Sunday, February 15

home again, home again, jiggity jig

well, we made it. it was actually not quite as bad as i thought that it would be, although at one point on the long plane ride, i'm pretty sure i told jason that it was "the worst plane ride of my entire life". looking back, that might have been a bit dramatic. 

the traveling part wasn't too bad. only one of our bags was 1 lb. over at the airport, so we just stuffed more things in our carry-on (when i say we, i mean jason - wasn't gonna carry anything extra). then all of our planes were delayed, by at least an hour. i realized that i hate the newark airport and want to spend as little time there as possible. they have no luggage carts to rent, which is a problem when you have two people trying to carry two backpacks, a baby, two computers, and a diaper bag. they also don't have any place to eat in between a food court and $30/plate steak house, like a chili's or something. this is also a problem when you're trying to kill four hours without walking around with two backpacks, a baby, two computers, and a diaper bags. one of the funniest parts was when we were waiting to get into the "secure tel aviv gate", we started the line like twenty minutes before it was even going to open and immediately everyone joined us. israelis like to be first, so it was kind of funny. then they changed the gate, so all of us in the front were stuck in the back, so the joke was on us. luckily, jason had a luggage cart (we found one stashed in a corner eventually...we still have no idea where it came from) and was nice and pushy so we got in fast. we don't just like to be first - we had a reason. we wanted to change our seats so we could get a bassinet for hiba, which we did. so on the long flight we gave hiba some magic syrup (benedryl) and she slept like a baby for six or seven hours. it was wonderful. the reason the plane ride was so terrible is because my morning sickness (or all-day sickness as i like to call it) decided to kick in, so i promptly threw up pretty much everything i tried to eat. let me just say that airplane food is just as bad coming up as it is going down.

(also, for those of you who don't know, yes all-day sickness is from pregnancy. surprise!) 

so then we got to israel, went to passport control, scoped out the lines, found a fastish moving line with a guy working (male security workers are way nicer than females) so we picked it. when we got to him, hiba started laying on her charm and he didn't even look at mine or jason's passports, he just stamped them for three months. then he opened hiba's and noticed that she was born here - and then realized, oh yeah, i'm supposed to ask them questions. so he looked at me and said "do you live here?". ummmmm,, we got pulled aside, questioned a little bit about what we do, blah blah blah, and they ended up giving hiba a 1 month visa because we're hoping to get volunteer extensions next week. so, she has to leave in a month if we don't get them, but jason and i are good for three months. if all else fails, we'll pack her bag, stick a note on her, send her to jordan and hope she makes it back to us. she's a smart kid. 

and now for my favorite story of the day....
remember ziad and his chickens and all the problems with our radiator? well, we let this guy, ron, borrow our car while we were in the US. he ended up having to get some stuff fixed (because like i've said before, it breaks every other day and the normal fix is pepper in the radiator which doesn't really fix anything...). so he took it to his mechanic and ron told us all the things he fixed and the he said: "and there was something very strange when we opened the hood. the radiator. it was there, but not in the right place. so my mechanic moved it". now, i don't know a lot about cars, but perhaps leaking and broken hoses can be attributed to the radiator not being in the right place. also, again - i'm going out on a limb here, it's my understanding that mechanics should know things about cars. like when the radiator goes. anyway, we may be firing ziad and his chickens if further problems arise.  

Wednesday, February 11

farewell to the motherland

we leave on friday. by this point, i am actually really ready to go home. it's been a great visit, but two month is a long time to live out of a suitcase and travel continuously with a baby. we've hit wal-mart and are all stocked up on food, clothes, and other random stuff which should last us until june. our bags are packed (well, almost) and all we have to do is play a few more games of settlers and get to the airport.

so here are some highlights from the last two months:
-breakfasts made for us by my dad
-breakfasts made for us by the kind folks at Cathy's Corner
-Christmas with the fams
-seeing hiba with her grandparents, aunts and uncles
-visiting tons of family members
-our first visit to real europe (istanbul doesn't count, right?)
-ice storm 2009 (ok, maybe not a highlight...)
-mexican food and laughing with christa
-a weekend in indy
-having lots of people to love hiba and play with her so that i could take naps or just have a break.
-catching up with old friends
-shufflebowl with the brocks
-sleeping in past 10 a.m. on multiple occasions
-more food than i could have imagined eating
-football watching and hot-tubbing with the lawsons
-watching lost
-a night away with jason in san antonio and going to my first nba game
-shopping at walmart, target and old navy
-hugs from people that we love

all in all, a great trip. and we'll be back here soon. in the meantime, we'll try to keep the blog updated a bit more with all of our really cool stories about our awesome lives.