In Italian, Paguro means hermit-crab, a creature found widely around the world that periodically moves out of its protective shell and into another one.
The hermit-crab, just like the expatriate, takes on many risks during a move, and is extremely vulnerable during transition.
Expatriates, like the hermit-crab, grow each time they move into a new environment, and are able to expand their capabilities and skills with each move.
|Paguro’s mission is to establish a multi-lingual network of networks whose scope is to enhance the quality of life of expatriates and their families by providing relevant information, support and a collaborative space both to expatriate families and corporate entities.|
Who is Paguro?
Every member of the Paguro team is an expatriate – complete with mobile working partner, children, packing cases and a good sense of humour.
The Paguro authors have also gone through the ups and downs of being mobile and living in another culture. They have moved themselves, their families, their houses and their hearts around the world.
Paguro management members have lived in more than 30 countries… and we're still counting. Our experiences combine to make more than 200 years of expatriate expertise!
Patrizia Figoli Turchetti
Born in Rossano and raised in Milan, Italy. Patrizia attended an undergraduate course in Earth Sciences at the University of Milan and jumped sideways into Publishing. After four years as an editor with a large publisher she started her own publishing company specializing in school textbooks. Then she hitched up with the man of her dreams and before she could take stock, found herself in Port Harcourt, Nigeria with a cooey one-month old daughter, a laptop complete with modem, and no phone lines. Moving became her occupation as she trekked her way through the language, culture and real estate of Norway, Texas, Mexico, France and England to end up in Texas again, though she did squeeze in (1998 - 2000) creating and editing a worldwide magazine dealing with expatriate issues. She added one more adorable daughter along the way and honed first her miming skills, then her language skills, adding a perfect command over English and French, not to mention some Spanish, to her very large repertoire of adaption skills. Her most hilarious (read desperate) memory of expat life is miming chicken breasts to a butcher!!
Roselyne was born in France but divided her childhood between North Africa, Italy and Greece. She has multiple degrees in Biochemistry, Physics and Chemistry and speaks fluent French, and English with some nuances of Italian. Roselyne started her professional life as a researcher, but switched to teaching after being pitched into motherhood (three times) and a mobile lifestyle, moving several times within France and England. Roselyne is a crusader for trailing spouse issues: she was one of the founders of the highly effective Schlumberger Spouses Association Worldwide and used her experience there to develop a network of contacts with HR Managers of Global companies. Her remarkable insight and perseverance led her to create a non-profit association that provides a dual career job-site to mobile couples.
Marlies has lived in too many countries to be listed, she is German and also speaks fluently Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, English and Italian. She is a good leader with great organizational skills. She has a law school degree, worked as an import expert and was trained as a service engineer in Dowell, before starting a life on the move.
Marlies has been involved in fund-raising and charity projects; wherever she lived in the past 25 years has left a well-established organization. To name just a few, in Brazil she managed to build, with the help of a group of foreigners and the local oil companies, a Kindergarten for the less fortunate; on departure she handed it over to local authorities and up to this date she receives regular updates on this project. She was named "Person of the year" in that town.
In Caracas-Venezuela she took care of a group of 146 International families, helping with their relocation. This included strong family support, social events, offering courses etc. After one year of successfully managing the location in Caracas, she was offered a position to take care of all Latin America, which, at the time of hand-over had 7 locations (established over a 3-year period). Marlies added another 9 sites within 1 year. Most of this work was done by e-mail and phone calls, but it did also involve a lot of travelling. While running this organization she was approached by the AVAA (Friendship Organization Venezuela-America) to work as a counselor. The AVAA exists to promote understanding and friendship between Venezuela and North America by providing information, assistance and services to individuals and organizations that seek educational opportunities in the United Stades and Canada. Both the US and Canadian Ambassadors attended the meetings and worked very closely together with us.
She has been director of the ADP (Alianza de Damas del Petroleo). This group was formed to integrate all ladies of petrol companies to share their talents, resources and enthusiasm with the community. She started a database of all organizations involved in charity in order to control well the distribution of funds, first in Caracas, and at a later stage, for all of Venezuela. And going on... Right now Marlies is preparing her 34th move, this time to Mexico city.
