Archive for the ‘North Africa’ Category

Entering the Holiday Season

December 1, 2009

— Written by a Teacher in N. Africa —

This Saturday, I was up early and decided to head to our “walmart” to pick up a few random items. I was in no rush, and began wandering around the home section. The first thing I noticed, was about 4 shelves worth of Christmas decorations! I was so excited! There were Christmas lights, tinsel, red and silver balls, and some star like items. I must admit though, my favorite were the “Christmas-like-[N. African]”items. What I mean by that, are things that have nothing to do with Christmas, but are gaudy and shiney enough [N. African] decorations that they can completely pass in the Christmas section. Huge gold dangley seashells, flowers with a big ruby jewels in the middle, and outdoor patio lights that could almost be Christmas lights. But hey, they are trying, right? The next highlight of the Marjan trip, was the appliance section. This year, the big holiday Aid Khabir, is the weekend after Thanksgiving. This is the holiday where [N. African] families purchase a live sheep, and slaughter them, just like Abraham did in the Old Testament. It is a sign of faithfulness and repentence.

In order to properly kill and eat the sheep, you need lots of tools, right? So, now…and this whole week….its your lucky day. On sale, are all sheep killing and eating tools. Knives, bbq grills, skewers, and a whole aisle of rope and saws. Yes, ropes and saws. Above the aisle are huge signs with a picture of a sheep looking over the top of the charcoal grill. Poor sheep doesn’t know whats coming. You know how after Thanksgiving Thursday, Christmas tree shops are popping up on random street corners and gas stations? Well picture the same thing here, only with live sheep. Families go pick it out, bring it home, and take care of it til its time to slaughter it. The bigger the sheep the better. Ahh, nothing says Happy Holiday’s like a little sheep blood and some good ol’ skewer sales.

transitioning overseas

October 9, 2008

–Written by a Teacher in North Africa–

The first week of school is officially over, as well as our first weekend. Does the countdown begin yet? )

It was an overwhelming week, but good. I am impressed with the teachers, the administration, and the students. We were all grateful for only a four day week to begin, and now the real grind will start. The hardest part? Learning the names. Several of the kids have the same names, and I need to not only learn which goes to who, but how to pronounce it. It is not a bad things, just an added stress. 7 classes of 25 kids…it will take me time! But I already have a few of the “bad ones” down )

This weekend was awesome. Friday night four of us went down to the beach and tossed a frisbee around. 3 of us ended up in the water, either by tripping, chasing the frisbee, or being tackled. The sun was setting, and the water felt amazing. Afterwards we made chocolate chip cookies and played nerts. It was a little piece of home…it almost felt like vacation. I am so thankful for it!!!

Last night I ate at a fancyshmancy restaurant. We were one of two tables in there, so of course they sit us right next to the live music stage. Three men singing arabic music. It was almost a flashback to the local music scene in nashville, but not quite. It was a cultural experience for sure, but with all the warm bread you could want, you cant complain!

Today, Sunday, I have missed home more than any other day here. Sunday’s are always hard, but I think now that there is a routine, it is starting to hit more that I’m staying here, and right now with limited contact to the states. I actually went to a friends myspace page that has some of his songs up so I could “hear” his voice. Although it was a weekend full of people and adventures, after only a month there is not the depth of relationship that you long for and miss back home. But I know it will come….I am hopeful.