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Showing posts from June, 2009

Summer is for Reading

Yesterday, I finished The Last Great Dance on Earth, the third book in a series on Josephine (and Napoleon) Bonaparte. I enjoyed it immensely, and once I was done, I felt aimless...I didn't know what to do with myself. I didn't want to watch TV. I had no friends I could call. The internet hurts my eyes after awhile. I craved more books.

It's part of my family DNA to read, and for some reason, I associate summertime with a marked increase in the number of books in our house. Probably because, lacking a TV in our home, it was how my mom made it through those long summer weeks with four children running her ragged.

I remember when I was little there was always a summer reading program through the library. I loved them, because I always knew I would far exceed the goals and be well rewarded a result. They should have programs like that for grown-ups.

I love reading in the summer time. In the backyard. In a lawnchair by the campfire. In the tent when it is raining. By the beach. …

Rewrite #5

I'm having a hard time getting back into the blogging groove. Part of it is the pressure I feel to do a great write-up on the last six weeks, and I'm finding that really hard. It just doesn't summarize easily. I'm working on it for the people who get my regular email updates. But on here...there are too many loose ends and snippets, inconsistencies and irrelevancies.

I loved it, though. Loved, loved, loved it. It broke my heart and made me sad. I was full of joy and virtually stress-free (except for 3 occasions). I felt simultaneously useless and perfectly at rest. I was lonely. I love the friends I made. I loved the culture. I hated the way I was treated as a woman. I drank a lot of fresh fruit juice. I ate a lot of fresh bread. I lost weight.

This photo (taken not by me) is from a hotel room desk. The sticker points to Mecca so that visitors can know which way to face for their prayers. Across town at the main market, you can buy hashish or marijuana.

So what do I do wi…

Back In The Day

I may regret this, but as I filtered through my emails from the past two months, I discovered that my sister scanned and sent some photos that made me smile... So without further ado, I give you my family circa 1993.

I believe this is my brother's great 8 graduation. Notice the Garfield tie. The flowered one-piece jumpsuit complete with high belt and white socks. The plaid hanging dress. And the terrible awful hair on all of us, save my adorable little brother.

All By Myself (Don't Wanna Be)

I am the last person from my group to return to Canada. Everyone else is getting (or already got on) planes today. I have until 3:50pm tomorrow afternoon. This is an unfortunate reality because of two things: a) a busy weekend ahead and b) I am left in limbo between this experience and picking up my life in Canada.

It may be too soon for me to try processing and blogging about the last several weeks, but the opportunity is staring me in my face, and writing helps me think.

I cried this morning when I read a text message, and then again while journaling, and then again when sending an email. Clearly, I am emotional. I think my feelings include:
-a pinch of regret

Sadness, because this trip has been stellar and now it is over.
Fear, that these new friendships, both Canadian and international, will fail to continue.
Panic, knowing the changes I am walking into in Canada.
Regret, because there are always things I could have done better.

I am okay with these feelings, because th…

Finally Acclimatized

So it's official. I've settled into the culture here; I ate dinner at 10:30pm last night.

And then I burned a cockroach to death with the stove lighter.

Yes, we have cockroaches. No, I am not fond of them. Yes, I am mildly afraid of them, and no, I will not give in to them.

Hence the burning. The lighter was in my hand...the cockroach showed itself...I won.

The end.

(Also, I don't fully want to come home yet. I have another week in country, but we leave our apartments on Thursday morning, so the reality of returning is slowly settling in. )

Orange and Brown and Pretty.

There is something beautiful about this, despite my dislike for the colour orange.

But even more beautiful is the girl who did it for me. Her name means "pretty" and it suits her. Inside and out, she is one of the loveliest girls I've met. I can't stop thinking about her story.

(sidenote: I wish today would hurry up and finish. This surprises me, as it is our day off. And it's not that I don't want to rest. It's that I feel incapable of rest today - what I want and what I'm able to do today are not the same. So I wish I could move on to tomorrow.)