Patricia was brought up and educated in England. Having gained extensive operational experience with organizations representing various market sectors both in the UK and abroad, she finally settled in Dubai with her husband. There she was employed by the award winning Emirates Airline working in Human Resources and Flight Operations.Right now Trish is in Kuwait.
After moves in the UAE and the States she was introduced to Paguro during its later development stages and joined its team to work on various independent projects.
A Licentiate Member of the Institute of Personnel Development, she is committed to the professional and competent delivery of relocation related services and information, in whatever capacity and ensuring that members of this transient society experience minimum or no detrimental effect on what should be a valuable cultural experience.
Annabella was born in San Rufo, a tiny sunny city in the south of Italy. Moving to Milan brought the true meaning of culture shock… she was a foreigner in her own country! In Milan she studied fashion design, in which she holds a bachelor's degree. Annabella's work environment gravitated around the big names in anthropology and sociology. When Milan eventually became too confined, she boarded a plane bound for the United States. In New York she initially worked in the fashion industry, but her interest broadened towards media and communication for corporations which is where her heart lies today. Since 1995 Annabella has run Interzone, a co-founded multimedia and web-consulting agency. In her role as managing director of Interzone, Annabella worked on projects for large Italian Corporation. Annabella has also founded and is currently co-director of Alien, first and only multicultural Italian magazine written by foreigners. Annabella,since 1994, is actively involved with Humanist Movement, an international organization promoting and supporting activities leading to a better human society. It is within this scope that she is part of the coordinator team of Federacion Internacional de Apoyo Humano (FIAH) and is responsible of managing the relations with African countries to improve hygiene conditions and literacy of African people. She feels strongly about equal rights and thinks that real solidarity is to make sure populations are self confident, self reliant, have the tools and the capability to direct their own growth. Not knowing what to do in her free time she joined Paguro!
After graduating from The College of William and Mary in Virginia with a B.S. in Mathematics, I landed a job teaching high school math at Hong Kong International School and began my overseas life. As I travelled around Asia, I fell in love with the place and knew that it would be awhile before I returned home to Boise, Idaho. I was lucky enough to be in Hong Kong to watch the Handover of the territory from the British to the Chinese. Once that was done, I went to my next teaching job in Manila, The Philippines, where I stayed for three years and met my husband. My time in the Philippines taught me a lot about patience, driving like a maniac, and how to enjoy a really good mango shake! Once I got married, my husband's job moved me back to Hong Kong where I started tutoring Maths part time, taking yoga and pilates, started writing for Paguro, and worked on a survey to help trailing spouses of HSBC employees. I also continue to mark International Baccelaureate Maths exams to stay current with the teaching trends. This ad hoc work enables me to travel more with my husband and to dabble with programs that will hopefully help new comers to Hong Kong. Jenny has moved on to another country.
I was born and grew up in Perth, Western Australia. Living in the world’s most geographically isolated city, I had always wanted to travel. Twenty eight years ago I left Perth with my husband to move to Brisbane on the east coast of Australia. Still in the same country, but it was a start, and two years later we packed all our belongings into six tea chests and moved to Oxford, England. A year later we were living near Liverpool, putting down roots- buying a house, producing a son, taking lots of vacations in Italy and France.
Eight years on, after yet another wet and sunless English Summer it was back to Australia, this time to Sydney. Paradise is the first word that comes to mind when describing Sydney - a lively multi-cultural city with a perfect climate. But after seven years, even paradise can become a little boring. So when the chance came to move to Kobe, Japan I was happy to give up my 20 year career as a pharmacist and move on to something else. Learning Japanese, teaching English and taking up lots of new hobbies like ikebana and patchwork quilting, kept me busy for the first few years in Japan. Later I was fortunate to find a job as a proofreader and writer with a local expatriate magazine. Writing and editing for expatriate publications was something that I continued to do in Beijing and Guangzhou, China and now in Singapore. After ten years in Asia, I am looking forward to returning to my home town soon. Unfortunately, we will be moving with a lot more than the original six tea chests of belongings. And I guess this is when I will fully learn to understand the meaning of “Re-entry Shock”.
