Monday, January 31, 2011

Sleepless in Al Ain.......

 I enjoy reading The Pioneer Woman's blog.  She's a witty writer who enjoys cooking, fixed up her house and loves photography.  She always has something fun to say.   Anyway, she recommended another blog called The Lettered Cottage.  The reason I am recommending this also is because they have a fabulous before and after photo section.  I L.O.V.E.  seeing rooms transformed!  And they did it on a small budget and made each room look so quaint.  Great ideas.  It makes me want to redo a room!  In one of her more recent posts she has this cool program that lets you slide over the picture with your cursor and it shows you a before and after. Pretty neat. Check it out.  And they have a bunch of links to other "home" blogs. 

Sleepless in Seattle Al Ain......

On another note.....I had to take malaria medication for our trip to Kenya....mmm....the side effects sort of kicked in around week 4 (last week). You still have to take the medicine for 4 weeks after returning in case you got Malaria while there.    I started having a horrible time sleeping and my brain wouldn't turn off and I got really restless. Ask my husband. He's always up for telling the truth.  He does it even when you don't ask!  I finally went back to one of our many great doctors at Oasis (who in fact happened to go to the same elementary, high school and college as I did--what a small world!) and he told me that I could stop it. Thanks goodness. Maybe Trey said THANK GOODNESS more than I did. It's a known side effect---psychosis.  When they told me that way back 6 weeks ago before we left for Kenya,  I thought to myself that I usually never get the side effects of a medication, so I'd be fine.  Pfghhh...I was wrong. I got some medicine to sleep and hopefully I'll be myself again shortly.  Ughh...that medicine makes me never want to go back to a country where they have bug-bites-that-carry-crazy diseases-a.k.a. malaria.....never again!  Seriously.  I'm sure I'm just overreacting right now.....because I never do that.....but fo' real, I'm going to bed now. I have a couple weeks worth of sleep to catch on.  Goodbye.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Take me back.....

Last weekend we went back to the farm where I had my "accident" back in November.  The weather is great right now, so we try to take advantage of being outside as much as we can.  It was actually raining, but felt nice to be under the tent and watch the rain...and feel a bit cold inside! 

They make these good little fried donut-like things that are in a syrup with sesame seeds.

Our friend in the middle owns the farm. The couple in the back is from South Carolina and here working as teachers.

They enjoyed some time on the quad bikes.  And NO, I didn't get back on.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Say What You Need to Say.....

We work with people from many different cultures.  Obviously we're not all alike in the way we handle people.  Some are a bit more forward in how they comment on your appearance...but then they are shy to tell you the important things.

These are the lovely comments I heard over the course of this week:
  • You look tired. Your eyes don't look so good. Are you sick? (Maybe I need to get some sun! Okay, I guess I'll just have to start going to the pool again.)
  • Don't wear black anymore. It doesn't look good on you. (Hmmm....I wanted to tell her to look at herself --she wears a full black abaya everyday.  Don't bust on me!)
  • What's wrong with your hair?  Did you do something different? (They definitely didn't like my hair that day)
I should keep a record of these things more often. I've had so many more things said than just this....I'm sort of shocked sometimes but then I remember that I just need to get over it quickly. I'll mark it up as a cultural difference.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mediterranean recipes....

Tonight I was looking online to find some new recipes at the Food Network.  They have a whole section on Healthy Mediterranean right now.

Turkey Hummus Sliders  or how about Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers.  There are lots of good looking recipes. Take a peak for yourself.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It's raining.....

I won't say "It's raining, it's pouring"......but still I'm glad to say that it is raining at all!  We've had a pretty nice amount of rain between yesterday and today.  I didn't realize that I would miss it this much.  It really makes it feel like fall.  I hear all of you in the Northeast have had your share of snow these past couple weeks...and more is coming.  The joy we all get from rain here is pretty great...can you imagine if we had snow:)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cure Kids....

CURE has started a new website called CURE kids.  Through this website, you can sponsor a surgery for a kid from one of our CURE hospitals.  Then you can follow the progress. You don't have to sponsor the full amount.  You can sponsor part of the amount and be part of a larger community that sponsors a much needed surgery.  I'm excited to see how this takes off!  If you're part of a small group or community group that would be interested in a project, consider this.

