Intercultural Communications as Antidote to “What Do You Do” Courtesy Nod

I was at a dinner party the other night, and I found myself leaning in when the gentlemen with whom I was speaking said he did “communications infrastructure” for a living.  It’s one of those terms that you kind of know what it means, but not really.  You know it’s really important and helps the…

First Steps to Cultural Understanding for US Teens

That’s Grace and Nicole.  Two teenagers enjoying an outing together.  Except that Grace is from Nicaragua, and Nicole is from Wisconsin.  The two met through the Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas Youth Ambassadors Program. “The Youth Ambassadors program, begun in 2002, brings outstanding public high school students from across Latin America to the United States…

Would you go on a multicultural family ‘play date’?

First off, I have to tell you my husband HATES the word “play date.”  In the olden days (both in the US and Brazil) you just went outside and whoever else was out, that was who you played with.  But in today’s world of single parents, two working parents, carefully orchestrated schedules and a good…

10 Things to Help You in Sao Paulo, Brazil (or a country other than your own)

 My son Dillon and I find ourselves unexpectedly in Brazil.  Here is our list, created jointly, of 10 things to adapt more easily to another country: Ask questions.  Dillon asks in English, he gets responses in Portuguese-not sure how it works, but accompanied by pointing and context, it does seem to work! Meet a guy…

Intercultural Bridges: Explaining the Chinese New Year In English to Lithuanians

 I took Dillon and one of his classmates to the Chinese New Year parade in Chicago’s Chinatown yesterday.  You have to love culture in an urban environment:  there were dragons and lion dancers and colorful floats from various Asian-American Chambers of Commerce, but also the Irish Shamrock Rovers and marching bands and drill teams from…

Help Connect the Dots Between School and Presidency: Help Damon Weaver Get His Interview

The Huffington Post has taken up the cause of 10 year old Damon Weaver, reporter for the Kathryn E. Cunningham Canal Point Elementary school TV station,  to get a one-on-one interview with President Obama.   As his story continues to grow, he did get credentials to cover the Inauguration.  Dwayne Wade also has offered to play…

Using Your Midlife Crisis as a Catalyst for Intercultural Parenting

 According to psychologytoday.com, a mid-life crisis can hit around age 40, plus or minus 20 years, and can include “questioning decisions made years earlier and the meaning of life.”  However, in the words of English novelist George Eliot (aka Mary Anne Evans), “It is never too late to be what you might have been.”  As…