Thursday, January 31, 2008

all of a sudden things are so different.

It's been so good to be back.

Yes, that break was incredible and I'm still basking in all of its blessings but now I feel like I'm ready to push hard these next few months. For those of you who don't know I'm planning on staying until May sometime. Then what? You'll just have to wait and see!

It's been good to be back, but a lot different.

I came back to a new house. Our office moved into a different neighborhood to save us all some money and then all the guys found another house to live in. It's a nice house, but completely separated from all the places and all the people I had grown to know so well. I had started to get pretty close with the local shop owners and had started to learn the names of all the kids on our street. Now it'll be much tougher to continue those relationships. I know there are kids and shops all around our new place and I really want to start to get to know them, even if I have to start from scratch. We moved there for a reason right?

It's cold. Really cold. Today it was supposed to snow 10 inches...it didn't even come close, but still. I've learned to love propane heaters and hate kerosene heaters. Both keep you warm but the propane ones don't make you feel like you're going to die if you sit in front of it for more than ten minutes. I've also loved using a hot water bottle! Michelle gave me her extra one and it's been a life saver. I fill it up with boiling water each night and stuff it down by my feet. It's amazing how warm feet do a pretty good job convincing the rest of your body that it's not that bad.

It seems like everything has a hard time getting used to the cold though, so I don't feel that bad. The pipes all broke along with a lot of generators and the electricity has been really scarce for the past couple weeks. That's why it's been hard to post and keep up with things on the internet.

There have been so many amazing changes though that I'm loving. Michelle's here. It's great to have her back in the same city and live life together here. It's still extremely weird to be in a relationship here but it's funny how we've grown used to it and realized that at the same time, there are so many blessings that come from living in this culture.

So that's a glimpse into what it's been like the past few weeks. It's different but I've learned to love different. I'm excited to start to update you on everything else that has been going on.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Work It. Work It.

I love Kurds. Yesterday I went to deliver a large order for shoes to our Klash maker. I dropped it off and then we just hung out in his shop for a while...neither of us wanting to leave his kerosene heater. We talked about "24" and Jack Bauer for a while. This guy is obsessed with 24 and Jack. Who isn't? Needless to say that he was shocked to hear that there was more than 3 seasons.

Then he asked me why he didn't have any pictures of me and him. I had my camera and had a picture taken of us for to add to his collection on his wall. Then I wanted to take some of him and his Klash. That's when he completely changed moods and turned into some sort of Kurdish model.

He did pose after pose, giving me his serious look and then following up with him pretending to laugh, etc. etc. It was amazing.

Here are some pics from our first photo shoot.



Monday, January 21, 2008

Back in Iraq.

Incredible break. Now I'm back in Iraq to finish off a year here!

Here's some pics from our time in Italy.

Things are going well here in Iraq and I'll start to update you on everything in a few days.

Inshallah.

Just wanted to let you know that I made it back!