Monday, October 31, 2005

Poo Poo Pooo!

Well, my trip to Luxor and Aswan fell through. So I'm disappointed about that.

Also, I have to move in December. I've been talking to these people about house sitting for them for about three months (from the end of December to the end of March). So it would be a few more months to save up money and find a place for a few months. Esther and I went to look at the place tonight and it's a nice apartment and they have a nice garden and internet however. . . this would be the first time somebody charged me $300/month to house sit! Especially considering they are locking up their bedroom and don't actually have a bed for me to sleep on. I would have an air matress. . . wow. . . super. What more could a girl ask for. So it's back to the drawing board I think.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Digging Up the Past

Have you ever spent time with someone who forces you to dig up the past and every painful experience you ever had? Could be a psychologist, a counselor, or a concerned friend.
I had this experience yesterday. Some of it was good and helpful, especially dealing with the more recent past and things that I am still working through. However, when it gets into issues I dealt with years ago, people I forgave long before, I feel like why are we rehashing this? Why do I have to relive this in my mind all over? Just because I forgive doesn't mean that the memories are no longer painful. I almost felt that this person didn't believe me when I said that I had already forgiven those people because my personality is still to this day affected by events that happened so so so long ago. My response is this. . . when you are a child you are like a dry sponge. You take in everything around you and it becomes part of what shapes you. One significant (or even seemingly insignificant event) can skew how you see yourself, how you see others, or how you see life in general. Now if you compound that with similar events taking place on a regular basis throughout your childhood, of course it will most likely affect you for a long time and maybe your whole life. Even if down the road you realize that your views might be incorrect and maybe your experience shouldn't be the only factor in your judgements about life, that doesn't mean that you automatically wake up a changed person. Just because we forgive doesn't mean that we automatically forget the events of our past and it doesn't mean that we automatically have a personality change.
Somewhere between my God-given make up and my cultural experience and my personal experience, I have ended up to be a bit of a loner, who doesn't like to rely too much on others, and a bit of a people-pleaser, always needing to have affection/approval from others. I suppose the two are actually opposites, but that's me. And I have made steps forward to change some of the negative aspects of these two traits. But it just doesn't usually happen over-night. So be patient with yourself and with others. We are changing and growing at different paces.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Everyday Holds Something New: The Continuing Story

What an eventful week, full of highs and lows. And finally the week brought me an unexpected suprise that was not completely unwelcome. A job offer. I'm not sure if I want to take it or not. It's gonna take a good bit of thinking out the details and looking into different options. This job would require at least a two year commitment. I've already missed so many things at home . . . births . . . graduations. . . weddings etc. Do I want to sacrifice missing even more? Also it would be a change in direction. Going for a teaching certification would, at best, be put on hold for a few years. But the job sounds like it might be a good match for me, my personality, my experience. So I don't know. It'll be awhile before I decide.

Just think. My two week visit turned into six months, which became a year and a half, which now might become three and a half, which later on who knows what it could become. This is all a bit exciting and overwhelming.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Weird Dream

I had a weird, violent dream last night. I was in my house (some house I have never seen before in reality, but it was mine in the dream) and this bat swooped down and bit my hand. He didn't just bite it, he clung to it. So I grabbed onto him in return. My first plan was to take the thing outside and let it go. The bat struggles and struggles to be let go. Two of my friends are with me. They tell me that they think my whole house is infested with bats. It makes me so angry to think that I have to deal with not just one, but a whole flock of bats. So I decide to kill the bat in my hands. I keep trying to break it's neck, but I can't (probably because I just don't have a killer instinct). Finally I do manage to kill the bat. I put it under a bush, then I sink to the ground and start crying. The end.


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Everyday Holds Something New: Part Two

Everyday truly does hold something new. Somedays may hold an unexpected letter from home. Some a suprise bouquet of flowers. Others might produce a check in the mail that you forgot you were getting. But if you've had my week the somethings new might include the formerly mentioned dead sheep, people spitting on you as they drive past in their car, and seven year olds stabbing you with pencils.

All I can say is praise the Lord, I have a whole week of vacation.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Every day holds something new

Living in general, and especially living in Egypt, I have come to expect the unexpected. You never know what each day will hold or what you might find when you round that next bend in the road. This morning was a classic example. I was walking on my normal route to work. I noticed a pungent aroma in the air, stronger than the normal trash and pollution smells I have grown accustomed to. I turned a corner to find the source. A dead, rotting, decaying sheep in the middle of the sidewalk on Road 10. Unbelievable. There are sections of Cairo where this would be quite normal, but for the part of town I live in it was suprising.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

I'm an Auntx2!!!

My sister had her baby at about 6:25 yesterday evening. I don't know any other details yet, but I can't wait to come home for Christmas to meet my new neice and nephew. My brother and sister are officially adults now. Now they have to act serious about life. Now their lives will never be the same as they were before. It's weird enough the my older sister seems so grown up. . . I mean being a parent is about as grown up as it gets. But when the younger brother feels more grown up than you are. . . now that is truly weird.

