DAILY DOSE OF ART

As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

Family on the Move 5: Christine Rola Biskaduros and Family

Today we conclude our Family on the Move series with a meet up with Christine Biskaduros in Paris (not in *Ontario – but France, hahaha). Christine shares her experience and advice on how you and your family can thrive and be happy wherever life (or work) takes you.

Name: Christine Rola Biskaduros
Home Country: USA/ Philippines
Current Country of Residence: France

photo

Christine and Matt’s journey together
all started in NEW ORLEANS
where they first met.
Photo taken during Mardi Gras

DDoA: Why is your family constantly moving?
CRB: We move because of my husband’s job. Matt works for a Swiss elevator company.

DDoA: How many times have you moved already?
CRB: Myself, before I met my husband, four times. Manila to Cebu (in the Philippines) when I was 9.  My first move to the US was to Baton Rouge, Louisiana as a Physical Therapist in my 20’s; followed by a traveling stint for the different Rehabilitation Centers around Louisiana, where I lived in Alexandria (1 yr) and New Orleans (2yrs). Shortly after, I met my husband who himself had just moved from Boston. We had our daughter Adrienne there and after a total time of almost 8 years in New Orleans, we moved to Tampa, Florida.  Our son Ethan was then born and after just short of 4 yrs, we moved to Johannesburg, South Africa  (living there 3 yrs and 6 months). Now, we are currently in Paris, France in our 4th year!

DDoA: TIPS: Before leaving current country:
CRB: Do what the locals do and try to see and experience what the place has to offer.  And when you have to move again, make sure you hire a great relocation company.

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The Biskaduros kids: Adrienne & Ethan
with the iconic Table Mountain
in the background,
one of the new 7Wonders of Nature
Cape Town, South Africa

DDoA: TIPS: Upon arriving at new country:
CRB: Rent a place for about a month to acquaint yourself with the area and to help you decide where you want to establish your new home for the next few years.

DDoA: SURVIVAL TIPS: -What to bring and not to bring:
CRB: I have learned to substitute, adjust and use what the host country has to offer.  My first, was making pumpkin pie for our little thanksgiving celebration.  I had to make it from scratch since I could not find canned pureed pumpkin in South Africa, and it actually tasted better!  I have learned to keep our family traditions going to provide some consistency and some kind of grounding for the family.

  • Explaining to children about the move:  We don’t discuss anything with them until the next move is confirmed!  We then explain it to them that this is our life and home is where our family is. It is tough on them and for us; but kids are resilient. I am hoping we get to stay here until my daughter graduates from high school.  She is now in Grade 10 so I am keeping my fingers crossed. I am also very thankful for social media on this regard since we have stayed connected with all our friends and family all over the world.
  • Adjusting to new 

    culture/communicating with non-English speakers: 

    Learn the language.

  • Settling/connecting/making new friends:  Sell yourself!  Don’t be shy!  You have to put yourself out there.  Invite people over, host a party! Join organized groups, the local church, book clubs, tours, coffee mornings and volunteer at your children’s school.  You will be surprised to see that there are many out there who are in the same boat as you and are eager to make new friends.

    african days ver2

    “Some fond memories of our time in South Africa…” – CRB
    (Top) At Cape of Good Hope –
    “Really cool being able to see this part of the world!”
    (Bottom) In S. Africa’s Limpopo province –
    “Early morning elephant safari with Matt’s Dad
    who turned 80 that year.”

  • Housing/Schooling/Neighborhood We have moved from a 5 bedroom house with a pool to a 3 bedroom apartment here in Paris! We choose to live as locals and immerse ourselves in their culture. I would highly recommend putting your children in an International School where there’s a diverse community of students.  My children have thrived and have learned to be open minded and more accepting of different cultures.
  • Food Options: We all are adventurous in trying out the local delicacies.
  • Getting Around: Thank God for GPS, since I am horrible with maps!  There are even apps for the local trains, metros and buses.
Beach Family 2006

The Biskaduros Family in 2006
Saint Petersburg, Florida

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The Biskaduros Family, 2014, on the Pont de Bir-Hakeim,
the bridge that crosses the Seine River in Paris, France
“It’s the bridge featured in the movie Inception.” – CRB


DDoA:
 Your easiest and worst move experience:
CRB: Moving is never easy and I must say the hardest part is saying good-bye. I personally prefer to use the line: See you later!  We have taken advantage of the friendships we have cultivated, by visiting our friends in their new homes and in countries we have never been to, and would have never experienced otherwise.

DDoA: Your favorite City/Country to live in
CRB: For the moment Paris, because I love the city life. To be free to walk around it’s rich culture and be able to take advantage of the great cuisine, not to mention their excellent wine!  I love how it has also made my kids street smart.  But I also make an effort to visit the US every year, for its convenience, family and friends and the Philippines for the family, friends, food, and beaches.

DDoA: Your least favourite country to live in
CRB: Unfortunately, South Africa because of its crime.  It is a shame since it is a very beautiful country and we made wonderful friends when we lived there.

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“One of the benefits of my husband’s job: while Matt was on a business trip in Turkey, we got to tag along! Here’s the whole family playing dress up in the Basilica Cistern! “- CRB
Istanbul, Turkey

DDoA: How does the constant move affect your children?
CRB: My children have grown without our families around us.  We have made a constant effort to visit the grandparents annually and even have them flown over to come visit us.  I should add though, that we have a strong family bond since we have to rely on each other. It is my personal goal that we stay close together as a family, that we instill in our children the importance of respecting others, and that they also achieve a happy and successful life for themselves!

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The Biskaduros Family skiing in Chamonix Mont-Blanc in  La Thuile
(with the Mont Blanc in the background)
L-R:  Matt, Adrienne, Christine and Ethan

DDoA: Please share 2 things that you have learned from your constant move about people and life in general
CRB: That LIFE is too short and that you have to live in the MOMENT!  Even though we come from different backgrounds, we are all the same!  Friendships do develop quicker and deeper since the friends you make become your immediate family.


image for headerSo do… as Christine does -“learn to substitute, adjust and use what the host country has to offer.”

 

One comment on “Family on the Move 5: Christine Rola Biskaduros and Family

  1. Ethan
    December 2, 2016

    Ethan was here. I know you

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This entry was posted on October 3, 2014 by in Bond, Connect, Explore and tagged , .
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