In the comments of one of my recent entries, some of you were wondering how I do it to make friends very time we move, and how I integrate.
I have been wondering about that. I'm not the most outgoing person, character-wize, but I must admit that over these few years, I have learned to open up. To invite people over, to talk to people as I meet them in the supermarket or other random places. Before all the moving and stuff I might not have been so extravert. I did have a lot of random chatter, but that was usually because strangers talked to me (I've always thought I must have that kind of face, you know :) )
The first six months we lived in Cameroun, I have hardly interacted with anyone. By the end of that scope of time, I was really bewildered I could hardly follow a conversation without drifting off in my mind. I was so desperate for social interaction, I would stalk the plumber and the electrician when they came around. So maybe I learned the hard way.
Anyhow, ever since that first period of expat experience, I now try to welcome others as well aspossible, if they are new to plantation life. I try to organise things every so often.
And here in Ivory Coast, I have made friends outside the company as well. But that is still limited, because they imperatively live in San Pedro, which is rather far for us.
So you could say it is a gradual learning process. I can believe not everybody is up for this kind of life, but on the other hand, it is so rich in experiences and encounters, and so unique, I wouldn't want to change it so far.