Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Recap and Low Stakes Dilemma

Hey guys,

Sorry it's been way too long since I've posted.  I've been zoned out most of the New Year, and then we had a visitor (while Thomas was gone.... sigh) so it's been a little weird so far.  But now it's February!  How in the world is it already February?  Yikes.

OK, so a couple weeks ago my good friend Clay flew halfway around the world to come hang out with us for a week.  It was really great to see someone from home, who I've known for ages.  Is it 17 years now?  If not, it's very close.  We all went to the Dead Sea for one night and stayed at the Marriott, which was far and away better than the Moevenpick which we tried the last time.  I think we'll stay there again.  It's more like a normal hotel, but very nice and everything is accessible, instead of the thousand and one steps at the other place.  The weather was also a million times better, since it was January and 60 degrees instead of July and 110/surface of the sun.  A little warmer would have been nice, but it was totally fine.

On the way back home after spending one night at the Dead Sea, we stopped at the Baptism Site.  They take you to a muddy hole next to an old building, which is supposedly where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.  I'm not sure what archaeological proof there is for this particular spot to be THE place, but there are a ton of Orthodox and Catholic churches congregated in the area.  And we also went down to the Jordan River, where you can see the Israeli side about 100 feet away.  There was a choir singing in a pavilion on their side, I think they have a more sophisticated set up.  Anyway, it was pretty neat and definitely something worth seeing, at least once.

Thomas left the next day, so Clay and I fended for ourselves.  We ordered in a lot of food, ate lunch at the embassy and did Thursday night dinner.  He got to meet the moms who hang out at the playground on Thursday afternoons, and saw a little of what life is like here.  He did some side trips on his own to Petra and Wadi Rum, since I wasn't really up to being a single mom on the road.  Thankfully he had a great attitude, even when Thomas got delayed and came back a couple days late, on the day Clay was flying out.  It was a lot of fun having him around, and Benjamin really likes him.  He still talks about his friend Clay.

At the moment I'm trying to decide whether or not it's worthwhile to continue taking Arabic classes.  I'm really grateful for the opportunity, but I don't like being the only person in the class.  I'm honestly not putting in any effort, which must be frustrating for my teacher and just makes me embarrassed.  We've only now started doing the alphabet, after 5 months, and there's a lot that I still don't have memorized.  I'll probably keep going for a while longer, just to have the excuse to get out of the house and have a lunch date with Thomas twice a week.  (Moms of small children, I know you understand.)

I'm also realizing that we most likely won't live in this area of the world again, and there's no way I'll have time to keep up with Arabic when we're back in the States.  I feel like I'm letting myself down but I also want to be practical.  Maybe I should try putting in a teeny bit of effort and see if that makes life better.  Or maybe I should find someone at the German embassy who can tutor me.  I do miss being capable, if not entirely fluent, in German, the loveliest language of all.

I hope January treated you well!  I'll try to get back to a normal posting schedule, hopefully interesting things will happen.


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