Ruth Van Reken
Writer, Speaker, Consultant
Because the world is becoming increasingly complex, it seems time to have the discussion of how a cross-cultural childhood—for ANY reason—along with the mobility inherent in our world is affecting children of many backgrounds.
Our research is just beginning but we are delighted to have the conversation start. We know there is much wisdom from many of you “out there” and hope you will join us in this dialog.
Hi, I'm Ruth Van Reken. As a citizen of the USA raised for thirteen years in Nigeria, I’m an adult Third Culture Kid (TCK) — that is, I, like many others, was raised for a significant portion of my childhood outside my parents’ culture. My father, children, and first grandchild are TCKs as well.
Scott Gration’s memoir, Flight Path: Son of Africa to Warrior-Diplomat, is a fascinating book. A retired U.S. Air Force Major General and the former U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Scott is also a Third Culture Kid (TCK). His TCK experiences began in 1953 when Scott’s parents went to Belgian Congo as missionary teachers—he was eighteen months old. His memoir details going to boarding school at the age of seven, escaping the 1964 Congo rebellion as a refugee, and being inducted into the Masai tribe in Kenya. Scott then recounts some of the difficulties he encountered during his move back to the United States and the transition back into his parent’s culture.