Monday, September 27, 2010

New Reptile friend on the Kitchen Window, Old Friends at School, New Developments in my Life

More Questions

So I went back home for the summer and had time to reflect on spending 9 months or so and I have decided that I can't help but ask more questions than I did last year. I came with the mind set of being hard and soft like water and I was convinced that I was going to be water upon the rocks of everyday life making an impact for positive change, but what if I wasn't the water at all last year....what if I was the rock in need of the water?! What if this is the case again this year?

I often think that being away from home is an opportunity to see myself and others through a different lens. No masks, no excuses, no sugar coating....being away makes everything REAL! I have had the best conversations over the past few months with friends and family who are ecstatic about taking new risks and trying new things. So much changed over nine months. Will this nine months be similar?

My attention feels divided this year as I focus on being the best teacher that I can be, while balancing contact with friends and family and constantly learning new tidbits or nuggets everyday in a new culture. Recent changes in my life have made me value divided attention and realize that divided attention is inevitable in life and that I like everyone else can learn to enjoy finding the rhythm in this balance.

Other random questions:

What do you do when you are teaching and you look up and see a child eating her markers?
Answer: You praise someone else who is listening and you try to contain yourself from laughing until you get a moment to burst out laughing on your own time.

What do you do when you mistake 1 on the oven for 5?
Answer: You apologize to your roommate and eat the tops of the burnt cookies! ha ha ha ha ha

How do you react when you see a toddler (less than two) crawling up the roof of a vehicle parked in the middle of traffic?
Answer: Thank the heavens that a man came to get the toddler before disaster struck.

Why would a teenage boy walk into a fabric store carrying a flaming napkin?
Answer: beats me!

How can I better appreciate my concierge who shows up at random hours and asks everytime "Were you sleeping?" and then gives us a language lesson that he wrote down in a notebook (French-Arabic), attempts to rearrange the appliances in our kitchen because he doesn't like the set up unannounced, or drags tree branches through the apartment 4 days in a row from a tree that fell a month ago?
Answer: We smile, nod, and say thank you (oh and we tip him too!)

What do you do with a three foot piece of tree that juts out of the patio wall?
Answer: Decorate it for the holidays! (Pictures to come soon!)LOL

How can I be prepared to respond to people on the street who ask for money at almost every corner?
Answer: Give when I have and be faithful in giving.

How can I make the most of the next nine months?
Answer: ...still figuring this one out, but pretty sure I am already..well most days....

New Recipes Cooked Successfully:
1. Chili Con Carne II
2. Crepes (with nutella and bananas)
3. Stir Fry with Eggplant/Green beans
4. Spanish Rice
5. Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (boyfriend cookies)
Check out this website below to know the story behind the cookies ha ha ha

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Settling in for year two in N. Africa....

It has been nice to be back but there have been some unexpected new adjustments. I moved into a new apartment, which I like, but I am still figuring out a few items of business.

1. Where do you put your trash?
Answer: At 9pm put it outside your door and it disappears (seriously the concierge picks it up and takes it to the dumpster).

2. What to do when your shower is cold?
Answer: This question is still unsolved, but the 100 degree temperature makes the showers more bearable.

3. What to do when a tree falls down into your patio?
Answer: The concierge will move it after Ramadan which will be another week.

4. What to do when you find a little furry friend in your kitchen?
Answer: Scream and yell until it climbs out the window!

5. Where do you go when everything is closed during Ramadan?
Answer: Your own kitchen or Mc Donald's

6. How many times can you almost get hit by a bus?
Answer: Apparently three times if we count today! Crossing the streets is not as difficult in the states!

7. Who is in charge of traffic when there is an accident?
Answer: No one! Everyone just yells and honks!

8. What is the best little snack to accompany meals?
Answer: CRAX ( a light floury treat with seasoning that tastes like a bullion cube)

9. How many F'tours can you go to in a week?
Answer: Three! We went to share the breaking of the fast with three families who fed us well. The tables were covered with delicious harrira, pizza, Malawi, and sweets.

10. How many times can you be welcomed in one day?
Answer: Still working on that one, it happens countless times on the streets. Most of the time it puts us at ease, but other times we just have to wonder what the motive behind the kind gesture might mean.

11. What do you do when taxi driver with an empty taxi tells you no when you ask him to take you somewhere?
Answer: Just stand there looking helpless or grumpy until he wheels back and waves his hand at you to get in!

Despite these many questions I am extremely excited about this upcoming school year! The new teachers are enthusiastic and we feel such a sense of unity, despite the short time we have been together. It has been fun showing them around and teaching them the ropes at the school. It is nice to be a veteran now (well kind of)!...more to come...