Image credit: women-unlimited.co.uk

By Wayne Russell

I grew up in Apartheid South Africa, obtained my higher education in Capitalist U.S.A. and will again educate in Communist China.

With our move to China, it is becoming evident that three countries have become pivotal in the shaping of my worldview. 18 years in South Africa, 12 years in the U.S., two years and counting in China.  Three very different countries and cultures that continue to influence how I view the world and the people in it.

This will be the first time that we as a family unit will be living outside of Texas.  Although Misty has spent 20+ weeks in South Africa over the past six years, and Livia has crossed the Atlantic ocean two times already, this is the first time we will be relocating abroad.  We will no longer be in overseas vacation-mode. Together, we will have to move through the four stages of culture shock.  We cannot live like we will only be overseas for a few weeks.  We will truly discover how to do life in a foreign land as a family.

If triple-citizenship was allowed, our family would probably one day carry three passports: U.S.A., South Africa, and China.  I recently obtained my U.S. citizenship and am absolutely enjoying it.  Being more involved in the fabric of society by practices like voting is educating me what it truly means to be a citizen of a country.  Although I don't see myself voting in a Chinese election any time soon, for multiple reasons, I do see myself being actively involved in a Chinese society.  What does being a citizen in China mean?  This is something that I didn't really reflect upon when I first lived there.  I hope to consider this question more this time in China.

What does the future hold?  Great opportunities.  The challenge is knowing which opportunities to whole-heartily pursue and which to place to the side, at least temporarily.