Monday, March 31, 2008

Play Practice

So, I've been working on this play with my sixth graders. My sister and I wrote a 35 minute version of "The Hobbit" over Christmas break and now I am twisting my students into performing in the next couple of days. Costuming is a foreign concept and so is set building. Directing a play is stressful. But, they seem to be having a great time and are really well behaved about it all. Below you see my three trolls (the hat will not be included!) and Bilbo sneaking up on them. This is just a rehearsal.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

From Back in the States...

So, because we eat no pork here in the ME, we take extra special pleasure in the sausage and stuff we get back in the States. And we also enjoy laughing about the wierd things we like to eat.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A kiss...

One of my friends here recently wrote on kissing in the Middle East. It is full of social norms, expectations, and confusing meanings. But suffice to say, I have weathered it decently since it is gender restricted.

Last night, we had several men from Bangladesh come to an movie event put on by a small group of internationals here. They made me nervous at first--all men make me nervous when I am in the ME. Even when I go home to the States, men make me nervous. It is all the staring and leering. But me and my other single female friend did our best to make them feel welcome without being forward. I usually go by my intuition and they didn't scare me. But after the movie, as they were leaving, they each went out of their way to shake my hand. And one of them (I can neither remember nor pronounce their names), took my hand in both of his and kissed it. It was full of thanks and appreciation. I was touched; I felt like a princess; I had been a part of blessing someone and they appreciated it.

There have been many kisses in the world. I am reminded of the lines in the Princess Bride about kisses that left all others behind. This wasn't that kind of kiss, but the contrast between this kiss and another historical kiss hit me hard. Nearly 2000 years ago, another man was kissed, but it was a kiss of betrayal. Even though that man had done and would do more for his betrayer than could comprehended or deserved. And here I was, being appreciated for so little.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Why Me?

Sometimes I marvel at us women. At least I like to think that I am like most women. I can go out and have a lovely day, nary a trouble, nothing new springs up to torment me, and yet as it gets later, I am weepy! Why? you might ask. To tell the truth, I haven't the foggiest idea. I am happy doing what I do. I love my teammates; they are so wonderful and so much fun. I am happy. Why do I feel like crying! This is so irrational! I had a wonderful day today. But half an hour ago, I was almost in tears. For NO REASON! At least not a reason that I can think of. Maybe there is something going on in my subconcious? Feelings come upon me that I don't understand? Ha.

I laugh at myself. I suppose God made me this way for a reason. I must be patient through it.

Friday, March 14, 2008

From the mouth of a 10 year old boy...

"Guess what! Mom said I could start staying up later when I got hair in my armpits!"

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Those Coloradans!

So my new teammate is from Colorado. She puts honey on her pizza crust. This is something I have never seen or experienced before. Who does that? Is it just people in Colorado? I am asking around... Let me know if you know.

Saturday, March 08, 2008


A heart fretting
mood -fettering
utter dullness
sharp anguish, aching
shaking and sad
unsure and shattered

Trust, trust—the whisper…

speechles screeching
screaming struggle
drowning the pounding pulse
if only, if only—I, We, He, They—

Trust, trust—the whisper…

grieving unleashed
throat-catching chaos

Trust, trust—the whisper…

What can I do?

Trust, trust, trust, trust…

Friday, March 07, 2008

New Vocabulary

Over the last several weeks, my friends and I have been coming up with new words to represent things and feelings that don't exist in the United States. I am putting a few below.
  • ahspeedbump (perhaps the most often used of our new vocabulary) means the feeling of when you are approaching a speed bump and you are going too fast and don't have time to slow down. [There are speedbumps everywhere.]
  • mudding is the precipation of mud in the place of rain. While rain and snow do exist, the amount of dust blown up from the south sits over our city and then is joined with a little moisture which descends on everyone and everthing. Nearly every car in the city is the exact same shade of tan.
  • archiumphl is the feeling of congestion in the throat and lungs when a combination of dust and illness attack.
  • electrament is the feeling of novelty when the power goes out. This state of functioning wears off over time until one does not "miss a beat" or even pause during a conversation which is then continuing in the dark.
  • visorate is the effect of seeing your breath in a room that experience would tell us is not actually cold enough. It undoubtedly has something to do with humidity, but an interesting phenomenon all the same.

There are some concepts that we have yet to invent words for. As an example, the feeling of taking a shower with cold water and yet the shower still gets steamy (it isn't actually that hot yet, but I experienced it before). Another one along the same track is when you put on your clothes and they feel like they came out of the dryer although they really just came out of your closet. If you have any suggestions, please comment.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A Poet I Recently Discovered


I SAW her in a Broadway car,
The woman I might grow to be;
I felt my lover look at her
And then turn suddenly to me.

Her hair was dull and drew no light
And yet its color was as mine;
Her eyes were strangely like my eyes
Tho' love had never made them shine.

Her body was a thing grown thin,
Hungry for love that never came;
Her soul was frozen in the dark
Unwarmed forever by love's flame.

I felt my lover look at her
And then turn suddenly to me,--
His eyes were magic to defy
The woman I shall never be.

--Sara Teasdale 1916