Friday, October 26, 2012

Enjoying the end of Summer

We've been enjoying the last few days of Summer here in the ME before the bitter cold sets in on us. This week it officially turned Winter, although the highs still got up to 90 a couple of days the week before. This week though it has already started feeling cooler outside and we're starting to need a light jacket.

Fun at the pool!

A couple of weekends ago we decided to rent a car and make one last trip out to the beach so Judah could go swimming in the pools. He loved it and we had fun going down the slides with him. We were exhausted by the end!

Misc

Things here are still going along as usual. We're super busy with class and studying Arabic. It is HARD! Things are starting to click a little more each day though and we're picking up more vocabulary we recognize while listening to people speak. We've also begun being recognized by people in our neighborhood and wave hi to people we know as we pass them on the street, which is fun. Judah of course if a regular favorite and knows who along the path will give him treats. Believe me, he takes full advantage!

This weekend is a major holiday or "Eid" called Feast of the Sacrifice. It's the Muslim holiday that commemorates Abraham's willingness and obedience to sacrifice his son to God (and God's mercy in substituting a lamb for his son.) The major difference in the story is that they believe the son was Ishmael, not Issac, as we do as Christians. The day begins with a call to prayer (at 4am!) and is commemorated by the sacrifice of an animal, symbolizing the substitution of a provided lamb as Abraham's sacrifice instead of his son. One-third of the meat is then given to the poor and the remainder is shared with neighbors and family. We will be enjoying the holiday off of school by visiting our neighbors and spending some much needed time studying!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Month 3 in the M.E.

Geez, we need to be better about updating more often. It seems like the time goes by and it feels like all we do is go to class and study. Then the next thing I know another month has passed and we did a few things after all! Maybe before another month has passed I can get another post or two up.

Jerash

Every few weeks we have ended up renting a car so we can get around the city a little easier and see some sights that would be too expensive to take a taxi to see. Last month we went to an historical Greco-Roman city in our country to see old ruins. We had a good time walking around and seeing something new and you can see Judah picked himself out a walking stick.

Swimming with Judah

It has also been a nice break from routine to go to the pool for the day. You can get a day pass for the pool at all of the many hotels in town. It's a little pricey so this is definitely a special treat! Judah loves swimming and it's a great way for him to play around and get some exercise outside of the house. He's also gotten quite the tan. I really loved on this trip how Thomas and Judah fell asleep in the exact same position, so cute. 

Playing at the Mall

Another thing that's popular here (because of the lack of outdoor options) is indoor playgrounds for kids. We just started noticing how prevalent they are! Almost every mall or multi-story shopping complex will have a floor or section dedicated to little rides and things for kids. Judah was a little underwhelmed by the rides that day but really enjoyed the little house inside the toddler section. He started getting possessive of it towards the other end and would tell kids that tried to come in the door, "No! It's MY house!" I tried to explain to him that, no, it was indeed not his house and that he has to share. It was a good learning lesson. 

Coldstone!
 Coldstone!!

At the end of the month we took a short trip to a nearby country in the Gulf. It was really interesting seeing all the differences between where we live and the Gulf! It was more clean and organized in the city we were in and there were a lot of shiny skyscrapers and Western restaurants. We were SO excited to see Krispy Kreme!! We got 2 dozen while we were there and enjoyed every bite! We did share them with our friends so we didn't eat them all, but we probably could have! It was such a nice taste from home. :) There was also an abundance of ethic foods that we loved like Thai, Chinese, Italian and Korean. We've really been missing Thai food so that was a great surprise!

Bahrain
Ritzy Shopping Mall

There was one really interesting building that had these little windmill things in the middle of it. They're a little hard to see in the picture. We just had to go inside and check out what was inside. Well, it wasn't a shopping trip after all because ALL of the stores were waaaaay out of our price range as you can see. It was still fun window shopping and seeing the crazy prices of things. 

At the Beach
The Beach!

Another highlight of the trip was going to the beach with our new friends. Since we got here this summer I've really missed my family's annual beach trips. It was a lot of fun to be able to go to the beach for a few hours and watch Judah play in the sand and swim in the water a little bit. It was neat because the water was really shallow for a long way out so he was able to go out pretty far with it only coming up to his chest. We had a picnic and stayed out til the sun set.

These are the highlights and as I said before our days have been filled with everyday stuff like going to class, cooking dinner, keeping the house clean, caring for Judah and getting out in our community and trying to make some friends. I can't believe it's been 3 months! Looking forward to some cooler weather and growing more in our language knowledge over the next month!