Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Confessions of Comfort

So, I have been thinking a lot lately of my comfort zone and all the ways I am being challenged to get out of my comfort zone. And today, walking home I starting thinking of all the things that God has blessed me with inside my comfort zone here. For example, where I was home from…

Around lunchtime, I was craving Hardees, which I don’t remember eating in the States, but here Hardees is really good! There burgers are my favorite, and I really don’t like the beef here, but theirs are good. And at this Hardees, you get to refill your drinks (very rare here) and the fountain drinks taste normal (even rarer here). So I walked to Hardees for lunch, about a 7 minute walk. I wanted it so bad, I even went and ate there all by myself. And after I finished my delicious lunch, I went to a rather large grocery store that is right next to Hardees. For those from NE OK, it is bigger and has more variety than Reasors, but not quite a Walmart. This store is also a favorite, because it has all these little incredible signs that say, “imported for you.” I have found this beloved sign on Dr. Pepper, Sarah Lee Lunch meat, Pillsbury frozen biscuits, and many delicious things! At this store, I picked up some chicken breasts for dinner, some lunchmeat, 2 Dr. Peppers, M&Ms, olive oil, granola bars, and some school supplies. Mom and dad know how much I secretly love school supplies! Yes, it is sad, I really am that much of a nerd! I was upset that last year that I didn’t get to buy school supplies. I got a cute notebook, which I did need, and some printable index cards (what a good idea!), that I can use for work.

I am always careful to not get more than I can carry at this store, which is probably a good money-saving tip, because I will walk home with all my things about 10 minutes. But on the way home, I just was reminded of all the things I have been blessed with in this country that are comfortable, that I did not have to adjust to from what I had grown up with. Even the fact that I can walk home by myself in public for 10 minutes wearing capris and a short sleeved shirt is more comfort than some people in other countries in the Middle East. Other comforts of my country, which I have enjoyed here: most of the people can speak some English, the clothing styles, the beach, the friendly people, flexible work schedule, the cinema, the shopping, the malls, and cable TV.

Well, not to complain, but to give you a better picture of life here for you, I wanted to share with you what I experience here that is outside of my comfort zone. Those with a *, I have adjusted well too, so they feel like normal now to me. My comfort zone has expanded to include those with an *.

• Tanks with Military Police on street corners in my neighborhood*
• Military Checkpoints (I even drove through these in Jordan)*
• Greeting women with 3 kisses*
• Greeting men with 3 kisses (this is rare, but with some people groups it is fine) {no * here}
• Parties, yes, I have been to more parties here with people drinking than in the US
• Swear words (thanks to Hollywood, people here think that we use curse words in our common language, and don’t realize that some of them are even inappropriate)
• Never flushing toilet paper (but hey, we have Western toilets)*
• Walking in front of traffic *
• Drinking chi and coffee when served in a home*
• Being without electricity for 3 hours a day {want to put an *, but still working on not grumbling and complaining about this on some days}
• Expensive phone and internet service
• Taking taxis*
• Hummus, and Arab food!*
• And eating street food, manaeshe and schwarma! * yum
• Walking past mosques, and the call to prayer 5 times a day*
• Seeing women in full black abbayas and men in full length white thobes with scarves (these are foreigners here, while the dress in common in the middle east, it is not common in this country)*
• Walking up and down 10 flights of stairs to my apt, when the power is out*

Well, I hope this was a nice little lesson on how life is different, but yet not completely foreign overseas. Lhumdililla (thanks to God) for comforting me enough so that I can effectively function here, while making me uncomfortable enough to have to learn that I need Him every day. Inshallah, (God willing) this will be an encouragement to you, that you could live or at least visit me here; life in this country on the other side of world is pretty nice!

Monday, July 27, 2009

More pictures

More pics!

Monday, July 20, 2009


So last week, I got to tour the country of Jordan with a college roommate and we had a blast!

Here are the 100+ Jordan pictures: (they don't follow the order below)
(copy and paste the address in your address bar)

Here is the short version of all we did:

Day 1:
We toured old ruins at Jerash and Um Quays. From Um Quays in the North we could see the Sea of Galilee, and the surrounding countries. Had a wonderful dinner with friends at a traditional place. Then I met up with some young professionals for an after dinner party. It was great to reconnect with people that I had met the week before in my country.

Day 2:
My roommate arrives and we head to the DEAD SEA! Our first stop was Mt. Nebo, where Moses saw the Promised Land (Deut. 34) From there we went as close as we could to the spot where Jesus was baptized, without having to hire a bus and hike an hour. Then we explored "Prophet Lut's Cave and Monastery," aka Lot's Cave, where Lot and his daughters lived after Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. We were that close to where Sodom and Gomorrah used to be! (Gen. 19) Then we watched the sunset at the Dead Sea! The Dead Sea is so salty, that you just float in it. It was a really cool feeling! The mud there is supposed to be great for your skin, so we also enjoyed giving ourselves full body mud masks on the beach!

Day 3:
Off to Aqaba and the Red Sea. We stayed at a hostel less than 5 miles from the Saudi border, and could see Egypt across the Sea. We scuba-ed in the Red Sea; a first for both of us! We explored a sunken aircraft destroyer tank on the bottom of the Sea, surrounded by coral, fish, and a couple of snakes.

Day 4:
PETRA. Here we explored amazing, huge ruins carved into the mountains from on top of camels, and rode donkeys up 800+ steps to a Monastery. Oh, and got invited back to our donkey guides' Bedouin tents for the night, but unfortunately we had to get back to Amman! ;)

It was a great trip, even if we were a little under the weather most of the time!

Monday, July 6, 2009

What a Week!

new pictures: (cut and paste, link below)

Wow! This week was really busy!

Wednesday: The Launch of the new year of the young professionals club with a Gala Dinner at a 5 star hotel! This event was very formal, and we enjoyed a nice 3 course meal! Very important people and ambassadors were in attendance.

Thursday: 5 star resort beach with the young professional club members from other countries.

Friday: I had to do actually work, then met up with the young professionals at The Island Club.

Saturday: July 4th! another trip to the beach, and then American food with American friends, complete with fireworks!

Sunday: Sarah's Birthday with lunch by the Sea!

now, fast forward a few days to this Friday, when I head out to meet up with my college roommate in another country for vacation, and then coming back to show my country off to her!

Enjoy the pictures, DAD!