Tuesday, June 23


so, it's been kind of a whirlwind since we've been back. here is what has happened in the last 12 days....

-we finished packing up our old apartment.
-jason, saleem, and rachel (along with some other volunteers) ran a one-day camp for over 100 kids from Bethlehem
-jason, saleem, and rachel worked at a summer camp in ramallah
-we moved into our new apartment
-we un-decorated our new apartment
-we have attempted to decorate our new apartment
-we (meaning mostly me and rachel) consolidated all of our landlords' things into a couple closets, including, but not limited to, clothes, blankets, pillows, decorations, marriage licenses ... you know, things like that.
-we (mostly me and hiba) unpacked our things and cleaned our new apartment
-jason and rachel spent a couple of days gathering tools and such to get ready for this week
-paidia welcomed a group of 10 volunteers who are here for about 10 days and are currently helping to finish the climbing tower
-i totally re-arranged the group's itinerary as soon as they got here since they were delayed by about 24 hours getting here and are leaving about a day earlier than we originally thought

i think that's all. i mean, apart from normal life things. i'm hoping to put up pictures of our new apartment in the next couple of days...i know you are all dying to see what it looks like. but for now, i'm going to sit on the couch, watch a movie, and probably fall asleep.

Sunday, June 14

just like normal

so today i had four things on my list to do - check the mail, get rachel a sim card, get jason's phone fixed, and get rachel a cell phone. no big deal right? i mean, that should all take an hour tops. riiiight.

so rachel, hiba, and i got in the car to run the errands. first we went to the cell phone store in bethlehem that had been recommended to us. only it was closed, because it's sunday and the owners are christian. so then we drove around looking for other cell phone stores, but apparently all the people who sell phones in bethlehem are christian. so no luck on that.

next we headed to the post office, which is in jerusalem. traffic wasn't too bad, so it only took about 30 minutes. i think i hit every red light on the way there because whoever is in charge of the stoplights don't know how to time them. the post office was actually relatively successful - in and out, we actually had mail, and rachel could just wait in the car so i didn't have to find a parking spot.

by this time, hiba was hot and cranky so we decided to find somewhere to eat. we found a little cafe in the mall outside the old city that actually had places to eat inside and enjoyed a meal of pesto ravioli, salad, and bread. hiba also had cheerios. so again, successful, except that it just added an extra hour to our trip.

so then we packed back into the car and headed out to find the orange cell phone store to get rachel a sim card and see why jason's phone isn't working. after driving around for about an hour in the hot, hot car with hiba alternating between crying and dozing off to sleep, i am convinced that this store doesn't exist. so we came home.

so after four hours we checked the mail, did not get a phone, did not get a sim card, did not get jason's phone fixed, but we did have a pretty good lunch.

Saturday, June 13

So, we just got back from a trip to the US and a lot of people made comments to us that we don't update our blog anymore. So here we go. We'll really try to write more often and keep everyone up-to-date on what is going on in our lives and stories that you may or may not find interesting. So, here is an update of things that have happened since our last post:

-We survived the winter with not too much complaining. Or at least Jason didn't complain much.
-We enjoyed a month-long visit from Marty, Jason's brother. It was fun to see him and show him our lives.
-We celebrated Hiba's first birthday. We had a fun party with lots of our friends and a few of hers.
-We got to go to the beach and the zoo with some of our Palestinian friends while they had passes into Israel for Easter.
-We survived a visit by the Pope to Bethlehem. Surviving meaning dealing with all the road closures, etc. that came with his visit. I had every intention of making it to Manger Square to see him, but it was really hot the day he came, so I didn't.
-We made it out of the country with no problems to go home at the end of May for Sarah's brother's wedding.
-We enjoyed a great, but fast, visit to the US. Two weeks is not enough time to see everyone we wanted to see. We did manage to eat a lot of great food and visit Wal-Mart several times though.
-We survived two loooong plane rides with Hiba, who is probably the world's best traveler. She is wonderful and we actually even had a little bit of fun with her on the planes.
-We picked up another housemate (Sarah's sister, Rachel) for the summer while we were in the US.
-We got into the country with practically no problems and are gearing up for the busy, busy summer.
-We found a new house and will be moving at the beginning of next week.

I think that about covers the highlights. So, we'll write more soon now that you're all caught up on our life.