Just wanted to give our blog world a little taste of what we have been up to the past few weeks. Life here carries on as usual, well, as usual as we can get in this land!
Stevie and I are in arabic class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays and then on the other days we are meeting with friends, practicing language, studying with language helpers and just still trying to fumble our way through it all! Stevie is doing AmAzIng. Seriously. We really are at a loss for words on how he has acclimated to arabic. When we are out and about people sometimes even ask if he is from here. I’m not kidding. And then they ask him, ‘What is wrong with your wife? Why can’t she talk?’ Ha! I have learned to laugh at all of this. I usually like responding to them (in arabic)..something about me being at home with the kids and him being able to go out to cafes and talk to people whenever he wants. But thats not totally the truth either because I get out and about as well. It just makes me feel justified. So, one of my language goals is to not hide behind my well speaking husband. I cannot explain it and it could make for a very awkward marriage but thankfully I have not one single competitive bone in my body, so for now it works.
The gym is booming lately. We take turns in the evenings going to fitness and teaching classes and being with people. It gives me so much energy to work out and this week I start back to 4 classes a week, instead of 3. If only I could eat right I might be super skinny! BUT being skinny is for the birds. Our Kick the Kilos program has started on its third 12 week session and the ladies LOVE it. Brenda brings so much knowledge to the program and it actually is working. Last session our winner lost over 20 lbs!
I have also started working on a new project with another expat friend who use to work in a maximum security prison in the states. We have started offering self-defense courses at our gym for women. So far we have been through two session of about 8 women each time. And I love it! Not to mention I now know how to throw Stevie to the ground. Out of the sixteen women about five of them have already been assaulted in some way here on the streets. So, it gives me great power in knowing I have skills that might actually work in case of a situation like that.
Max is doing really well in the potty training area and Ella is such a great reader. It helps that she gets almost a one on one education right now. Next year there will be a new school opening up here for both locals and expats. It is classical education and I am actually on the founders board for the school. In a few weeks I will even get to meet the Minister of Education when we sign all of the papers. So the teacher nerd in me is pretty stoked about that!
Team life is grand. We love our mates and are already starting to feel sad about the “great divide” this summer. Half of our team is moving about 8 hours south, so that will leave us, Pete and Brenda, Christy, Chang and Pa, and Larry and Karen here to run everything. We are excited to have a fresh start as our formal years of language learning come to a close in June.
Our visit with mom, Joey, Jenny, Jojo and Maddie was fabulous. We love sharing our life here with visitors and they pretty much stocked us with all of the american commodities you can think of. My Aunts Sharon, Kathy, and Linda also sent a huge care package with them…even sharing with me some of their own jewelry. And another family member sent us a new iPad to replace the one that was stolen. We are so tremendously blessed to not be on this journey alone. But life back there (in the motherland) continues on…my mom had a surgery she is now recovering well from, my dad continues to be monitored from his heart surgery last year, my sis-in-law (and best bud) will have a baby next week, and my fabulous MIL celebrated her 63rd birthday yesterday. I still ache to be near each one of you and find it hard to live in some kind of middle land, but I have to remind myself that I’m just doubly blessed.
Okay, if you have read this entire update (probably by now only my two mothers) then you should get a reward!
I’m off to arabic class! And promise to take pictures throughout my average day and report back!