Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Artful Kuwait

From the private collection of Russ and Sheila

Taken at rmc home..he and his lovely wifehave a lovely collection of souvenirs from their travels in the middle east.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Where I wish I could live in Kuwait

Enjoying the neighborhood

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Near our superintendents home in salwa Kuwait

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What I saw at the Market

here is proof that even in the desert, there are reindeer. At least I think it is a reindeer. If I see Santa on a dishtasha, I will let you know. I didn't buy this, but it just looked so juxtaposed, I just had to take a picture.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Salmiya, Kuwait

Friday, September 23, 2011

To Market, To Market

Went to the Friday market and didn't buy a thing...just took these!

This is my 83 year old, one eyed Jordian boyfriend. He always has something interesting for everyone.

Clothes and perfume to make everyone prettier and smellier

This one has a story. The woman on the right asked us (a group of older white women) if she could take our picture. Of course we said yes, and then we asked her if she would pose with us! That is definatly a first!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Honoring my pal Zwich

I had a great friend, JZ, who had a body like Buddah, but he LOVED nude beaches (yeah, imagine!) He was an upstanding, outstanding man who was very active in the Masons, Kiwanis, Church, etc...he just loved nude beachers.He died about 10 years ago this week. I wonder what he would have thought of this...

This one is for him and his best friend CRO, who I am sure is thinking of him.

DEAD SEA, Israel (AFP) - Dawn over the lowest spot on earth illuminated a Dead Sea very much alive on Saturday, as more than 1,000 floating nude Israelis posed for a mass shoot by US photographer Spencer Tunick.

The project, Tunick's first in the Middle East, is part of a bid to boost Israel's campaign to have the salt-saturated feature recognised as one of the world's seven natural wonders in a global online vote in November.
Experts warn that the Dead Sea could dry out by 2050 unless urgent steps are taken to halt its demise.
For Tunick, a Jewish American who has arranged naked human bodies over prominent landscapes and landmarks ranging from a Swiss glacier to the Sydney Opera House, a nude installation is an indicator of a host country's openness.

"In some places the work is a little bit more controversial, and then in other places the works are accepted as a litmus test for how free a country is, or how open a country is, and how full of rights a country is," he told a pre-shoot press briefing.
Orthodox Jewish politicians and rabbis had protested over what they termed the "Sodom and Gomorrah" nature of Tunick's work, and threatened to take legal action against the plan to strip in public.
The head of the local council in whose area the early-morning photo session took place had threatened to call police to disperse the shoot, which he said was offensive to local residents.

But organisers kept the location secret until the last moment to secure it, and there were no hitches to the two-hour session at the Mineral Beach complex, not far from where tradition says the biblical cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, irreparably overrun by sin, were destroyed by God along with their inhabitants. Tunick, who grew up in the largely Hassidic community of South Fallsburg, NY, said in the briefing that he could understand how religious people could find his work offensive.

"That's why I've decided to do the work on Saturday (the Jewish Sabbath), so no-one would be walking by and see a naked person half a mile away and be offended," he said.
The Dead Sea's surface level is plunging by about a metre (39 inches) each year, and the shoreline has receded by more than a kilometre (0.6 mile) in places, according to some estimates.

For Ari Frucht, who initiated the project and has toiled over its preparations for the past four years, a work by Spencer Tunick could help raise awareness of the sea's condition and galvanise Israel's government into action.
He believes there is another aspect, too, to the Jewish state hosting such a shoot.
"The world needs to know that Israelis are not religious extremists," he said ahead of the event.
Besides involvement in public disrobing, the installation provided Chai Amir, a 35-year-old resident of central city Bnei Brack, an opportunity to do something for a cause he believed in.
"I'm glad I was able to take part in an event aimed at saving the Dead Sea," he said as the shoot wrapped. "You can really see how the waterline recedes every year."
A jubilant Tunick praised the "brave" participants of his installation, some of whom flew to Israel especially for it.
"This could happen nowhere else in the Middle East," he said as the event wound down, and the men and women headed to the showers and buses.
"If you love freedom in New York, freedom in London, freedom in Italy... there's freedom in Israel, and I think this is very important for people to understand."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

As seen in the Dubai airport

You just never know who or what you will see traveling!


