share the experience with other parents, nationals or expats. First-time parents or skilled ones; single dads, grandpas, godparents, older siblings… All in all, a very happy Brazilian Father’s Day