Friendships Abroad


I am constantly amazed at what gifts our particular lifestyle brings to us.

As I write, my daughter is laying in bed, singing Frozen theme songs and random pop music, with her Mexican friend Victoria. This is the second night in a row that they have been up way past their bedtime. And something like their fifth sleepover.

It isn’t that the girls are friends that amazes me. Kids make friends faster than you can imagine and I’ve seen my kid play in the pool with a French speaking boy in Cambodia, play nurse with stuffed animals with a Chinese speaking girl in Amsterdam, and play gymnastics with an Australian girl in Thailand (that’s a particularly funny case to remember because these two girls were so used to playing with kids whose language they didn’t speak that they didn’t even try to speak to one another, they just played. About an hour later the girls mom approached me and asked if I spoke English. I said yes and asked her if it was her daughter that mine was playing with. When she said yes, I asked if her daughter spoke English as well. The mom said yes. We walked over to tell the girls that they could actually speak to one another in English if they wanted and they laughed with us at the realization that they had spent an hour playing without talking! The girls played together for the rest of the day!).

The amazing part about Victoria and Mackenzie’s friendship is that theirs is a bilingual, bicultural friendship. The magic behind their bond is that they both know that we will be leaving Mexico soon, but their love for one another knows no fear. They will figure it out, this long distance friendship thing.

The nine year old girl culture is alive and strong in both of them. Earlier today they could be found in the playroom (that would be the room with the great big “Knock First” sign). In there they were playing with the American Girl dolls and the Monopoly game board and then the playhouse. They also filmed a movie that they themselves wrote and threw a party for themselves- complete with chips and candy and glow in the dark bracelets! There was, of course, also a fair amount of singing and crafting.

It’s been two days and nights that they have been together, and they’ve yet to tire. They are too busy making memories, building bonds, and having fun.

As I listen to them play and laugh and giggle and talk, I realize… nine year old girls know a thing or two about building strong, lasting friendships.


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2 thoughts on “Friendships Abroad

  1. I love the story about playing with the Australian in silence for an hour! Kids are great!

    Thanks for the post–we´ve got (and have had) so many friends that are here on a temporary basis, that it´s encouraging to hear from another kid who is not afraid to forge ahead–however temporary the friendship may last.

  2. That is a great story, and a lifetime full of memories for sure! Your kids are so lucky to have the opportunity to hang out with kids in so many settings, from so many cultures, all over the world! (I too love the story about the Australian fellow English speaker and the hour of silent play first – that’s a riot!)

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