Sibyl Hernandez Gillessen
Sibyl was born and raised in Mexico City, where she became an English teacher, and then went back to university to get a Bachelor's degree in Marketing while teaching at a girls' high school. After graduating Suma cum Laude she enjoyed a fulfilling career in various consumer product companies, like Playtex and Best Foods International as a Senior Brand Manager, where she had the opportunity to exercise leadership and organizational skills, among others. She then jumped into motherhood and homemakerhood with her eyes closed and moved to Florida, USA, with her husband, all in less than a year. Sibyl decided to seize this unique chance to reinvent herself and achieve the balanced lifestyle she had always hoped for during her corporate days. She is the president of "Letras" a spanish literature workshop that started four years ago very informally, and that since then, has become a source of culture and friendship for over 30 women from nine countries. The concept of "Letras" has been expanded by its mobile members to Portugal, Republica Dominicana, Spain, Venezuela, and Chile. Sibyl's family was offered a move to another country, but they had to pass it up and stay to welcome their little girl into the world. Sibyl is happy to collaborate with Paguro and help others embrace the joys of meeting new people and new cultures.
Eileen was born in Melbourne, Australia. Her first 'expat' experience was in 1996 when she moved to Sydney to do her PhD in Astrophysics. Along with her thesis studies, she had to learn the difference between Australian Rules football and rugby, catch ferries to work instead of trams, and find out that when you go swimming you don't wear bathers, you wear a cossie.After becoming fluent in the Sydney dialect, Eileen decided it was time for a bigger challenge and moved to Munich, Germany in 2002. There she learnt German, saw snow for the first time in her back yard, and discovered the true meaning of bureaucracy. Eileen lives with her husband in a ridiculously overpriced flat in the centre of Munich, where she teaches English and is involved in various writing projects. She hopes that visitors to the Paguro site will benefit from each other's experiences and enjoy living abroad as much as she does." Eileen has moved on to Italy.
Ling Li was born in Taiwan, and moved in her early age with her family to Bangkok (Thailand). At 16, while she was still young and crazy, she moved to the USA without knowing a soul and there she attended one year of high school in Kentucky and later graduated from Ohio State University with a BSBA degree in Business Administration and International Business. Upon graduation she worked in the finance world for few years in Houston (Texas) and moved into trading when asked to work for a Japanese international trading company (Mitsui and Co.), where she stayed 10 years.
After the birth of her 3rd child, she left her job and now claims to be a "zoo-keeper" in charge of laundry, homework and driving duties.
Ling speaks fluently Mandarin, Taiwanese, English and some Cantonese, Japanese and Thai.
I am Italian, born in Padua, and studied Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of Bologna. Like most of those who have undertaken this line of studies, I am a gypsy at heart, so I could not live in my hometown for the rest of my life but had to travel. I married a 'Brit' who soon after our marriage was offered a job in Africa. After that we went to Asia and now we live in Sweden. I can say that I have spent exactly half of my life in Italy and half abroad with my husband and two sons. Now that I am part of the Paguro team I feel that I am able to use my experience/knowledge as an expatriate towards helping others like me. I hope that our work will make your life easier and that you will be able to spend less time and energy in the process of settling in and much more time in enjoying life in your new location.
I am from Brittany, France and come from a little village close to Brest. After passing my International Trade exams I went to Paris, where I worked in an American financial group for six years and in an Argentinean financial group for four years as an executive assistant. After ten years in Paris, my Italian husband and I moved to Sophia-Antipolis in the south of France.
Sophia-Antipolis is Europe’s foremost Science Park. Of course the sun and the Mediterranean sea were so attractive to us! Here I worked in an Internet start-up project for several months and then in a recruitment agency. Now I take care of our six month old son and I teach French to foreign people who are very interested in the Paguro web site!
