I still feel the thrill of recently receiving a David Pollock scholarship for contribution and dedication to global families that allowed me to attend the 2017 Families in Global Transition (F.I.G.T.) conference at The Hague. It was a pleasure to be in the company of fellow scholars Guleraana Mir, John Barclay and Erin Sinogba and learn about their respective efforts with global families. Jody Tangredi, Scholarship Chair, did a stellar job organising our participation.
I caught up with two of the co-authors of http://www.slurpingsoup.com/ for third culture kids in transition. It has been six years since I saw my dear friend Barbara Menezes who attended our book signings although was not able to attend the conference this year. We received very positive feedback about how useful ‘Slurping Soup’ is as a family resource.
In addition, it was a delight to catch up with Maryam Afnan Ahmad and attend her thoughtful presentation on Muslim Expats. She is clearly a great asset to the F.I.G.T. organisation.
Naomi Hathaway’s presentation was inspiring. Last year I joined her ‘I Am A Triangle’ Facebook group for those who have lived in various cultures but it did not occur to me that she would be at the F.I.G.T. conference so it was great to meet her in person and connect those dots.
I have worked as a family counsellor for more than 2 decades in global communities. In my recent presentations at family therapy conferences in the U.S.A. and Australia, my focus has been to raise awareness of serious problems for global families. This includes relationship breakdown and the practical and emotional impact; especially on women and children when this occurs outside the passport country. I am extremely proud my work has been acknowledged through the F.I.G.T. award.
And finally, at the conference, it was a privilege to meet Ruth Van Reken, founding Mum of F.I.G.T. She and other founders created a wonderful forum where global citizens can gather and share research in the field. The conference felt like a kind of coming home, a place of acceptance and comfort which I believe David Pollock aptly described as ‘a reunion of strangers’.