Thursday, October 25, 2018

Summertime '18

While we were traveling this summer, we turned off all fans and swamp coolers in our house, so it was just a huge cinder block structure soaking up heat.

Let's not talk about the cucumbers I accidentally left in our fridge 😬 (thankfully, no pictures were taken of that), but I did photograph this sweet potato that was left in our hot box known as a house.  Remember the pictures of candles I sent you from last summer.

It's quite a shame, too, because sweet potatoes can rarely be found here.  In fact, since we came back, I haven't been able to find any.

 Summer sunset in the dessert.

It was so hot in August that this Mercedes Benz business put umbrellas over all of their small bushes.  I have NEVER seen anything like this.

Doug and I went on a double date with our teammates, and they took us to the 21st floor of a fancy hotel in town, because they had been to the lookout platform before, and they wanted to share it with us.  

It was stinkin' hot, which you can't tell from the picture, but there was a hot breeze blowing.  And I remembered something about perspective...a different perspective is often helpful.

The city looked so beautiful and clean from up here.  

Unfortunately, I know what it looks like at ground-level.

 At the end of the summer, we had a guest come from America.  The weekend before the girls were supposed to start online school, we took everyone, including our guest, to a lake two hours from here for a kayaking/swimming adventure.

Only our guide had a camera, so I have no pictures from the day.  However, our guide (the groom in this post) sent us these two of Caleb.

It was Keira's and my first time to go, and we loved it.

Everyone did a lot of swimming.
Doug, Caleb, and Keira let little fish eat on their feet while they laughed.
Doug, the older kids, and even our guest, jumped off some small cliffs.
We stayed all day, and ate lunch in the cleft of some rocks.

The wind picked up a lot by the end of the day, and it was really windy when we started back.  Instead of the 45 minutes it took to paddle to the site, it took an hour and a half to paddle back!

It was a good, cool end to the summer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Things I See (Vol 6)

Welcome to "Things I See."  If you want to see the previous installments, you can click on Volume 1 , Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5

Where I come from (which is a country town in Texas), this is pretty normal (and even here), but maybe this will be interesting to some of you...Goat in a truck.

Doug organized a conference at a hotel for a group of people coming in for training (many of whom he had never met before and who didn't know him).

Instead of the hotel putting "Conference" on the sign, well... it just didn't happen.
 Notice the small lights that go on and off to make sure you know they are imitating a flashlight.

If you go to the grocery store with other bags in your hand from the mall, this "security" person will lay your bags in this contraption and melt the sides together for "secwerity."

Any Bon Qui Qui fans out there?
Again, this is not a strange sight in my small Texas town, but for some of you...who knows?
It's hard to see, but it's a man crossing four lanes of traffic in a slow-powered wheelchair.

There are several rules that must be followed to stay in good standing in the religion that is followed here.  One of the rules for women is that fingernail polish cannot be worn either when praying or on holy days (I haven't gotten a clear answer on which of these is true).

However, a "proper" nail polish was invented that allows their nails to "breathe," and this kind IS okay to wear if you are performing religious acts.
I thought this was interesting (or maybe my eyes were just playing a trick on me), but this word, which should be read from right to left in the local script (and loosely translates as "oh my goodness" or "oh my"), reads to me like "Alleluia" from left to right.  Can you see it?  Or is it just me?
My eyes DID play a trick on me for this one.  Last summer at a conference in Germany, I walked into a bathroom to see this.  

I'm always used to seeing foreign and unfamiliar words, so for the longest time, I tried to figure out what "deos" was.  

I know!  I know!  It seems very clear now, but on that day...

It took me two trips into the bathroom at different times to realize what I was really reading.

Let's agree to say that I was sleep deprived.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Dancing in America

Grandparents take full advantage of birthdays when they see us, so when the girls were home this summer, my mom celebrated both of them simultaneously in a month that neither was born in.  

One advantage to living overseas.

When the girls go to ballet camp, they can't have any outside contact the first four days; however, I saw these pictures on facebook, and I spied Karis in them.

