Thursday, February 28

days like these...

sometimes i wish that we lived back in the states. or actually in town. or in a smaller apartment so it would stay warm. but then, there are days like yesterday and today when i love our house so much and never want to live anywhere else.

last night, we cooked out for dinner and then hung out on our balcony with munther, salim, and rachel playing settlers of catan while having a bonfire. and it's february. and i wasn't even cold. (granted, i was by the fire the whole time, but no one else was complaining either. except muther, but he always complains).

today it is sunny and about 70 degrees. and our view is amazing. we ate dinner outside because it was way warmer on our balcony than in our house.

in other news, i am 34 weeks pregnant and ready for 40 weeks to be here. i think every day i wake up and my belly is huger than the day before. she is kicking and stretching and moving a ton, which is fun and everything, but i'm ready to see her kick and stretch outside of my body.

Monday, February 18

Israel News

I know that I tend to refrain from posting anything political on this blog. For one thing, the political opinions I held when I moved here have shifted considerably up to this day, I don't want to put something in writing that I may disagree with down the line. However, I believe this article from Haaretz is worth reading. The settler problem is one of the big issues that is preventing Israeli-Palestinian peace, and for that reason, any significant developments are worth noting. Furthermore, the fact that the Civil Administration was willing to release this information is a promising sign (I hope). The rationale for keeping this information a secret (it will damage the state's security and foreign relations) shows how far Israel still has to go. Anyway, please read the article and if you have questions or comments, post away.

Thursday, February 14

Happy Valentines Day

I am, by my own admission, a mushy sap. I don't try to deny it, and I think it is fairly public information at this point, so why fight it.

I was remembering this morning how hectic February the 14th used to be for me. When I was in college, the entire day was often spent setting up some sort of romantic scene, making dinner, or some heartfelt gift. For some reason, neither Sarah nor I feel the same need to work so hard to express our love this valentines day, but don't worry, I think that's a good thing.

Right now, I'm marveling at the fact that I happen to be married to a person who I love to hang out with. I always hoped that this would be the case, but it still seems to be the exception to the rule that a husband is happier with his wife than without her. I would rather do almost anything with Sarah than do that same thing without her. I try to get off work as soon as I can in the afternoon because I know she is home. I think that's a good sign, even if we don't make collaged cards or buy chocolate hearts for each other.

Either that, or I'm just making excuses.

Wednesday, February 13

Wasting my life away

For quite a while now, probably since my Sophomore year of college, I (jason) have been worried about how much time I spend (watching, playing, reading about, etc) sports. Well, good news everyone, all that wasted time is now starting to pay off.

My closest friend in the area was made through sports. Last year, during the NBA playoffs, I would go over to his house at 3 or 4 in the morning 2 or 3 times a week to watch the Spurs play, we are also in a Fantasy Basketball league and still watch a lot of sports at his place. Our friendship has also given us the opportunity to work together on ministry opportunities and he has been a good source of encouragement and challenge to me during my time here.

For the last four months, I have been playing basketball for Thaqafee Beit Sahour sports club. I'm on a team of about 10 other guys, mostly younger than me. We practice twice a week and play games every once in a long while. It's been quite an experience, and an opportunity to make friends, learn Arabic, and get some exercise.

As of last week, I am the head coach for a brand-new basketball team at the Hope School in Beit Jala. The school used to have a basketball program, but it has not existed for a least a few years. We have had about 3 practices now, and I know that I am in for quite an experience. Between their inexperience and my very rough Arabic, each practice is like a new episode in a slapstick comedy. Seriously, I think I could post videos of the entire two-hour practice and people would watch just for the laughs. But I’m not going to do that. I do, however, expect big things out of these guys, and I think coaching this team will help me grow in a lot of ways as well.

I guess I didn’t waste all that time after all . . .