Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Treaty of Rome 1957

Happy Independence Day!  As I've been listening to the soundtrack of "Hamilton," and get more interested in seeing it someday (when the price of a ticket won't cost me my firstborn), I have been reading more and more about that period in our history.

The Declaration of Independence I have heard of, but have you ever heard of the Treaty of Rome?  Maybe some of you history buffs have, but I never had, so I was curious as to why the UN was having a big 60th anniversary party for it in the park.

If you are interested in what it is, read the following quote from Britannica; otherwise, skip to the following paragraph.  

"It established the European Economic Community (EEC), creating a common market and customs union among its members.  The Treaty Establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, for the purpose of developing peaceful applications of atomic energy, was signed by the same countries (Belgium, France, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) on the same day, and therefore the two treaties together are often called the Treaties of Rome."

I looked up "Treaty of Rome" on wikipedia and found this quote, "It remains one of the two most important treaties in the modern-day European Union (EU)."  So there you go. 

Anyway, one of the ladies in the girls' ballet class is from Japan, and she was going to be a part of organizing this celebration.  She asked the dance teacher to choose three girls to perform at the park during the ceremony.  Kylie and Karis were two of the three.

There were a lot of dignitaries and cameras present.

There was a cake cutting, some elementary school singers, and then the balloon release.

Well...some of the balloons released.
Others just laid down because they were tired.

 However, they made a lovely backdrop for the girls from where I was sitting.

 Caleb videoed them on a camera that I don't know how to download from, but if you are interested, I have a video of them performing the same dance at a local mall a few weeks later.  They were asked, along with some other performers, to "open" a fashion show at the mall.

However, some man steps in front of my camera near the end of their dance as he tried to figure out where people could find seating.  But you can still get a gist of the dance :)

Click HERE to see the video.

💥💥Happy 4th of July!💥💥

Monday, July 3, 2017

Candy from a Stranger

The people here love Keira.

She is always getting her cheeks pinched or kissed.

People ask if they can take a picture with her or of her.
(For example, I have no idea who this lady is)

She gets free fruit at the fruit stand, etc.

They love her.


Most Saturdays, we have lunch at a sandwich shop near the girls' dance studio.

Kylie co-teaches Keira's class on Saturday mornings, and when it's over, we all meet for lunch, and wait the one and a half hours until the big girls' class starts.  When we were taking taxis (we're not anymore - more on that at another time), it was too expensive to go back and forth to the house.

A certain delivery driver for the sandwich shop took a liking to Keira, and he would just walk over to the grocery store two doors down and buy her chocolate.

He never spoke a word to us or her.  He just went, bought chocolate, set it in front of her, and walked away.  She always said, "Thank you," in the language, but nothing else to egg him on.

After a collection had amassed over a month, I took a picture for you.

We're talking good stuff (as you can see, Santa's head had already been eaten).

We don't ever think about eating it, so it just collects.

When Ramazan started, our sandwich shop closed down during daylight hours, so we haven't been there since the end of May.  I'll let you know what happens in September when dance classes start again, but for now, I think I'm going to go hunt down a truffle.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dinner at Surprise's Mom's

Our language helper had our family and another over for dinner at his parent's one night.

It was quite an affair, like most dinners hosted in this country.

Biryani, dolma, greens, cabbage salad, eggplant salad, okra soup, smoky yogurt water

The husband of the other family is also a teacher with Doug, and he introduced us to Surprise.

Surprise's mother is sitting to my right.

She raised 10 children.

Here she is smiling at some pictures.

The men visiting with Surprise's father, a retired teacher.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Life in a Taxi (Vol. 3)

Welcome to "Life in a Taxi."  

If you want to see the previous posts, you can see them here:  Vol 1, Vol 2

We always feel blessed if the taxi drivers run the air condition in the summer or the heat in the winter.

It doesn't always happen.

No seat covers in this one.  Impressive.

 Furry grey and black.

Nice fringe on the dashboard.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mountain Picnic

As the heat increases here (it's already over 100 degrees), it's good to look back at pictures of when it was cooler.

