Moving into Mystery, Moving to Somalia

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Moving into Mystery, Moving to Somalia

somalilandQuick link: When Letting Go Means Leaning into Mystery

Today I’m writing at Babble about when we moved to Somaliland in 2003. I have to say this post was hard to write. Emotionally challenging, to dig back all these layers of years and try to remember what it was like in the very beginning.

The year I moved to Somaliland from the Midwest was the year a long and painful process of letting gobegan. I let go all-of-a-sudden, the immediate abandonment of everything comfortable and familiar within the space of a 30-hour airplane flight. I am still letting go, more of a slipping and grasping, as over the last eleven years the full impact of that initial release sinks deeper.

I knew letting go with this drastic of a move would require changing many surface things – the way I dressed and spoke and spent my holidays. But I didn’t realize how those surface things are rooted deep, connected to my sense of identity, the way I viewed people in the developing world, my values, even my sense of humor. I didn’t realize that letting go of what I knew, to embrace mystery would happen every single day and that it would change me to the core.

I write about what I think faith is for, about the wild and terrifying expatriate life we’ve been trying to live for eleven years now, about the things I lost and the things I learned.

Click here to read the rest: When Letting Go Means Leaning into Mystery

By |January 15th, 2014|Categories: africa, Expat Thoughts, Faith|Tags: , |7 Comments


  1. Betsy January 15, 2014 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Thanks for this. I can especially concur with the notion that stripping and breaking are a necessity, even though I am only 4 years into this expat lifestyle. May the breaking be for our ultimate good. I look forward to the next part in the series.

    • Rachel Pieh Jones January 15, 2014 at 3:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks Betsy. Now I have to get work on that other piece! And yes, may it be for our good, always.

  2. Jeanine January 15, 2014 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    What a wonderful, poetic and so inspiring essay.

  3. Sara January 16, 2014 at 4:56 am - Reply

    I just wanted to say that I have discovered your website recently and I am loving it. As a young Canadian it’s wonderful to learn about what it’s like outside of what I’ve grown up in without the many shades of media colouring it. We might be on opposite sides of the world, but some of what you have to say is certainly changing the way people here live too!

    • Rachel Pieh Jones January 16, 2014 at 5:29 am - Reply

      Thanks Sara. I love this about the internet – connecting across the globe.

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