Friday, August 31, 2007
What? That's the text on the back of the box this doll came in. We bought this doll to show our American friends the Middle Eastern version of Barbie. She usually wears a lot more clothes than Barbie does. I'm just not sure what the stuff on the box is trying to say.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Our normal is...
- seeing multiple donkey carts ride down our street everyday
- passing donkey carts while doing 60 mph down major highways
- choosing whether to vacation on the Red Sea or the Mediterranean
- daily riding in taxis older than Beth
- having several meals each week delivered to our door--and not just pizza!
- having almost anything delivered to our door--appliances, prescription drugs, groceries, freshly ironed clothes
- being considered strange because we put our kids to bed "early," when "early" means any time before midnight
- living for Thursday, since Friday and Saturday are our weekend
- scheduling a time to meet with a friend, then waiting half an hour after the appointed time to even leave the house, because you know they'll be at least that late
- beginning to prepare any dinner by first lighting the oven with a match
- making frequent stops whenever we're out so people can take pictures of our kids with their camera phones
- a washing machine that take 3 hours to wash one load--3 hours!!!
- riding so close to other cars than you could reach out and touch them
- seeing entire families riding on one moped, and entire extended families riding in one compact car
Our life here is certainly not "normal" by American standards, but it's perfect for us. We're so grateful for the experiences we've had here, and for all we've learned about ourselves and these beautiful people.
Sunday, August 26, 2007
In our new home, while we do thankfully have an outside patio, we have no grass, and therefore, no yard work. However, I've recently noticed a hard spot on my right thumb that feels a lot like I've been doing yard work or chopping firewood. It's been there for several months, I think, but just today I figured out where it came from.
You see, in America, we bought 12-packs of cans of Dr. Pepper and Coca Cola. But here, because there are no pre-packaged 12-packs, and because we have to carry our groceries home on foot, it makes more sense to buy bottles. It's also better to buy bottles because it would be rude to serve Coke to our guests in cans. It has to be poured into a nice-looking glass and then served on a tray. The 1.5 liter bottle costs about 75 cents American. And that's where this callus comes from. Almost every day I have to open a new bottle, and evidently I've been using my right thumb to apply the necessary force to remove the bottle cap. Are we drinking too much Coke?
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Here's a fun video our friend took of Lee Anna "swimming" on our vacation last week, although I must say, it's much more entertaining to see her swim in person. Her swimming technique basically consists of jumping underwater, shaking her arms, legs, and head all around, then coming back up. She hasn't yet figured out how to propel herself at all, but it's fun to watch! We're pretty sure this is how all the great Olympic swimmers got their start.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Sawyer had a blast, too. This was his first time to really play in a big pool, and he couldn't get enough. The only thing that got him more excited than the pool was all the birdies looking for breakfast under our lounge chairs. I'm not sure what made them think they would get anything from us--maybe it was when Sawyer turned the Pringle can up and poured the crumbs all over his face.
We had a super time and didn't want to come home. Enjoy the slide show.
We also got some great sunrise pics. Stay tuned for those sometime soon.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
- as I walk out of the bathroom wearing a robe, with a towel on my head: "What did you take, Mama?" (answer: a shower)
- when she notices that I'm no longer wearing a robe but now wearing clothes: "What did you get?" (answer: dressed)
- as I sit on the floor with sawyer lying down in front of me, with wipes and a new diaper in my hand: "What are you changing?" (answer: his diaper)
- as I sit in the rocking chair with a sleepy Sawyer in my arms: "Where is he going?" (answer: to sleep)
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Perspective story 2. When Beth was pregnant with Lee Anna the ladies from our church threw us a shower. Lee Anna got more clothes than she could wear. It took two cars and Renee's Hummer to carry everything home. Beth's only clothing issue was finding a way for Lee Anna to wear each of the pretty outfits on a Sunday so the people who gave them to her would see her wearing what they gave her!
In contrast, a friend of ours named Amira recently had a baby here. She was having a little girl, so Beth went through the things Sawyer had outgrown to pick out some things that would work for a baby girl. Amira knew we had some things to give her, and she called once or twice to say that she really needed to see what we were giving her so she wouldn't buy any duplicates when she went shopping for the baby. Well, Beth put together a plastic sack (the size of a Wal-Mart sack) of baby clothes--probably 6 or 8 outfits plus some pajamas and socks. She gave the sack to Amira's sister, so she wasn't there when she saw the clothes, but later that day she got a phone call from Amira, who was just gushing with excitement. "Thank you, thank you so much!" she said. "Now I won't have to buy anything at all!" Because she had ONE Wal-Mart sack of baby gear, she wouldn't have to buy anything at all!
Perspective Story 3. When I lived in the States, I spent a fair amount of time fishing. Rivers, ponds, lakes, bays, oceans--any body of water that held fish (or that we thought might possibly support marine life) would answer just fine. As a young boy in Crestview, my friends and I would even use white bread as bait to catch small bream. Daddy would tease us about catching "a Coke-bottle full." Some of them were almost small enough to get through the spout of a Coke bottle, but not really. We often used "shiners" for bait to catch bigger bass. A shiner is a type of minnow, usually 3 to 6 inches long. You can buy them in bait shops all over the South. They have shiny scales on their sides that draw attention from bigger fish.
A couple of weeks ago, we went to a little park on the River here. There were some people there with cane fishing poles to rent. I think we paid about 20 cents for an hour, including some sickly little worms for bait. The first little "fish" I caught, I immediately threw back into the river. He was considerably smaller than the aforementioned shiners. If you laid him on a quarter, you'd see silver above him and below him. Our friends promptly yelled at me: "What are you doing?!?" They found a little plastic cup and started collecting these little guys to take home. When we got done, they had 12 or 15 "keepers" in a 16 oz. cup. And they had room to swim around a little. I asked what they were planning to do, and she said she would cook and eat them. "Fry them?" "No, cook them with rice." Seems to me like a bad thing to do to a perfectly good pot of rice.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
We took about a jillion pictures. Here are some of our favorites: