Tuesday, November 27

Theft in Beit Sahour

Last April, when Sarah and I were still working at the House of Hope, we bought a small scooter. A Sym Superduke 125. I have primarily been using that as my way of getting around town, while Sarah uses our car. Typically, we are very careful to lock it up at night so it will not get stolen, however, there were some crafty thieves that came by the other night and were able to make off with it.

This is kind of like my scooter, except it is in much better shape and mine is much less fuzzy looking.

Friday night after we realized the theft had occurred we went to the police station to file a report. We were forced to do this entirely in Arabic, since no one at the station spoke English. We left the station expecting never to see the Superduke again, but we were wrong.

On Monday morning the Police called my house before I went to work and told me that they had found the bike. I couldn't really understand his responses when I asked what condition the bike was in and where they found it. I soon learned.

Apparently, the thieves had decided to go for a joy ride after breaking the plastic cover from the front of the bike and hot-wiring it. They then popped the rear inner tube, crashed into a ditch, and then ran off with the battery and one of the side panels. When I first saw what had happened to the bike I thought it wasn't even mine. The problems:

Battery was gone
Ignition cables were cut
Left side panel was gone
Front panel was broken
Rear panel and light fixture was broken
Rear tire was flat

Fortunately, the bike still ran and I was able to get it to my mechanic's shop, where it still sits. We are still working on getting all the parts that I need and I am certain that we won't figure out who did it (not that it really matters). The situation is a pain, but it certainly could have turned out much worse. There were also an number of positives that came out of the situation.

The ability to practice Arabic in a sink-or-swim situation and in testing new vocabulary (speaking with the police and with the mechanics has been great practice and a very new kind of practice).

A new friend (Musa) from the mechanic shop.

The ridiculously kind response from the community: We had our scooter stolen 4 days ago. In those 4 days, we have had 2 policemen, a taxi driver, a mechanic, and one random lady stop us on the street to apologize or express regret for what happened. It is so incredible to see the way that people have responded to this. Overall, I still prefer that it wouldn't have happened. But it did. And considering that, I think the whole thing turned out pretty well.

P.S. Please, please pray for the Annapolis Conference that starts today. I know there is not much optimism around this event, but good could come from it, as could evil.

Friday, November 23

Thanksgiving Extravaganza

Happy Thanksgiving! We got to celebrate in good American style with lots of people and waaaay too much food. We had a meal at our house with some friends from Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Most were Americans, but we had a few Palestinians, a Canadian, an English couple, and an Austrailian. All in all, there were 27 people over here.

Jason and I made the turkey and gravy, which actually turned out and was really yummy. I made green bean casserole, and we had other people bring the rest. It was all here...turkey, ham, potatoes, rolls, salads, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and lots of pies. Here's some pictures of the event.

The turkey still had a head when we bought it...

Making the green bean casserole, my must-have for Thanksgiving.

Jason making his awesome gravy

Rachel cutting the ham

Ethan, Wes, and Trey carving the turkey.

Most of the food


More eating

One other awesome thing about our meal was we had a inflatable bouncy castle for the kids. There were seven kids over here, all under the age of 10. Fun times. Jason, Salim, Andrew, and Munther braved the cold and the kids to set up the castle and supervise.

The bouncy castle

Munther getting beat up by the kids. This was his idea of supervising.

Munther...tryptophan strikes again.

Sunday, November 11

New and Improved

i moved our online photo album and changed the link on the right. so check it out sometime. there's not too many new pictures up yet, but it is improved and there will be more new ones on the way.

also, a disclaimer to my last post...liz, i know the difference between sheep and goats. but there are a few sheep in the pictures and there were more further down the hill. however, maybe i didn't get them because i was trying to inconspicuously take the pictures out of our window, so i didn't look like a dumb foreigner gawking at the shepherds. but thanks for the correction. also, the sheep (or goats) weren't doing the talking, the shepherd lady was (are they still called shepherds if they're a woman? or is is shepherdess? or something entirely different?), who is also further down the hill with the rest of her sheep.

Friday, November 9

so this morning, i was sitting in our office, checking my facebook site and i heard a noise outside our door. i thought it was just birds. and then i heard talking and a lot of clicking sounds. so i looked out. it was not the birds, but instead this.

i don't think i've ever had sheep graze right outside my window before.

Wednesday, November 7

The News

1. We are having a girl. Or at least, there is a 99.9% chance we are having a girl. She will be here in April, inshalla.

2. Our memory chip for our PS2 is corrupted and won't save or load games. This means any time I want to play Dance Dance Revolution (which has been pretty often lately), I have to start a whole new game and all of my awesome stats are lost. Sad day.

3. Work is going well for both of us. Or at least for me it is, and I think it is for Jason as well.

4. Yesterday, it was hot and sunny. Today, it is cool, cloudy, and smells like rain. This may mean it will be difficult to find ice cream in the near future.

5. We've been having kids from the House of Hope over each week for dinner. Week 1 was Sheda and Kais, week 2 was Hiba and Aya. This week we're taking a break and probably having Nabil and Mhammad next week. It's so fun to hang out with them again and they love it.