One thing worse

Not too long ago I posted about my dislike of most chick flicks. Well I've found something worse than a bad chick flick. . . a bad teeny bopper chick flick. As a rule of thumb, if Hillary Duff, Mary Kate, or Ashley Olsen star in a movie then it will qualify for this category. I don't think there is any need to defend my position here. Enough said.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Love my Job

Today was a good day at work. My class was exceptionally focused and hard-working today. The one kid who always freaks out on me and throws temper tantrums, destroys my classroom, and anything else he can do to either get attention or get out of doing his work was still his usual disfunctional self. But it was all ok. The rest of the class wasn't even bothered by him and so neither was I. I let the classroom assistant work with him and I went on with my lessons as though nothing was wrong. It was beautiful. I came home from work feeling like a really enjoyed the kids today. Like they actually listened to me today. Sigh. I love my job. Another highlight of the day was the morning devotion for the kids. Our kindergarten teacher led devotions this morning. It was about being thankful. She had the kids write a Psalm thanking God for. . . whatever they wanted to. Kids are so refreshing. They are thankful for the little things. It doesn't take much to make them smile and think that life is good. Their Psalm consisted of things like . . .
Thank you God for my cat
Thanks for my brother and my mom
Thank you for snow
Thank you for buttercups
Thanks for butterflies
Thank you for my new pants with the flowers on them
Thanks for my friend Danny

I aspire to be like kids and always appreciate even the little things. Thank you God for my job. Thanks for the Kauffmans. Thanks for my family. Thanks for plane tickets home for Christmas. Thanks for stupid jokes that make me laugh too loudly. Thank you for friends that come over for dinner. Thank you for the endless possibilities that the future holds.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Don't leave home without them

Living in Cairo, I walk quite a bit. I don't have a car, so my options are generally walk, metro, or taxi. I don't mind walking especially now that the weather is cooling off a bit. I walk to work. I walk to church. I walk to friends' houses (within reason). It's nice and it provides me with the only regular form of exercise I've been getting since I've lived here. But when I'm walking around by myself I usually always have my discman with me and my head phones on. This serves multiple purposes. Entertainment for my walk. Mood enhancement for the day. And most importantly, a way to zone out any undesireable scenery (creepy men especially). Today I made the mistake of forgeting my trusty discman.

I was already in an irritated mood because I had to go into work on a Saturday afternoon to do some planning for the week. On top of that I've been frustrated with a few situations at work that are not going as I would like them to. I'm irritated with myself because I try to be agreeable to everyone. So much so that I don't effectively communicate that certain things are just not working for me. So I'm walking to work already irritated when a man in a car pulls off to the side of the road, rolls his window down and asks me if he can help me with anything. Did I look lost? I thought I was walking in a way that said I knew exactly where I was going. Did I look handicapped or hurt? I don't think so. He was just bothering me. So I say no and keep walking. He drives off. Two minutes down the road he pulls up beside me again and offers me a ride. This time I am more forceful and tell him to leave me alone, which was gentle compared to what was going through my head. He leaves and I don't see him again. After that I put up with what I assume normally goes on when I walk down the street, but I never notice it because I'm tuned out. There are comments yelled out from cars, little sounds from men as I pass by, and the like. It was really getting under my skin. I'm almost to the school when a couple of ten year oldish boys decide to start following me. They whistle, they hiss, they yell out any random phrase they know in English and lots of things in Arabic which I was probably better off not understanding. I almost snapped on them. I wanted to turn around and yell at them, but what good would it do. I just kept walking. I finally get to the school only to find that the gate is all locked up and our gate keeper is nowhere to be found. All that for nothing.

Moral of the story: don't leave home without your discman.

Friday, October 14, 2005


This blog was inspired by Wendy's blog, Pat's blog, Emily's pumpkin carving night (which I didn't get to attend), Sara's cell group, and a phone conversation with Gary.

Seven things I want to do before I die. . .
carve a pumpkin
visit Morrocco
visit Italy
master another language
learn how to make good mixed drinks (they always end up too strong, too sweet, too sour, too anything but good)
write a book (even if nobody reads it but me, I'd still like to do this)
learn how to ride a bike


The Kauffman's bought the Settlers of Catan game. Yay! I am a happy camper.