The one I have posted here is just one of many on the website.  Take a look for yourself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Circle of Life.....

While in Kenya we had the chance to go on a safari.  You can go on a safari, or take a safari, or do a safari (which is it!?) in many places in Africa. Since we were in Kenya, we decided to fly into the Masai Mara for a night and do a quick safari. It was well worth it.  I don't think the zoo will ever be the same again.  To see the animals out in their natural habitat just walking around doing their normal life was really spectacular.  As we were driving around the park area (it's huge and goes into Tanzania) we would just come upon animals.  The first group that we saw (besides gazelle) were the elephants.  It was so COOL to see them right there in front of us.  It really doesn't even seem real!  I only saw pictures of things like this on National Geographic or church when we taught about Noah's Ark:)

Enjoy the pics.   I think my favorite were the zebra.  Their stripes are incredible. 

The little plane we flew on into the Masai Mara.  It made people sick. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Out of Africa.....

I love the mosquito nets around the beds. It did help while we were sleeping. I got a bunch of bites --for some reason, they love me.
Last Friday we left for a trip to Kenya.  CURE hosts a conference periodically so that the Exec Directors, Spiritual Directors and Medical Directors can get together.  We enjoyed our time at the conference getting to know some new folks and seeing friends we've known for a bit of time now.  Our hospital is such a different gig compared to CURE's other hospitals--most do club foot or hydrocephalus (I hope I spelled that correctly) surgeries where we are a general hospital that provides a lot of different services. 
Here's Alan. Jenna got a picture of the 4 of us. He's a dentist in Kijabe.
When we were there, we go to see our friends Alan and Jenna who used to live here in the UAE and worked at Oasis.  Jenna also went to Gordon with me.  They moved back to Kenya in May so it was great to spend some time with them again!  They took us driving around Nairobi to see what the neighborhoods are like and then we ended up at a great cafe.   We ended up getting to see them again as we went up to a town called Kijabe for our last night. This is where CURE's hospital is in Kenya and also where Rift Valley Academy is located.  They hosted us for a night which was great and we were able to enjoy some local Kenya cuisine.  It was really good to see CURE's hospital in Kenya. This was CURE's first hospital.  Now there are 10 (or 11 depending on how you count).

Alan showed us some coffee bushes. I don't think I've ever seen a coffee bean before it's roasted.  We were able to buy some good Kenyan coffee to bring back.

We had a great time. I'll post pictures of our safari next.  It was FABULOUS!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Feels like home to me.....

We arrived back in the UAE last night.  It's always good to go on vacation but also good to get back into routine after a while.  We were both excited to get back to our work and friends here.  This place feels like home to me.  I'm thankful that we have friends that we enjoy, a church plant that is growing with wonderful people and jobs that we enjoy.  Not to say that every day feels perfect here or living overseas is always a dream, but I'm thankful for those things I mentioned which all help it to feel like home to me.  I'm also thankful that we have the ability to fly back home for trips to see family and friends.  When you're excited to come back and climb into your own bed and starting using your new kitchen gadgets and having people over, it seems like a good sign that this place is feeling more and more like home.  Last night as we were walking through the airport, Trey said "I never knew I would be so excited to see Emirate men with their white kandoras on or so many women with their head covered. "  I would say that he feels like this is home--for now!  That doesn't mean we're never going back to America (I get the final vote on this one:) but we're over the hump of it feeling like the place where we just "live"....I think we've arrived to the place where it finally feels like home.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year....

This past week, we've been with Trey's family.  Here are some snapshots of our time in Massachusetts.
We flew back on Monday night and should be back in Al Ain now. We're off to Kenya on Friday for a conference for Trey with CURE.  We're pretty excited and hope to have some cool pictures to post from that. 

The bowling champ! She beat us all.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Chestnuts roasting by an open fire.....

 Here is more of our time at home. 

Nana and Pop.  We still have Christmas at their home on Christmas Day afternoon and evening.

We even got to see some snow!  It was beautiful.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.....

We enjoyed our Christmas at home.  Over the next few days,  I'll post some shots of our time in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

One day before Christmas, my sister and I made cut out cookies and decorated them.