Christmas Updates


This won't be a long post, just enough to pass on the links for my Christmas card and December newsletter. Since moving my website and most internet activity to Apple's Mobile Me I have decided to provide links to newsletters and updates, rather than posting the images here. If that is a problem and you have issues with PDF files let me know and I will see what I can do to make your access to that information easier. I will continue to email newsletters and updates if I have you in my address book. If you're not already there contact me and I can add you.

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Musings, II

This week has been wet, raining several days. The rain washes down the pollution though so the scenery from Mansourieh is quite nice.

I seem to be the death of things electronic. My washing machine seems to be on its last legs, my laptop suffered some software issues that caused a complete reformat/restore, and my cell phone died.

Banking and finances here aren't as easy as I'd imagine. Got my AmEx eaten by an ATM machine last week, my bank in the US is afraid of doing business in Lebanon (which means limited cash), and my two-month dispute with AmEx on a failed ATM transaction goes to round 2 (denied my first claim).

Watching a child succeed and be good at something is awesome, you see the potential in all children, even the difficult ones. Smiles from shy students are truly a blessing.

The rains last night closed many roads and made a trip from Tyre into a 3.5 hour journey.

Church was great this morning, music was perfect.

Been listening to Ryan Delmore non-stop for the past two weeks.

Watched "Up" last night, probably one of the most touching movies I have seen in a long time.

Slacking on my Christmas newsletter, but have most of the photos ready for it.

Feel like writing, but am afraid that if I start I won't stop.

Should study Arabic this evening.

Ready to see what 2010 brings, for Lebanon and for my future.

Making tea and waiting for lunch to start.

Letting go and trusting more.

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This week, actually, this semester has gone by quite rapidly. I can't believe we're already in December, just weeks away from Christmas and the beginning of 2010. We've had several residents sick, the absences are missed as the ones not here are quite know they are here when they are here. Hopefully all will be back, and healthy, very soon.

Weather continues to change, but it seems that we're on the edge of the winter rains. The sky pulled a trick on me yesterday as it was ominously dark, which usually indicates a decent storm, but it blew over and the clouds just helped usher in dusk a bit more quickly.

I continue to have cell phone issues, during some break time today I intend to walk down to a cellular store and see what I can find for a replacement phone. There are several features that I want but I am not wanting to blow too much $$ on the process, and smart phones tend to be a bit on the pricey side of things here. My Nokia E51, which I got a little over a year ago, seems to be bricked for good this time. I have not modified it or done anything except use it as it should be used...the OS is buggy and there seems to be a glitch with Bluetooth and syncing that causes the phone to get all kooky and such. I knew I was running on borrowed time with the phone but I was in denial. I think that I will likely get a cheaper phone to use here in Lebanon and see if I can get my Nokia fixed. The second time this happened I got it fixed for around $10, but it doesn't seem to be a permanent fix. I can keep this one for international travel and when I visit the US for fund-raising and visiting family and friends. Although I don't use the phone terribly often I like to have it and while I was out last night w/o it I felt vulnerable.

Christmas lights and decorations are going up around Beirut. As I can I'll take some photos. The lights and patterns are truly amazing.

Last night I went bowling with some friends, we took the three older boys from the program with us as well. The bowling alley doesn't require you to use bowling shoes so most everyone there was bowling in their street or dress shoes. Never in my life had I seen a person attempt to bowl in high heels, there is a first for everything I suppose. On the lane to the immediate left of us (and scattered among the rest as well) were young women, nicely dressed, all wearing high heels. When their turn to bowl came up they took the ball and heaved it into the air, almost a cross between bowling and shot put. Often the bowl would bounce one or twice before settling down in a slow roll. The scary thing is that many of these women were quite adept at this, indicating perhaps much experience using this technique. Occasionally a ball would make a strike, never saw the precision though to get a spare. I am not sure if this testifies to the female [Lebanese] strength, determination, or just vanity. Oh well, made the night so much more enjoyable.

Off to work, thanks for reading. Stay tuned for my Christmas newsletter and greetings.

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