Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Just Hanging Out in Nablus

First things first, I am safe. What's happening in Gaza has very little effect on my life here. The news sounds scary, but here in Nablus, it's pretty much life as usual. And now there's a ceasefire! So hopefully the violence will end!

This past weekend was three days, which was super exciting. Thursday was Palestine's independence day (when asked what this meant for a land under occupation, the Palestinians mostly said that it was about the hope for independence someday). We still had to work on Thursday so to make up for it, we got Sunday off instead. Yay three day weekend! Of course, we're all too broke to do any more traveling, and since we've mostly seen everything we really wanted to here, we decided staying in Nablus was fine with us.

We didn't just bum around the center either. On Friday Megan, Lila and I went to Hanin's house for dinner. Hanin is our Arabic tutor as well as translator for women's aerobics and IT. She made us the Palestinian version of dolmas as well as stuffed eggplant, stuffed zucchini and stuffed cucumber. It was a lot of fun, and her family was really nice. (Note Tommy did not come. He husband was apparently uncomfortable about having a "strange man" over.)


On Saturday we got even more food. Lila, Megan, and I went to the home of one of the women that we taught in aerobics class.  Abeer fed us more food than I thought I was capable of eating. She would not take no for an answer. Seriously. She took my spoon, heaped it with food, and PUT IT IN MY MOUTH. She's such a mother. We had a lot of fun. She's a total sweetheart who doesn't deserve to be married to the old jerk that is her husband.

This is chicken on top of rice and veggies (peas, carrots, etc.) with hummus, lebaneh, salad, etc. We also had fruit, cake, and tea later.

Now I'm in my final week of classes so it's been a lot of goodbyes. It's truly terrible. I've already cried once (one of the women in my English class gave a speech during our volunteer/intern appreciation ceremony about how much she liked my class--I managed not to cry until everyone left though so that's a win). I will certainly cry again.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so I'll be making a sweet potato casserole for the staff dinner, and we also go to see The Lorax in Arabic with our kids. It's the last time I'll see them before I leave.

I'm going to be a wreck.

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