Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Speaking of Dinner... Fisheyes anyone?

So, it's a given that living outside your comfort zone's going to get you into some interesting stuff... but this weekend Suzi took it way outside MY zone.
See, I've never been one for fish stuff... maybe some shellfish, Bill's fried catfish, some crabcakes (oh, and an authentic clam chowder or lobster bisque...hmmm...tasty!), but don't just drop a whole fish on a plate w/ some garnish and expect me to jump up and down. The Filipino folks do the fish thing and Suzi's on board. Cheryl does it up right with stuffing and such, but I've yet to try it.

So, we find out that Cheryl eats the eyes... right out of the head. "It's so easy! Just push one eye through into the other and pop it in your mouth!" Suzi, always up to a culinary challenge, takes fishhead in hand, muscles one eye through... and she's chewing.

"I'm brave! Kinda tastes like the rest of the fish... but I didn't dwell on it too much..."

That's my girl...!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dinner out... Way out.

Last Friday, we had a great time at Robert & Shirley's house. There was such a wide swath of folks from Ethopians to Papua New Gunea... it doesn't hurt that Robert works with UNESCO here in town, so dinner at their place always has a UN flair of nationalities. (Big thanks to Jacob for working the grill in spite of Rejoice's constant commentary!)

It just reminded me of dinner at Chandrani's place several weeks ago (above) I went digging to find a rudimentary clip (below) of the dinner party that I described in our last newsletter. I think that's what I love most about this part of the world. Many of the folks we encounter are far from home and food reminds all of us of the friends & family we've left behind. Sitting around the table in that one-room apartment under the stairs, all of us jabbering in language of laughter... I couldn't help but feel at home.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Socks & Soge & Sand (still!)

A couple of years ago, Jan & Sasha gave me a set of Acorn socks for Christmas.  Now, before you go on about lousy presents and inlaws, let me tell you something... I love these socks.  I'd been jealous of Jan's for years on those cold Mid-MO nights and now I had a pair of my own.  Guess what?  Last year, I got a pair of blue ones, too... Let's see Santa top that! So, I brought the brown pair with me, thinking, you know, maybe the floor might be cold in February or something... yeah... I'm STILL wearing them! I've singed them so many times off the heater that the bottoms have that marshmallow crustiness.  I'm getting another pair to bring back.
We've had the pleasure of working with Soge for the past year.  He's part of the culinary staff at several restaurants in town.  Soge's a faithful Christian who is returning home to see his family in Indonesia this week.  We'll miss his guitar at our Sunday afternoon Bible Studies!  
The 50 Days of Sand continue... we've got an antihistamine running 24-7 to keep the sinuses open for business.  One day it'll be clear and blue skies, the next day you can barely see across the next wadi.  Craziness that's supposed to end in mid-May... please!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I'm 35 today.

And I just posted on FB that I'm the happiest I think I've ever been.  I'm probably also under more stress than I've ever been... carrying more responsibility than I've ever had... I'm further away from my family, my gear, the life I've always known than ever before.  And I'm right where I'm supposed to be... at 35.

I don't think I planned this.  In fact, I'm positive I didn't.  This isn't the life I chose... it's chosen me.  And I'm so glad I agreed to come along for the ride.

OK... enough serious stuff!  PRESENTS!!!  Some of the church folks gave me a very cute card with a couple of ties (what else do you get the pastor!).  Suzi picked up a cake and box of sweets from Fantastic Cake and gave me all these cool little gift boxes she made full of fun li'l things... like U2's new CD, a Donuts Factory gift card... you know, the good stuff!

Monday, April 13, 2009


This afternoon I heard this sound outside and... sure enough... a herd of sheep hanging out next door! This is pretty common for us as there's a lot of open land around our house (we're kinda in the country here). The shepherd takes them from one place to another and sits for awhile, then moves on. You can see a bit of how dusty it is today in the shot above... we lcome to the desert!

The GAP Arrives in Amman!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

This Week

Today I have to say I'm a bit distracted.  I'm supposed to be preparing for Palm Friday.  We're going to talk about John following Jesus to cross... and our need to follow Him today... both for salvation and in all things, giving thanks, no matter what the circumstance.  I'd been prepping this idea (actually out of an email my dad sent to me last week) but having no idea what this week would hold.  Ironic how the preacher gets to preach to himself sometimes.

This morning as I was getting ready for the day, I looked in the mirror and told myself, "My dad's been diagnosed with colon cancer."  I've been saying that to myself throughout the day.  Maybe just getting used to the sound of it.  How the connection of "dad" and "cancer" sound in the same breath.  I know it's not unheard of... many in our families have experienced this... and I can't say I never thought it wouldn't happen, but now that we're in the midst of this experience, however harrowing, I have to say it's rather surreal.

My family's just always been on the other side of the bed.  The ones who are lightly tapping on the door, poking our head in with an optomistic smile and light eyes that say, "Hey, we're here and we're gonna pray and God's gonna touch you and then it's gonna be alright."  We hold hands, pat (gently!) and make sure there's a cassarole waiting when you get home.

And now we're on the other side.

And it's just an odd feeling.