Too darn cute...another version

This is a photograph taken by a friend, who did our family photograph last tummer. She is from my hometown and her shots are FABULOUS, oh, the subjects in the photo ? Well,thanks for asking...they are the daughters of my great niece SL! Lovely eh?

- Posted while sitting in the Dubai airport

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Turkey for Christmas

Booked our tickets for Istanbul and Antalya, Turkey. So far, it's just the two of us. You are welcome to join us.

Pictured are scenes from the Haya Sofia, a beautiful structure that has had lives as a cathedral, a mosque and now a museum.

Baklava, here I come!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A conversation in my classroom today on 9/11

"miss, how can anyone be sure it was Osama bin laden who gave the order for the twin towers?"
"well, I don't know. What do you think?"
"I am not sure"
"there are those who think it was a conspiracy"
"I just don't know how they are sure"
"I know what I am sure of "
"what is that Miss."
"I am sure that at least for your generation, that whenever you go to the u Ted states that people will always think terrorist when they see you. And besides the horrible death, that is the real shame of 9/11"
"Really Miss, that was ten years ago"
" but for many people in the US, it seems like yesterday"
(pause) "oh"

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, September 10, 2011

cheers for my "sistah" Joannie

Six Minnesotans with long histories of service to their communities will receive the 2011 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. The McKnight Foundation will present the awards on Friday, September 9, at a private ceremony in Minneapolis.

The awards honor Minnesota residents who give their time to improve the lives of people in their communities. This year's outstanding recipients include community organizers, mentors, advocates, and champions of the underserved.

A committee of six people working in human service fields across the state selected the finalists from nearly 90 nominations.

"The six individuals honored with these awards have demonstrated great energy and compassion in their work to help others," says McKnight's Board Chair Robert J. Struyk. "By selflessly providing aid to those in need, they inspire all of us to do the same."

Since 1985, The McKnight Foundation has given the awards each year to recognize Minnesotans who demonstrate the difference one person can make in helping others. The awards are named for the Foundation's former chair and president, Virginia McKnight Binger. Mrs. Binger served the Foundation for nearly 50 years as a board member, as president from 1974 through 1987, and then as honorary chair until her death in 2002. Although her parents, William and Maude McKnight, established the Foundation, it was Mrs. Binger's personal compassion and generosity that set the standard for the Foundation's work.

Candidates for the awards are nominated confidentially by someone familiar with their work. No one may apply for them directly.

Among this years winner are

Joan Jarvis Ellison of Pelican Rapids helped organize an effort in the early 1980s to build a library in Pelican Rapids, which at the time was the largest community in Minnesota without one. The library was embraced by all, but Joan was not content to stop there. She spearheaded an array of multicultural programs aimed at fostering understanding between the growing immigrant population and old-time Pelican residents. The programs have flourished, as has the library, which has expanded to three times its original size.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Not all that glitters is gold

I can safely say that I LOVE my ipad2. It has given me hours of entertainment possibilities. It has allowed me to play hours and hours of bejeweled and angry birds games. It allows me to wake up at 430 am and check Facebook messages instantaneously. Etc, etc.
Most of these blog entries since June have been completed with the blog application.

If if did not do a spel check or take the toe to make sure that my spelling was correctthisswhawould end. N te page.

Yes, the above sentence says...if I do not do a spell check or take the time to make sure that my spelling was correct, this is what would end up on the page.

These wonderful machines have something called auto spell that thinks for you and decides what words you wanted to say. Reading my mind for me. Most times that would be okay. But not alwAys...always.

There is a Facebook site dedicated tonthe the funny things that were printed without double checking. The name of the site is

Darn funny check it out.And forgive any weird spelling from ow's ot uynfaiult.

