global village

Yesterday, we went to an event that's put on by the Times newspaper, called the Times Global Village. It's only in town for a few weeks, and it's really worth checking out! It had different tents from different countries, and inside these tents were shops selling things that really are from those places! Inside the Africa tent (well...Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, and Zimbabwe tent), there was shop after shop selling the exact items we saw and bought in Tanzania, like the little wooden carved giraffes and Masai warriors, tinga-tinga paintings, and batiks. (Made me miss you, Al!) The UK got its own tent, but the US did not. We did get a special mention at the International Tent, with a pic of Mt. Rushmore (??) for added emphasis.

We tried out food from the different regions of the country, and were pretty stuffed before we turned the corner and saw all the international places - Czech Republic, Turkey, Africa, UAE, Thailand, China...there was so much to see that we ran out of time. We realized we had wasted our time in the South Asia section! It was a lot of fun, and really cool to see everything. They also had performers from different countries, although it seemed like most of them were from this country...or maybe not, I couldn't really tell. By the way, it's so dusty now that you can't take flash pics without dust particles showing up.

Today's High: 106; Today's High in Paris: 78 (yes I am looking forward to it! :)


boat ride

A few weeks ago, I posted that the weather was so nice that I felt like I should be headin' to the lake. While that's not quite true now, about a week or so ago, we went with some friends to check out a few sites in the Capital. The first stop was a crematorium. I know, I know, not your typical #1 Hit on the sight-seeing route. But it's a great place to see some of the culture, because a large percentage of South Asians believe in cremation and dying auspiciously. This means many things, but one thing it can mean is setting the body off into the holy river, or in the case of the Capital, a branch of the river. And this particular crematorium is on that river, so you can see a lot of what they try to do to pass their relatives on successfully into their next life. We got there pretty early, before any of the ceremonies were taking place. So while we were taking pictures, a man on a small wooden boat on the bank of the river called to us and with a swoop of his arm motioned for us to come for a ride. We weren't sure where we were going, but we knew we may not have this opportunity again, so we very carefully stepped around all the trash on the bank of the river, and who knows what else, and got into the boat. He rowed us over to the other side of the river, where there was a small temple. We got out and took some more pics, and found it really funny that on this somewhat island of a temple, there was a dog. How did he get there? Even though the river was pretty dirty, it was fun to ride around in an old wooden boat, and was really nice!

Who knew when I said I'd like to head out to the lake, that I'd get the next best thing - a boat ride on a polluted river!

High Today: 104; High Today in Paris: 80


the downfall of the mosquito dynasty

In our spare bedroom, we have a glass-less window. It was designed for a window AC unit, but since we only have one AC, it goes in our bedroom not the spare, and we have no window. The mosquitoes are awful, and they just swarm in the spare bedroom. Malaria and dengue fever are risks here, so we have to be real careful about the mosquitoes, and it can get a little frustrating that they just never go away! Well we had some friends tell us about this really cool product they have here...mosquito rackets! We bought two today and have already had way too much fun with them. They are little tennis rackets with wires that electrocute the mosquitoes! You can actually see them disintegrate in a quick blaze. They say on the there, "This is not a toy," but I don't really agree with that! They are fun, and stress relievers too. I have a feeling that a lot of bad days out will end with some fun mosquito zapping when I get home. Why aren't these in the states? Is this a bit like the Bag o'Glass on that old SNL skit of dangerous toys? Or have we failed to realize the potential for entertainment in mosquito swatting?

High Today: 107, High Today in Paris: 73


Happy Resurrection!

This morning, we went to the sunrise service at 5:45am. It was held at some really nice gardens here in the Capital. The gardens are home to several very very old tombs (from the 15th-16th centuries!) and were the perfect setting for a sunrise service on this special day. As the leader pointed out to us, we were surrounded by all these tombs, but we know that the tomb of our boss is empty!

Many Capital-dwellers come to this garden for their physical and spiritual exercises. As we walked to join our group, we saw many people doing Yoga. (to get a glimpse of the true meaning of Yoga, read this) But many others were doing their cardio or toning exercises, which to a Westerner, can look pretty funny. (check out the nicely dressed guy doing his stretches on the bench!) We in the West are cool, with our jogging and cross-trainer machines, or our serious weightlifting. During the service, while the speaker was talking, husband whispered to me that I should look behind the speaker. I peeked around him and saw a man doing jumping jacks! Right behind the speaker! It was pretty funny, especially considering the moment. But it's sad too that this is just another day to most of them.

By the way, I did not take the jumping jack guy's pic during the service. He was still jumping after the service was over, so we snagged the opportunity. :)

Today's High: 94; High Today in Paris: 63



I've come to realize that no matter where you are in the world, He will provide others there to teach you, encourage you, love on you, guide you, or just plain have fun with you. And even the things you think you're missing out on, He'll provide that, too. Case in point. SE, a precious 9 year old going on 30, and one of her big brothers, C, 11. They are in a family close to us who just moved back to the States this week. C decided he really wanted to take guitar lessons, but they needed to find a teacher, preferably one who spoke English. He didn't have to look any further than husband. And SE had been asking her mother to take ballet lessons, and instead of having to miss out on an aspect of life that seems so normal to Americans, and so inaccessible to us living overseas, SE was able to take rudimentary ballet lessons from me. Of course all that blessing talk was about myself, because I never thought how lucky I'd be to get to do something so cool. It was so much fun for me, and to be able to teach something that I love, it's a great opportunity. So like I said, the boss will provide ways to encourage us.

SE began the lessons back in January, and on March 22, we had a recital. Yes, that's only 2 months to not only learn ballet steps but string a dance together. And SE, the prodigy, did it beautifully and professionally. We moved all the furniture out of our Yellow Room and about 15 people came to our place to watch her dance not one, but two dances. I was so proud of her! (these are all pics from the recital. As you would guess, ballet shoes and tutus aren't what you'd call readily available here, so we made do)

We had snacks afterwards, because I wouldn't be a good SB if I didn't offer food at function, even if the function did involve dancing.

High Today in the Capital: 95; High today in Paris: 67

P.S. Nothing has changed, I still love getting comments... :)