25 February 2009


Today, I taught my first computer class ever. When I shared recently that I was going to be available on Wednesdays for two hours in the afternoon to help with emails, or computers, or whatever... a small cheer was raised up. Apparently I should I have done this a long time ago. Why didn't I think of it earlier?

So, today at 1:30 I dropped my baby off with a friend and carried a couple laptops to the meeting place. And I soon had 4 eager pupils! They were so happy to learn how to use a computer. They each have VERY limited experience. We are talking basics here. I started with "You have to slide the latch over to lift up the screen."

How we take our exposure to computers for granted...

Anyway, I had about 10 minutes warning that I was going to have a few students wanting to learn the basics (I really thought no one would show up) and so I quickly searched for some tools to use to teach them. I came across 'mouserobics.' (click the link... go ahead, see how long it takes you to finish all 30 steps. It took each of them approximately 1 hour.)

Anyway... it ended up being the perfect way to introduce things like how to point and click, check buttons, close boxes, scroll, highlight, fill in forms, and the big finale... COPY AND PASTE! This was the big times folks. When all 4 students correctly copied and pasted the correct words into the correct boxes... oh how the pride welled up in my heart. They're such fast learners.


It was such fun. And now I really have to take it more seriously with lessons plans and schedules. And I should learn some Arabic computer terms. I need to have a plan to get them to the goals of proficient emailing, internet surfing, and newsletter writing!

Can't wait for next week's class...

17 February 2009


Tonight, my boy bit me. It hurt. And it left a mark.

Then, we both cried. One of us, because Mom still wouldn't give him her pencil. And the other, because it just put her over the edge at the end of a long day.

I know kids bite, but my kid never has before. Let's hope this isn't an ongoing thing. I don't think I could take it.

15 February 2009

A Card

Needless to say, there are no Hallmark Stores here. This card was handmade by my very own husband. This is a true sign of love for one who does NOT like to do that sort of thing at all. In his own words (in the card) "I'm not sure if it is harder to pick out a card or make one..."

He managed to track down my papers, my scrapbooking squares, my colored pens, and the stapler (for the charming envelope) while I was at a women's brunch for a couple hours in the morning yesterday. No wonder he didn't have time to wash the dishes!

And, despite how nice the outside was...the inside of the card (where the words are) is way better than the outside...


11 February 2009


I was just reading in my Bible. Today I read John 4. The woman at the well. We all know the story. Classic. Meaningful. But today something new popped into my head when I read it, and it was NOT a particularly deep thought.

"When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)"

When I read this part in parenthesis (yes, it was in parenthesis in the Bible), I instantly thought in my head "Oh right, Jesus was by himself at the well because the disciples had gone into town to get some lunch... probably they were just picking up some shwerma to bring back for lunch.

(Time out!!!)... WHAT?! Did Jesus eat shwerma? I mean, nowadays, people all over this region of the world eat shwerma. There are shwerma stands ALL OVER the city here. Shwerma is on every 'menu' at every restaurant. It's thee go-to food. Hamburger is to America is what Shwerma is to the entire Middle East/North Africa. But did they have shwerma before propane fired spits? Did the disciples bring Jesus back a yummy chicken shwerma? Did they fry the meat up with some tomatoes and onions before shoveling it onto fresh bread with yummy garlic sauce?

Probably not. But I wonder if in his mind (since Jesus mind can cross all lines of 'time' as we know it)... he was wishing technology was a little further a long and that he COULD have a propane-spit-fired chicken shwerma for lunch. he he. I'll ask Him later.

07 February 2009

Little Boys and Dirt

My boy has never seen someone grab a dirty old juice bottle from the parking lot and start filling it with handfuls of dirt. How does he know that little boys are supposed to do that?

Well, maybe no one taught him... but he definitely knows his job. He does it well. He does it repeatedly. He does it gleefully. Then he adds water to the bottle, making a muddy mess. Then he sits down on top of a bag of potato chips and pops them open. Then he tries to help the construction workers with their brick laying. Then he plops on a cushion soaked with an unknown liquid and soaks his bottom. Then he takes a strangers cell phone. Then he takes the strangers television remote and walks away with it. Then he grabs three long poles and starts swinging them around. Then he digs in some bags for something to eat. Then he wonders off to say hello to the old man sitting by himself. Then he bangs on the metal table with his hands... Then he... Then he... Then he...


02 February 2009

Today's Lunch

Today's lunch... illustrating Thing-I-would-miss number 14 from yesterday.

Don't judge the fuul by it's looks.


01 February 2009

Things I Would Miss

A friend recently said she overheard a conversation that went something like this:

"So, what is it that you really miss about (the country where you used to live)?"
"Um, well... let me think.... ummm, mmmnnnn..... can't think of much, but there must be something..."

I think she did come up with a couple things after much deep thought.

SO... that made me think, that if someone asked me the question, would I have many heartfelt, enthusiastic answers? I don't fault that lady AT ALL, because when you are living in a foreign culture it is VERY easy to be drug down by all the hardships and not actually give a lot of pointed thought to what you DO love about life there.

Over the past few weeks, I have given it a lot of thought, and so far this is my list:

Things I would miss if we didn't live here:

1. Sitting on a low stool outside with other locals, everyone ordering and drinking small and very sweet cups of hot tea in the morning sold by tea ladies who have their small, low tea-stands under every tree and on every corner.
2. Drinking fresh squeezed fruit juice from a small stand out of a questionable glass made with questionable water.
3. Shopping in the bustling, dirty, smelly market... especially at night and especially the day before Eid.
4. The friendliness of the shopkeepers where I am a regular.
5. Being able to buy fresh bread daily at one of many local bakeries.
6. That I can spill water anywhere in my house and never have to clean it up because it just evaporates in a matter of minutes.
7. Shaking everyone's hand and greeting each person separately when entering a room with others in it.
8. When people tell me that my Arabic is good (it's not at ALL... but I sure love it when the little bit they hear make them think that I'm an expert with a good accent!)
9. The African songs, drums, and dancing!
10. Our International church... at least one of every color. And my color is a minority.
11. Fresh produce weekly!
12. Morning and evening picnics at the local 'amusement' parks.
13. Syrian Fresh Food. The best restaurant in the city.
14. Sharing a bowl of 'fuul' (fava beans with all the fixins') with friends... everyone eating their bites out of the same bowl with pieces of bread.
15. That everywhere we go, people love my son. They pinch him, squeeze him, kiss him, carry him away, buy him cookies, give him candy, offer him Pepsi, and declare "Masha Allah" (he's come from God!).
16. Drinking soda out of glass bottles with straws.
17. Chatting with the begger kids when they come up to the car window at a stop light.
18. Eating with my hands. Or should I say 'hand' (the right one to be specific).
19. That it's okay and expected to drop in on friends without any prior notice.
20. Speaking a foreign language daily (no matter how little I know).
21. Riding the local transport... buses and rickshaws!
22. How much the desert makes me appreciate each cool breeze and each patch of green.

Wow! I think I could keep going...
That was fun!
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