This is me…

Over on Instagram (@AmidreamEU), Christina Kapaun @southboundstories  and Annyka Overton @chameleoncoaching created a series of writing prompts (#virtualcampfire2021) for ex-pats to share over the course of November. I am a bit of a sucker for a community-minded activity and for writing prompts, so I decided to participate.

So, this is me. Hello!

👩🏻 My name is Christina. I am originally from the NW of the USA, Oregon all the way. I am the person behind the @amidreameu Instagram account.

👩🏻‍🏫 I’m an English teacher (EAP, business, & everyday English) and intercultural trainer. I generally like exploring and learning new things from & about people. I tell my students that I learn from them & enjoy it because I genuinely do. I see teaching & training as a collaborative experience.

🗺 Growing up my mother showed me that exploring locally could be a real gem. My first wider-world trip was across the country to NYC, where I clearly left part of my heart. Little did I know then that it would ignite a fire that would fuel me around the world. Since then, I’ve lived & studied in London, worked and traveled around Australia, & worked in South Korea.

🇩🇪 Somehow, I landed in my little corner of Germany, in Rheinland-Pfalz. What was supposed to be a year-long teaching exchange has turned into a years-long experiment that now involves a British-American husband and a TKC.

📚I’ve always been a storyteller, but I’ve not always told great stories. It seems many people want to have the rights to your story, when it’s not theirs to tell, especially when they only know a page or two, or even worse – someone else’s cliff-notes version. So, part of what I’m doing now is figuring out how to tell my story while also helping others to define & tell theirs.

📺 Part of this is through my work as a teacher & intercultural trainer, but also as ½ of @MC_Culture_Consult which is a podcast/YouTube channel, & blogging:

@southboundstories and @chameleoncoaching lit the match to this fire, but I’d also like to thank Allison Iurato @allisoniurato and Vanessa Paisley @paisleycommunication for the inspiration to post.

Over to You

So, what is your story, and who will tell it, You? Tell me who you are in the comments.

Celebrating Easter, 2021

An Easter egg tree, which we have seen more often over the years here.

I am not religious, but I married someone who is, having grown up catholic and I now live in a part of Germany that is traditionally very Christian. Most of the public holidays in Germany are based on religious beliefs. Some more than others, depending on the area or state.

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Using the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity to understand the United States

Photo by Andrew Neel on

Here I attempt to relate what I have learned about the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity, with each of its stages, to the current political (and social) events in the United States.

What, what, and huh?

Let me explain…

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Erik Singer may just be a linguistic national treasure

The ins and outs of how to linguistically reproduce the sounds of native speakers is beyond me. This is why I do not and probably will not ever teach phonetics.

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Under construction

Photo by Fernando Arcos on

I have been writing new content, but just as importantly, I have been going back through old posts and deleting dead links or images and attempting to clean up the content a bit without really changing the messages.

I have considered deleting some content as well, but this has been my baby and I have kept it all these years without posting much simply for that reason. It is my electronic baby.

It has grown as I have grown.

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Close to home

Photo by Trevor Adams on

It is 2021, the United States has a new president and a huge swath of the American people believe that new president was elected nefariously.


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Was it all just a dream?

I know, I was missing.

But, I am here now.

Life is what happens and you lose track of everything because…

Too bad this isn’t the season finale of some beloved 80s sit-com where we find out this last season was all the main character’s fever dream.

It wasn’t and it still isn’t.

So, what the heck happened?!

Well, you know, right?


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Do you live in an Expat bubble?

To be fair, it is easy if you do happen to live in a little expat bubble. I call our home ‘The American Sector’, because it is just that –  a little bubble of American culture and the English language amid an entire nation auf Deutsch!

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November 11th

Geert Hofstede defines culture as ” the collective programming of the  mind which distinguishes the members of one category of people from another”, these categories can include one or more of the following: a nation, a region, ethnic group, gender group, generational group, social class, profession or occupational group, a type of business, work or organization group, or family. (Hofstede, 1994)

Culture is further classified into four different realms or elements: symbols, heroes, rituals and values. “Symbols are words, objects and gestures which derive their meaning from convention. […] Heroes are real or imaginary people, dead or alive, who serve as models for behaviour within a culture. […]Rituals are collective activities that are technically superfluous (unnecessary, redundant, unneeded) but, within a particular culture, social essential. […] Values represent the deepest level of a culture. They are broad feelings, often unconscious and not open to discussion, about what is good and what is bad, clean or dirty, beautiful or ugly, rational or irrational, normal or abnormal…These feelings are present in the majority of the members of the culture, or at least in those persons who occupy pivotal positions.” (Hofstede, 1994)

As Expats, we then have a choice to either adopt or ignore that which is not our first culture. To explore and adapt or disregard the second culture. If we as individuals, families, or other collective units determine that the various elements of culture are worthy of exploration and experience then, we, either as the singular or collective unit can create a third culture amalgamating our original, first culture with that second culture in which we live.

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How to move to Germany, part 3: The First Step…

The United States just had an election, in which the Republican nominee Donald Trump earned 279 electoral votes over the Democratic nominee, Hilary Clinton’s 228 electoral votes. 

Continue reading “How to move to Germany, part 3: The First Step…”