Born in Africa, I was an 'expat baby' for the first 9 years of my life. I was raised in Paris, where I attended an undergraduate course in Economics and Human Resources. For the first six years I worked in Human Resources, and my job was to create an international mobility policy for the company I was working for. My partner was working in Milan at that time, and I was commuting every weedend. Than we decided to get married and after our honeymoon my husband took his plane to Milan and I mine to Paris: this was the worst time of all this adventure. One year later we did the same system, but this time Barcelona in Spain and Paris in France. Finally I decided to resign from my job and now live in this fabulous and sunny country. I speak English, Italian, Spanish...well, I'm about to be a complete " southern European woman".
I am originally from Norway where I grew up and did most of my studies. I always had an interest in travelling and had visited most of the European countries when I met my husband, who is English. I then moved to England and finished my studies there (MA Phil). Our two children were born in England. From England we transferred to France and lived in Paris. A career move brought me back to Oslo with the children. I worked for a communication company for some time, before I decided to start my own business as a language consultant, doing translations, writing and editing. My husband joined us later, and we lived in Oslo for five years. While in Oslo I had many contacts in the expat world, as well as Norwegian friends. Having lived abroad myself, has given me a particular understanding of the hurdles expats have to overcome in order to settle in Olso. Then we transferred to Houston and back to England.
I speak six languages, on different levels: Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, English, French and German. I am hoping to learn Spanish.
I have a genuine interest in different cultures (my dream was always to become a social anthropologist) and I enjoy meeting new people. I get on with people easily, have friends from many countries and I have an open and positive attitude.
Midori was born near Tokyo, Japan. She studied English and History of Eastern European countries in Tokyo. Upon graduation from Waseda University, with an English BA, she started her career in the travel industry.
While working in the hustle-and-bustle environment of a travel agency, she obtained the English-speaking-tour-guide licence.
After becoming a freelance tour guide, she experienced the people of the world microcosmos.
Her experience dealing with foreigners touring Japan has meant dealing dealing with all sort of different issues: from negotiating hotels which would offer Muslim tourists a place where they could pray (praying would conflict with schedules and, at times, meant nearly missing the Bullet Train!!), to miss a night of sleep arranging for hotel changes at the last minute for dissatisfied tourists who complained of people praying at odd hours.
She has been living in the USA since her husband's career brought her family to Houston. Struggling herself with the cultural differences, she came to the understanding that hands-on exposure to other cultures makes people a lot more tolerant.
Midori's involvement with Paguro stems out of her desire of sharing knowledge (acquired not without some effort!) with other people that, like her are foreigners in a country.
Kat is proud to say that she is a product of two cities - Manila, home of the All-SPAM restaurant, and Sydney, home of the world's only Lindt café. She's a working mother, frustrated dancer, freelance writer, addicted blogger and aspiring author of trashy romance novels. Born in the Philippines, Kat spent her childhood zooming around in colourful jeepneys and spending her pocket money on numerous treats sold by the roadside, on the way to school. Her favourite was drinking through a straw poking out of plastic bag containing softdrinks. When her family migrated to Sydney, she swapped those simple pleasures for the more dazzling delights of drivers who obey traffic signs, and lamingtons. Intending to be a doctor, no doubt from watching too much hospital drama on TV, she ended up with two degrees, majoring in Linguistics, Religious Studies and Computer Science, with a caffeine addiction on the side. Kat currently works as an Information Security Consultant, while juggling postgraduate studies, a toddler and a husband. She is currently in negotiations with her husband to sample life elsewhere in the world before their baby is old enough to assert his opinions, too. Kat hopes that working with Paguro will help beef up her case! She also hopes it will lead on to more opportunities that are just as much fun, while she mulls over a workable plotline for the greatest, trashiest, most romantic novel known to womankind.
Karin Hjorth Censi
Karin Hjorth Censi has herself been an expatriate for more than 20 years moving across the world and making a living in Venezuela, Nigeria, China, England, Italy, Egypt, Syria, USA, Tunisia with her three sons. Karin is dividing her time between Copenhagen and Rome; she still operates in the world of expatriation as an Ex-pat Consulting & Coaching (her website: http://www.ex-patconsulting.com) supporting any expat that is coming to live in Denmark. Karin mothertongue is Danish but she speaks fluently Italian, Spanish and English and has a good command of German and Chinese.