These were tryouts from their first full day there.

*Karis is in glasses on the left

*Karis is to the left of the instructor, looking right.

 When we did facetime, Karis was dressed up for a Saturday conditioning class.
(The theme was "musicals," and her group dressed up as lions from "The Lion King.")

Kylie and her friends posed outside during some off time, and she sent me some of their pictures.

On a side note, their summer dance intensive is put on by Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, Mississippi.  It is a faith-based camp where the girls not only learn skills and techniques of different styles of dance, but they also spend time studying the Word and learning to worship through dance.

I highly recommend it if you have a dancer in your family.

Some friends of mine in Mississippi went to see the girls and took pictures for me.

*Kylie - front and center

 These are the girls and boys who attended the first two weeks of camp.

After camp, they had an opportunity to see friends.

Karis is so used to be the tallest girl among all of her classmates in our country, so it was nice for her to have a friend taller than she...but not by much. 

 I was also surprised to see that Texas is now selling 113 pound burgers! 😂

Saturday, October 20, 2018

One last side trip...

Before we left Greece, we took a side trip to the southern coast.  Leaving our first location, our bus took us down through winding roads where a few people got car sick from all the turns.

The roads along the southern coast followed the coastline more and were less twisty.

We went to see the ruins of Poseidon's Temple

But it turns out that hiking and exploring were more fun.

You can see the Temple up on the hill.

We hiked down to where a drop off was that led down to the water. 

Doug, Keira and Caleb slowly made their way down to the water (it's further than it looks).

 Shortly after, Kylie decided she'd join in.

Karis and I spent some moments alone, and then we ended up sitting on a rock and talking for about an hour while we waited for everyone else to climb back up.

 Can you see them, way over there on the rock?

Before hiking back up the hill, we took some pictures with the beautiful water backdrop, and then we drove back along the coast watching the sunset.

Yeah for summer adventures!

Dear Greece,

Thanks for the memories!

The Taylors

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Pretty Decent Locale

We had a week-long conference in Greece during the last week of Ramadan, so I don’t have any amazing stories about the end of Ramadan because we were out of the country. 

It was a nice blessing to actually be able to get out of the country, since the airport had been closed from the end of September to March.

We left on June 10th at 2:55am after Kylie finished her online school for the year a few hours earlier on June 9th at around 10pm.  That’s called “cutting it close.”

The conference was refreshing, and we had opportunities to meet some more people who work in our region of the world.  The kids had a great time, too, and since it was such a small gathering, 6th-12th graders were all together, so my older three were in one class together.

Check out the size of the feta in this Greek salad!  

 And, of course, we had a serving or two of pork.

On our way to the conference, the bus stopped for a bathroom break at a souvenir shop in Corinth.

We took this picture of the man-made canal there that cuts through the narrow isthmus of Corinth.  The canal is 4 miles in length, but it's very narrow, so most modern ships can't pass through.

It took 12 years to dig and was finished in 1893.  That is a lot of rock cutting done without modern-day tools!

Our first night at the conference, the kids wanted to rush down to the water, so I thought I'd get a picture of Keira's first time to ever touch the ocean.

But within 30 mintues, like all kids, she ended up preferring the sand to the water.

While Kylie and Caleb preferred seeing who could knock each other off the floatie first.

Keira loves the water, however, she has always been a little timid of getting her face wet and trying the pool without floaties.  But she wants you to know that she went swimming with her class at the conference, and when she saw that other kids could swim, she decided she could, too.

Off came the floaties, and down she went.  She taught herself to swim and go underwater in a few hours time.

One day, our schedule allowed us a free afternoon to see some of the local sites.  Many people took a boat or a ferry to neighboring islands, and we did as well.  It was quite beautiful, and it refreshed all of us.

The conference was a few hours north of Athens, and it was nice to be out of a city atmosphere.

The weather was beautiful, and my only complaint was that the week was too short.  It was such a blessing to be with other people who work in our area of the world, share stories and gain encouragement from each other, and the meeting place was in a pretty decent locale, too.