What is Network?

The truth is there is no simple or short answer to the question "What is Network?"

We are all individuals with unique lives and experiences who share one common thread... we've chosen to live our lives abroad. From our diverse points of view, we come together on this common ground and make friendships and connections that might never have existed in our home countries. Network is special, it is a reflection of all of us and it represents something different to each of us. When the question was posed to members, the answers were so varied and personal it became clear that the only accurate way to describe Network would be from every point of view. So... in the voices of our members, this is Network:

Excerpt from Denise Smith Brunetti's What is Network (revisited)

Albert Einstein wrote that human beings are part of a whole and that experiencing our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest is “a kind of optical illusion of consciousness”. He urged us to free ourselves from the prison of that delusion by “widening the circle of understanding and compassion.” I venture to propose that Network is just that: a vehicle for freeing ourselves from the illusion of separateness, from the illusion of a single identity like “American” or “expat”. We arrive feeling our differences strongly, perhaps speaking little Italian or knowing no one. Gradually we embrace our new home, trying to ground ourselves in our new world without renouncing our old one. The friendships we form through Network both allow us to better understand our new culture and to maintain our old one, which in a way means giving up both in favour of a wider “circle of understanding and compassion.” It forms a true network of ties across cultures. And, as the grown children of more than one baby group have proven, across time and generations as well.


Plugging into Network

I've always thought of Network as a place to speak and consult in the old mother tongue similar to what dreams do for your psyche - they filter at night the problems of the day so in the morning you hopefully wake up rested. Occasionally you just need to hark back to familiar spontaneous speaking, joking or kvetching to recharge the batteries. Of course the Network speakers and food are incredible. But for me Network is the break in the routine, a laugh, and once in a while a complaint about the needy adolescent or the bad day because I woke up on the wrong side of the bed! I just think Network's premise is very basic - like eating fruit and vegetables everyday. Having a community to relate to keeps me grounded! Happy Anniversary Network, you're doing the right thing in my book!









"We came. We saw. We Networked"