Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Small Town Idaho.

I am often asked what people do in small towns. Most of the time I haven't the foggiest idea. I don't ever remember being bored or feeling like there is nothing to do in town. We don't have tons of plays, movies, clubs, etc. But we manage just fine. But as an example of what we do in small towns, I will let you know about what I did yesterday evening. First of all, my sister (R), brother (L) and I went to go pick up my other brother (A) to go play tennis. My sister has played tennis twice and each of my brothers has played once. I think I had played once a long time ago. Anyway, my brother (A) didn't really want to come so somehow it ended up be a water fight between all of us and my brother's roomates. Then, soaking wet, we went and played tennis very badly. After that, I learned to drive my sister's stick-shift car in the Kibbie Dome parking lot. It was a good evening. We went home feeling sticky, hot, tired, and yet, Happy.

Friday, June 23, 2006


Do guys dare other guys to ask out random girls? That is the only reason I can fathom for what happened today in the coffee shop. Me and my friend Naomi were just standing in the lobby talking and a guy came and stood near us. We kept talking, he looked around. Then Naomi gave him her quizzical look and asked him something, maybe if he needed something... Anyway, his response was that we were beautiful girls and would one of us like to go to a movie tonight. We both said um... and No. We don't date for recreation or spend time with guys we don't know. But after he left we couldn't help but bursting into laughter. That was soooo random. Naomi and I joke that life is never dull for us, especially when we are together. It was reminiscent of Big Dan the Meat Man, a door to door salesman whose main goal in life was certainly not the steaks and cuts of beef he purported to sell. Fascinating. True, true, Life is never dull.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Farewell Nashville!

Hey Everyone! Today I am flying back home to Nashville today. I will be there around three weeks before heading out. I will be in my dear dear friend's wedding the 8th of July. I will spend time visiting people, having people visit me, continuing my Kurdish language study, and trying to raise funds for my trip. My time here has been great and I have learned so much. I am so excited about what I get to be a part of and what I have seen God doing here and overseas. Hallelujah!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Enigma--Can YOU solve the Riddle?

'Twas whispered in Heaven, 'twas uttered in Hell,
And echo caught softly the sound as it fell;
In the confines of earth 'twas permitted to rest,
And the depth of the ocean its presence confessed;
'Twas seen in the lightning, 'twas heard in the thunder,
'Twill be found in the spheres when they're riven asunder;
'Twas given to man with his earliest breath,
It assists at his birth and attends him in death,
Presides o'er his happiness, honour, and health,
'Tis the prop of his house and the end of his wealth;
It begins every hope, every wish it must bound,
With the husbandman toils, and with monarchs is crowned;
In the heaps of the miser 'tis hoarded with care,
But is sure to be lost in the prodigal heir;
Without it the soldier and sailor may roam,
But woe to the wretch who expels it from home;
In the whispers of conscience it there will be found,
Nor e'er in the whirlwind of passion be drowned;
It softens the heart, and though deaf to the ear,
It will make it acutely and instantly hear;
But in shades let it rest, like an elegant flower,
Oh! breathe on it softly, it dies in an hour.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

This girl is one of the students I worked with today while their mothers learned English.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Couple of Jokes

Taken from A Thousand Sighs, A Thousand Revolts by Christiane Bird

Kurdish joke: “After an election, the Americans are very slow, they take twenty-four hours to count the votes. The British are better; they take only four hours. But the Arabs are the best—they know the results before the election!”

Another Kurdish joke: “God pushed the Kurdish people out of heaven and into hell because they were making too much noise with their dancing. But Satan didn’t like the noise either, so he sent the Kurds to purgatory. Passing by one day, God noticed that things were suspiciously quiet. What’s happening? Why isn’t anyone dancing? He asked a young boy. Oh, everyone is too busy to be dancing! the boy said. They are all out smuggling people between heaven and hell.”

I have found that the Kurds are known for their smuggling capabilities. In fact it is merely a matter of price for what level of exit you might want. I spoke with a man who had been smuggled out of Kurdistan the other day. Strange eh?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I have a wonderful host family that I am staying with that is a little more Northern (they only air condition their house to 78 degrees instead of 68). They make unsweetened tea for the grandmother. The grandmother also has alzheimers and in some ways my time in Nashville has felt like an extended version of my conversation with her:

"Where are you from?"
"You are a long way from home then!"
"I hope you like us."
"I have had a good time so far."
"Where are you from?"
"Oh, you are a long way from home then."

But this is similar to what I get all the time as I constantly meet new people. Potatoes are also generously scattered amongst the words and phrases of the conversations. Idaho is more than potatoes, you know.

Monday, June 05, 2006

From June 2nd

Yesterday, deplaning into Nashville, Tennessee, I entered the world of sweet tea and spray butter (actually anything butter). These things do exist in my hometown but here they reign supreme. I certainly will have to watch what I eat here. I have only had three meals here but I already feel like my innards are congealing. Don’t get me wrong, the food has been great, I just can’t keep up with it. I was pleased to find last night that my generous hostess had forgotten to butter the broccoli before she had set it on the table. I had seen peas buttered for dinner once, but broccoli is taking it too far.

Another fascinating experience was that the youngest boy in the family, who is affectionately called “Boo” by his older siblings, asked me, “Do ya have video games in yer country?” Obviously understanding the importance of video games I was more surprised by the political implications of his question. I don’t watch the news very often but I think I would have known if Idaho had suddenly decided to secede from the Union. Boo’s question had some merit I suppose as it had been precipitated by a string of questions from his family through out the last two days about various stores that we do NOT have in the Northwest. I think as a six year old it must seem to him like only people in foreign countries don’t have Kroger, White Castle, and nearly a dozen other staples of the Nashville community.

Another adventure was linked to Boo’s most recent accomplishment: learning to read. This of course allowed him to begin reading what I was typing over my shoulder. Thus I began typing just for him and typed all sorts of silliness about him and then he really wanted me to send it to my parents. I don’t think they would really care but in summary Boo has two ears, two feet, blonde hair, blue eyes, and he really likes to read, but more than that he likes to pretend his is a black ninja.

That pretty much takes care of it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

C.S. Lewis

Writer and Philosopher C.S. Lewis comments on Christ's claim to have been God:

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a mad man or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."