Monday, October 11, 2010


When I was in Honduras earlier this year I was addicted to Pringles. Ask any of the other teachers I was down there with and they will say the same. I always had a can of cheese or sour cream or onion sitting in my room. In fact, my addiction went so far that when my friend and fellow teacher Kirsty flew home for a law school interview at Washington University in St. Louis she brought me back a can of Pringles. I’ve always liked Pringles, but I really never grew up on them. In fact, rarely would you ever find a can of Pringles in my house. Even in college, I really never bought them. However, when I moved to Honduras and I did my first grocery-shopping trip with the other teachers I saw Pringles on the shelf and needed to have them. Why? It's simple: to me those Pringles were a little piece of America that I could take in while overseas.

Over the last 10 months I have spent 6 of them in Honduras and 2 of them in Spain. It has been incredible to finally step outside my comfort zone and the borders of my own country and do something I have always wanted to do—travel. However, with traveling comes things you miss, and in general, at least for me, these things congregate into missing one thing—America (these things do not include family, friends and a very special Spartan fan, which will always be first). Those Pringles in Honduras represented America for me. They were something that I had access to that allowed me to stay in touch with my culture, even though I was loving every minute of being in a new culture (while maybe not ever minute in Honduras…there were some challenging times).

I remember watching my mom take bags of Cheeze-It's out of their red and yellow box and put them into a brown shipping box. When I asked her what she was doing she said she was sending them to my uncle. My uncle has lived in Spain for over 20 years, but he doesn’t have access to Cheeze-It's, so he has my mom, every so often, send some to him from the States. No matter how long you are overseas, from 8 months to 20 years, you miss things about your culture, about America. Although I am doing very well in regards to not missing too many American things, the time may come (like it did in Honduras on several occasions, granted Honduras was much more difficult to live in then Europe) when I just need something American. Chances are that I might be able to find that “it” American thing here in Spain, but chances are also pretty high that I won’t be able to.

Here is my address:

Tad VandenBrink
C/ Escribano Valderas
Bloque A 1˚C
Motril, Granada, Spain 18600


  1. Ha Ha. I'm not mailing Pringles to you.

  2. Haha. Thanks for the shout-out...I'll mail you some Pringles from St. Louis, then you'll have eaten St. Louis Pringles in both Honduras and Spain. :)