Who's Who
Carol (That Yank)
Name: Carol Harper

Parent Perspective User ID: That Yank

Location: NW Ohio

Nationality: USA

E-mail address: clmharper@aol.com

Family: DH Charlie and two cats BeauJangles and Shadow

Birthday: September 28

Anniversary: June 27

What other places have you lived?: England (London); China (Beijing) and Saudi Arabia (Jubail)

Tell us about your host country? --- We are repatriated now and living in perhpas the most difficult of expat "assignments": getting used to the home country again!

Any tips for living abroad? :Lots, and I could go on for pages, so ask away and I'll try to answer.
Cheryl (casmalaysia)
Name: Cheryl Duysen
Parent Perspective User ID: casmalaysia

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Nationality: USA

E-mail address: cheryl@duysen.com

Family: DH Bruce & 3 sons: Joseph, Jay & Alec

Birthday: Sept 5, 1960

Anniversary: May 18, 1985

Favorite Expatriate websites: The Parent Perspective Expatriates
What other places have you lived? Korea, Hong Kong & various US locations.

Tell us about your host country? The most striking thing about Malaysia in comparison to other Asian countries is what a multicultural society it is, with Malays, Chinese and Indians living side by side. The Malays are the largest community. They are Muslims, speak Bahasa and are largely responsible for the political fortunes of the country. The Chinese comprise about a third of the population. They are Buddhists and Taoists, speak Hokkein, Hakka and Cantonese, and are dominant in the business community. The Indians account for about 10% of the population. They are mainly Hindu Tamils from southern India, they speak Tamil, Malayalam, and some Hindi, and live mainly in the larger towns on the west coast of the peninsula. There is also a sizeable Sikh community. Eurasians and indigenous tribes make up the remaining population. Despite Bahasa Malaysia being the official language, when members of these different communities talk to each other, they generally speak English, which was recently reinstated as the language of instruction in higher education.

Any tips for living abroad? Keep an open mind.
Debby (Debbs0612)
Name: Debby Norman

Parent Perspective User ID: Debbs0612

Location: Port Louis, Mauritius (off to London, England in March 2005)

Nationality: USA

E-mail address: danielsgirl78@hotmail.com

Family: DH Dan

Birthday: May 10th

Anniversary: November 17th

What other places have you lived?: Crystal River, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Arlington, Virginia; Manassas, Virginia

Tell us about your host country?
Mauritius is an island nation situated about 500 miles to the east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.  The population is diverse, made up of Indian, African, Chinese and European descent.  It's a fantastic place to live; the people, the beaches, and the food are incomparible, but island fever is still a worry.

Any tips for living abroad?
Expect the unexpected! 
Laura (laurasan)
Name: Laura

Parent Perspective User ID: laurasan

Location: Near Geneva

Nationality: Mexican

Family: DH Pascal

Birthday: 7 sept.

Anniversary: 14 june

What other places have you lived? Only in Switzerland

Tell us about your host country?

recommended Website : http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/index.html

Any tips for living abroad?

Do your homework (reserch all you can about the place you're going to be) but be ready to improvise. Don't assume anything. Ask lots of questions and don't be afraid to ask for help (to strangers even, if need be). Be bold and brave, or as my granny says, "don't be afraid to look like a fool because anyway no one knows you".  But take care of yourself because safety is first. Finally, Don't accumulate things, travel light. And enjoy the ride!
Janet (Loony2nz)
Name: Janet Baba

Parent Perspective User ID: loony2nz

Nationality: USA

Email addy: loony2nz5@yahoo.com

Family: dh/Ziad: Lebanese-US, four kids: Sebastian (12-09-92), Zachary (04-11-96), Yasmine ( 03-22-00) and Nadeen (12-30-02) all US

Birthday: 12-26-64

Anniversary: 11-26-88

Other places you've lived? Munich, Germany; Brussels and Mons, Belgium; Tirrenia, Italy; Haarlem and Brunssum, The Netherlands; Warsaw, Poland; Lilongwe, Malawi; Mbabane, Swaziland; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Tacoma; Washington and San Antonio, Texas...oh and University in San Diego, California (I'm trying to think if I missed any...if I did then they weren't that important!!!)

