‘The Expats’ By Chris Pavone

20th September 2013

I love reading. I always have. Its our escape from responsibilities and the many hats we wear – its a journey into other worlds and eras that we would otherwise never visit. Sometimes a phrase, a page, a scene can touch us in a surprising way – often because we recognise ourselves in the characters.

This is what happened to me as I was reading this book ‘The Expats’ by Chris Pavone. Its a scene on page 218-9, so familiar to many of us international parents – two mums with their kids at the playground in a foreign country:
“A small boy falls off the pirate ship and is lying on the pebble-covered ground, blood pouring out of a gash on the top of his head. Claire, his mum, dabs and wraps her cashmere scarf on her son’s head, trying to stop the bleeding. ‘I suspect we’ll be a few hours a the clinique pediatrique’ she says to her friend, Kate – the type of ordeal that she most dreaded: a child’s health was at stake, urgently, here, in a foreign land and a foreign language, alone.”

I know what this feels like, as a mother in a foreign land. And it was these feelings and empathy for other parents and carers in Switzerland that prompted me to start our HealthFirst First Aid Courses five years ago, in native English, so you will always be prepared, practised, skilled and never feel quite as alone as Claire felt in this book.

If this post has touched you, please come on one of our First Aid Courses to be reassured and educated in a small friendly group amongst other mums, dads and nannies who feel just like you.

Our next two are in Nyon on 1st October and Geneva on 6th October 2013. We look forward to welcoming you.

Please share this post – help us reach others in our community. It may be one of them who helps you or your child one day.

For more details about these upcoming courses, click here

Written by Dr Penny Fraser


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