Cool places I am Glad I visited

My cousin B always tells me that she is living through me vicariously. So i decided to post some random photos from my life..most taken by me, some not.All places were "tolerated" for you cous! ;-) enjoy all

Alahambra in Granada, Spain

The green mosque near our apartment in Q8

London' Big Ben. I didn't take this one, but I love it. I was in a meeting with my superintendent this morning and he described working in the middle east as sometimes ( not always) as trying to put fog in a bucket. This photo reminds me of that challenge. We don't get fog here btw.

Although this looks like the Netherlands , it was actually taken in Bremen Germany where Anna now lives. however, Both are great cities.

This is also very near our apartment. The Islamic architecture will never cease to amaze me!

This is the Haga Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey. David and Anna visited here tow Christmas' ago when I was in Mn with Ben and Jolene . We will be there this Christmas inshallah.

And of course no photo display of favorite places of the world would be co Porte without a photo from Pelican Rapids. This is our famous Rotary suspension bridge . I Love helping putting up these flags in the summer with my second father, the mayor, Ben W. Ben is 100% German, as was Howard, and whenever I miss my daddy, I just go hang out with Ben. Works every time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Looking for the Good

I wish I had taken this photo, but it was selected from a blog on Kuwait. This is the flag of Kuwait in front of the Kuwati Towers...the symbol of the country. FYI--when Saddem Hussain invaded the country 20 years ago, this is the first thing that was damaged as it is such a symbol of the country. Damaging this was striking right at the heart of the country.

Arabic Word Translation Lesson of the Day
Good Words
3.Machkoor (shukran)
5.Sah Shughlik

1. Come on, Hurry up (I use this one a lot especially when students are lingering in the halls)
2. My friend (you know you've arrived when someone refers to you as this)
3. Thank you
4 Come here (in an Arab country, it is offense to point your finger and motion with the "come
here" finger movement. They think you're treating them like an animal)
5. Good Job
6. Awesome
7. Why?
8. What?
9. Who?

I thought that it was time to spread some GOOD WORDS about the Arab Culture to my North American loved ones as I am sure that you are inundated with the "10 Years ago was 9/11" media blitz. I am not saying that we shouldn't remember, I just want to caution you against thinking that all Arab people are Bad. They are not.

With this in mind, I talked deep with a couple of former AIS students yesterday as they are preparing to enter University in a couple days. I told them to dress "less Arab" this week to which the student replied: "You mean I can't wear my Abacrombie and Fitch shirt and kahki pants?"
Okay so I sometimes forget which generation I'm speaking to.

My request of you loved ones reading this blog (and those random people) is that while you are acknowledging the anniversary of the HORRIFIC events of 9/11, be slow to condemn ALL PEOPLES and remember that 99.99% of Muslims are not terrorists or bombers or angry peoples. I believe this is why David and I are here in find the good, to learn more about another culture and completely different way of thinking. We have been fortunate to learn so much, and we are honored to be welcomed back to the desert.

AND the temperature was only 46 C today!! (translation 114 F)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Getting ready for school to start

It's almost time for every mothers favorite day and every school age child's nightmare..well, not really but tomorrow at AIS, we will begin year four. Unbelievable!
This year will find us without some of our favorite people (Blair and Kim, Mark and Michele, Cheryl and Eric, Aaron and Sandy) but I have faith that some of the newbies who came in will help fill the hole left by these special people.

David will be teaching 9th graders this year, which is a new age group foe him. These students were the ones I started with in 2008, so they will have had the total BROWN experience.
I will be teaching a group of senior boys so that will aos be A new experience for me.
AIS is also involved in a new athletic and activity leave which will have us traveling to some new territory .
So, lots of firsts even though we are now officially Vets in the rankings.
Not so much first day jitters but there is an anxiety in the air.
This is also our first time in 23 years that we haven't had our own children in the system. Urges, what change that will bring. I may go out onto the hall and drag students into my office just to have that feeling!

While we don't teach these cuties, they are students at our school. In general, we love the teaching the AIS students and are happy to be here for now. We are looking forward to a great year, inshallah.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Thought for the day

Photo freely stolen from intlxpatr's blog..thanks for still making my life here so beautiful through your words and photos!

A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?
Khalil Gibran

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Salmiya Kuwait