Favorite expat websites? Other than our board?!?!?!? www.expatexpert.com
Host country: Beirut, Lebanon

Taken from Lonely Planet: Lebanon (2001)

LEBANON – the biblical "land of milk and honey"

High mountains and deep valleys; minuscule binkinis and head-to-toe chadors (black covering garment); exquisite Greco-Roman ruins and war scarred high-rises; poverty and extraordinary wealth; whether it's the drama of the landscape or the powerful mixture of sects and traditions, Lebanon lives up to its tourist-brochure cliché as a land of contrasts.

Despite the 15 years of civil war and destruction; the Lebanese, famed for their commercial skill, great food and appreciation of a good party, might not be able to turn back the clock and regain their status as the Middle East's decadent commercial center overnight, but they are trying!

Geographically, Lebanon is as diverse as it is possible to imagine in one of the world's smallest countries, with an area of only 10, 452 sq km. There is a Mediterranean coast with ancient cities and very modern beaches, the soaring Mt Lebanon Range with popular ski resorts and alpine scenery, and the Bekaa Valley, an agricultural plain bound in by a second mountain range.

Culturally too there is diversity: throughout the country Christian and Islamic heritage and architecture are mixed with the remains of earlier civilizations. All the great conquering peoples of antiquity have left signs of their presence in the form of well preserved monuments. Apart from the Phoenicians, there are relics from the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Ottoman Turks, Crusaders and latterly the French, who had a mandate over Lebanon until independence in 1946.

Government powers are distributed along confessional lines: the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of the house a Shiite Muslim. The religion of the government's 30 ministers is also laid down in the constitution and must be in proportion to the size of the respective religious communities – which may explain why there hasn't been an official census since 1932. The UN estimates the population to be about 3.5 million of which half are concentrated in Beirut. An estimated 150,000 people were killed during the civil war and some 1.5 million lost their homes (a staggering number for such a small country). Lebanon has always had a high level of emigration but the war exacerbated the trend…there are now an estimated 10 million Lebanese (or of Lebanese descent) around the world. People are the country's most successful export!
Jeanine (mom22punkins)
Name: Jeanine

Parent Perspective User ID: mom22punkins

Location:Dresden, Germany

Nationality: US

E-mail address:  jeanine_herrera@hotmail.com

Family:DH (45), DS Trey (7), DD Marisa (4)

Birthday: April 25th

Anniversary: April 1st

Favorite Expatriate websites:  The Parent Perspective is IT for me....
What other places have you lived?  Texas, Niagara Falls, NY - no place outside the US

Tell us about your host country?  I like living in the former East Germany - it's really pretty in Dresden, lots of stuff to do and little towns to visit around here.  Not many people speak English, but that's been a great opportunity for me to learn German, and I'm rather proud of how far my German has come.  My kids go to the International School here, and I'm enjoying having a little time to myself for the first time since becoming a mom.

Any tips for living abroad?
1 - Try to go with as positive an attitude as possible - the experience is very much what you make of it.
2 - Try to learn some of the language if at all possible - the locals appreciate any effort you make to fit in.
3 - invest in a digital camera - makes it easier to send pictures back home.
Tina (breakaway_girl)
Name: Christine ("Tina") Rosskopf

Parent Perspective User ID: breakaway_girl

Location: Zürich, Switzerland

Nationality: U.S.

Family: DH Hannes, son Evan, another son EDD July 10th and Hana our yelllow

Birthday: November 27th

Anniversary: April 28th and September 21st (we are twice-married and
celebrate both anniversaries)

Favorite Expatriate websites:
What other places have you lived? Ohio, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles
Tell us about your host country? Switzerland is small in land mass -
equivalent to West Virginia or Wales - but is one of the wealthiest
countries in the world. Known as "the Confederation Helvetica" Swiss
government is generally "bottom-up" with much of the governing done at the
canton (roughly state) level. Switzerland has four official languages
(German, French, Italian and Romanch) and an equally diverse cultural
identity. In Zürich, where I live, the language is a German dialect and the
food tends to have German influences (lots of meat, sausage and potato
dishes). In this part of Switzerland, "warm and fuzzy" is definitely not an
expression you would use to describe the people. The Swiss are wonderful,
but they are very reserved and trying to assimilate can be a frustrating

Any tips for living abroad? Have an idea about what you want out of your
expatriate experience and have a plan for achieving those goals. Keep your
sense of humor!