Also, I just wasted an hour of my morning trying to post pictures on my blog. I was completely unsuccessful. I am thinking of changing my blog to a place in My Space instead of continuing on here. I don't have time to play with it this morning though. So until further notice, I'm still here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Obligatory Blog

Not much new in my world, but I haven't blogged for a few days and I feel that I should. So the biggest news is that my big sis will be a mom in no more than a week! Other news is that my cell group is ok. I'm still feeling a bit awkward with the whole thing, but it's not so bad. Hmmm. . . school is ok. There is one kid that makes me wish I was a smoker and I could light up between classes to release some of the stress. But other than that, it's wonderful. Oh! I do have some other news. At the end of the month I have a week off school. Sara, myself, and another friend are planning a trip to Luxor and Aswan to see some temples and the Valley of the Kings and all that good stuff. So that will be freakin' awesome!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

A weekend in Dahab

I am back from a most relaxing weekend in Dahab. It was everything I hoped for and more. It's so wonderfully laid back there. You just forget that time exists altogether. You lounge around. You snorkel. You dive. You shop. You eat. You sunbathe. You sit by the beach and play guitar. You spend time with your friends. So here are some highlights from my trip.

I had some good girl time. I rode in the car with Sara, Esther, and two of my other girl friends. We enjoyed singing badly and loudly to our favorite CDs. We randomly stopped in the desert so that Esther could give in to her urge to chase camels. We all stayed in $4/night bungalows. Each bungalow could host two people, so Sara and I were roomies. Sara was also my dive buddy for one of the two dives I did. I love spending vacation time with Sara. She is one of those people who just makes fun happen wherever she goes. She gets people to let loose and just be as stupid and goofy as you possibly can be. For example, one morning we were getting coffee at a little shop there and she had me staring practically nose-to-glass at my eyes trying to make my pupils dialate and then go small again. It was fairly entertaining for the man working there.

The diving was of course great. For my first dive, Ed was my dive buddy. For my second, Sara was my buddy. We had a great time watching and chasing the fish. I flooded my mask more than once while laughing at Ed and Sara's underwater kung foo moves. And while gearing up and down, the most unusual stories can come up. Such as, I shared with the group how I used to worry when I was a kid that I might actually turn out to be the anti-Christ. My logic then being that the anti-Christ would be someone that no one was really suspecting. And I thought "Wow. I would never suspect that I am the anti-Christ. . . so maybe. . ."

Another classic moment happened the morning before we left. I was sitting at an outdoor restaurant with Ed and two other guys from our group at about 9:30am. Now 9:30 am is still fairly early in the relaxed, laid back atmosphere of Dahab. So the restaurants are still sort of getting things ready for the day. While we were sitting there, the boss or manager or owner or whatever he was stood around yelling at his employees to do this or do that in Arabic. One might not notice it too much or think the seen unusual at all except for one thing . . . bossman was wearing nothing but a speedo. Awesome. Just what everyone wants to see first thing in the morning. So Ed and I had fun trying to imagine what life at New Life would be like if Dan or John took some notes from this guy.
Dan (in speedo): Why haven't you watered to organic produce yet?!
We need another batch of Mocha Fudge Wow Cow. ASAP!
John (in speedo): Why is this register off? Son, don't you know we don't take out of state checks?!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Few Random Thoughts

I didn't blog for a few days and I have stored up little things here and there that I want to write about.

First, Ramadan started yesterday. So far. . . I love it. The streets are filled with lights and lanterns, which is really nice. But the best part is 5:30ish to 7:00ish in the evening. All day during Ramadan, muslims fast. No food, no drink (not even water), no cigarettes, nothing. Then at 5:30 in the evening they break their fast. So every muslim is at home eating a their lovely Ramadan feasts. The streets are empty. For once it feels almost calm here. It is absolutely amazing. I rode the metro yesterday evening to meet some friends downtown. Normally, I would have a half hour ride to look forward to. On this ride I would most likely be standing up the whole way. I would most likely be shoulder to shoulder with women who, quite frankly, have B.O. I would most likely be hassled by somebody to buy something. And I would certainly have to ignore the fact that half of the people on the train were just staring at me. But not yesterday. Yesterday I had the entire car to myself!! It was mind boggling. I actually started talking out loud to myself because I just thought "when will I ever have this opportunity again?!" Anyway, Ramadan has it's down sides too, but so far it's ok by me.

Second, this is for the man I saw walking his dog this morning when I was on my way to work. Why was I embarassed when I tripped in front of you? Anyone can trip on accident. Everyone trips on accident from time to time. But you. . . you were the one who woke up this morning and actually thought "today is a good day for wearing neon green biker shorts." You should hang your head in shame.

Third, yesterday I met with two other songwriters for the first of hopefully many more songwriting sessions. It was nice. I felt like a vital part of me was woken up from a deep sleep.

A weekend just for me

This weekend is my first long weekend of the year. Woo Hoo! I am going to the Red Sea. I am diving. I am snorkeling. I am shopping. I am laying around on the beach. I am hanging out with friends. I am eating good food (hopefully). I am not planning lessons. I am not worrying about meetings. I am not tying kids shoes. I am not telling kids to listen to me, to sit down, to stop kicking the desks around, to stop throwing pencils at the fan, or begging/bribing them to eat their lunch. It is just me and my freinds this weekend. It is a very good feeling.