These were taken Easter weekend at a picnic we attended with our teammates and a couple of other families.

Everything was so green.

Almost everyone was eager to hike the mountain, but I stayed behind with Keira and a few.

However, shortly after the group left, Keira ran to catch up with one of the ladies, and they began their ascent.

 When everyone made it back down, we sat down to eat.

After about 15 minutes, two men wondering in the countryside approached us and started playing their instruments.  A squawking horn and a drum.

It was SO loud, and they got louder.

It turns out they wouldn't leave until every man in the group game them money.

I have an 11-second video to show you how loud it was, but it may be too short for YouTube.  It wouldn't let me load it for some reason.

The gang.

This group of kids covers every grade from 4 to 12, plus pre-K.

That's my son looking back :)

Fun day on God's green earth.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Girls in the Street

Chicken went, went.  He saw him later.  
I will break your eggs.
I take out both your eyes.
Young Mohammed wants a wife that wears a bracelet.

This is the translation to the song "Fat, Fat, Istrahat" I heard the girls singing on the street.


Keira was out playing with the girls, and the actions to the song looked a lot like "Duck, Duck, Goose," except instead of touching each girls head with their hands, they ran a stick over their heads as they passed.

Click here to see another game they played.

I love this!  Huda (along with all the other local girls in the neighborhood), are learning a little English at their school.  When she wrote her name in chalk on my driveway entrance, she still wrote it right to left, just like they do in her language.

One day the girls raced each other in pairs.  I came outside and heard them chanting Keira's name, so I started videoing, but I never saw Keira, so I turned off the video.  In fact, the race was so long, that in the second video, it seems the other girls forgot about the race, too.

However, I started videoing again, when I saw Keira coming down and winning her race (even as she accidentally tripped a girl).  They must have run a long distance before they turned around and came back.

Click here to see the first part of the race.

Click here to see the finish to the race.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Things I See (Vol 2)

This is where I catalogue some of the interesting/funny things I see. 

Previous posts of Things I See:  Here's Your SignCatching my EyeVol 1,

In additions to chickens, our next door neighbor is now raising ducks and turkeys.  Here, the ducks are taking a stroll.  They are very brave because there are some crazy drivers in our neighborhood.

Zain phone company was offering something free to its customers, so people were pushing and shoving to get to the front and get whatever it was .  It drew quite a crowd.

The toys packaged overseas always make me laugh.

"I have a lovely doll, his name is "small cute."
"When my friends come, you will say, 'Let us play the baby home.'"

There was a nice tree outside a local mall, and then one day, I saw all the branches had been cut off.

I didn't take a picture until the next time I came, and it had been spray painted white gold and sprinkled with glitter.


And the next time I saw it, they had added lights.  But I still can't get over the gold and glitter.

Across from this mall and tree is a mosque that I've shown you a picture of before; however, one evening, the moon was above it, matching the crescent moons on the tops of it's minarets.

Back across the street from the mosque, near the golden tree, tour buses from the southern part of this country are always parked in the parking lot.

This one made me smile.

"Ole Frederiksen Turistfart"

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

International Book Fair

I can't recall that I've ever been to an International Book Fair. 


Doug and I decided to check this one out.  I couldn't have read 90% of the books there, even if I had wanted.  The booths were labeled with flags so you could tell where they were from: Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, and other flags I couldn't identify.

And the rows went on and on.

However, there were a few stores like this one that carried books written in English.

And some of the displays were beautiful.  Look at how the bindings on these books fit together like a set of encyclopedias.

And all the different sizes and styles of the Quran you can buy.

There were television crews interviewing different people all over the building.

 But of course, just in case I forgot where I was, there was soon a reminder coming my way.

The power went off.

And funny enough, everyone just kept moving around as usual.

It's just part of life here.

Doug and I didn't buy anything, but Keira used her Valentine's Day money from her grandmother to buy herself an abacus.

And that was that.

Glad for the experience.