"Provocative and playful...it is the personalities and perspectives of the expatriate couple that makes it a book well worth reading."
"Views from Sandhausen" is a fun, fast read, riddled with tidbits of humor and information. Expats will relate easily to their experiences. Tourists will find it informative and eye-opening.
R. L. Macri, Author-Illustrator
From the Author
This book needed to be written. There are fewer than two dozen books today listed on the Internet (Bing.com) that were written by and from the perspective of the assignee. Foreign Service assignees are a curious and courageous lot.
In terms of work sacrifice, I make no distinction between government and corporate Foreign Service personnel. In terms of hardship, we take our collective hats off to the commercial workers. With little corporate support in terms of their private situation, these hardy workers, and particularly their spouses and children, often must solve their own problems. They must deal with the languages and customs, thrash about wildly (at first) in the world of buying food, getting a phone installed, and dealing with the dreaded sanitation workers. In some countries and regions, the teams that remove the country's refuse have powers that cannot be imagined. It is a very sad situation that those back home have very little idea of what these front-line ambassadors do for their home countries' images and perceptions. Speaking for us, as Americans, and especially for my wife Lynn and I, during our time overseas we learned more than can be bound in a dozen volumes--in less than four years.
Conversely, I believe, from all feedback received from our overseas colleagues, that the impressions they have of our collective countries are greatly shaped by our actions, speech, respect for their traditions, and lastly, our general manner of interacting with others. More than one colleague has told me that their impression of Americans has been changed by their experiences collaborating with me. Many more than one has said that about my wonderful wife Lynn. Lynn was the very best partner and wife that I could ever have had with me. Her sunny disposition, dogged determination when she was right, and her grace when not, identified her as a gentle, caring, supportive and thoroughly enjoyable person to know and love. I owe much of my success to her support and encouragement. Sadly, less than 6 years after we returned to the United States, Lynn was taken away by that great scourge of our society--Cancer. If we can do nothing else in our lifetimes, let us dedicate our efforts to ending this disease, as our parents largely eliminated polio in theirs. It is my intention to donate 10% of the author profits from this book to the American Cancer Society, in Lynn's name.
Cliff FeightnerOctober 2010