A Cracked Mug – Memories & Loss

A Cracked Mug - Memories & Loss Eight years ago, my friend Mary gave me a giant mug as a hostess gift. She had come from Egypt to Boston for a conference and our apartment in Cambridge provided a perfect place and easy access to the conference. The mug was not just any mug - … Continue reading A Cracked Mug – Memories & Loss

Success Redefined

It has not been an easy week. From difficulty with websites to difficulty with people, there are times when I would like life to be easier. I'm sitting now at one of the two coffee shops in Rania, listening to Adele on repeat. Adele is easy on the ears, and I find myself gradually relaxing. … Continue reading Success Redefined

Sometimes You Choose to Feed the Kittens

Sometimes all you can do is feed the kittens.... Just before we head to bed, we hear the echoing mew of a kitten. It is pitiful and anxious, a mournful sound on a cold night. The sound reverberates through the hallway, as if to voice all the sadness and loss of the world. My husband … Continue reading Sometimes You Choose to Feed the Kittens

“By God! I don’t Know!” – A Post on Aging

We were sitting Kurdish style on the floor, a kerosene stove pumping out heat to keep us warm in the solid concrete building, when the subject of age came up. We were all in good spirits after enjoying a hearty meal of Yaprak, assorted vegetables stuffed with rice and meat and cooked in a lemon … Continue reading “By God! I don’t Know!” – A Post on Aging

A Slice of Life – Kurdistan, Volume 2

Oh, the Things We Have Learned.... I'm sitting on my couch, staring out the window at a grey sky. Through the fog I can just make out that the Kewa Rash have a fresh sprinkling of snow. Geese are honking loudly and insistently three floors below me, at what injustice I don't know, but I … Continue reading A Slice of Life – Kurdistan, Volume 2

Betsy – An Extravagant Friend

Betsy - An Extravagant Friend We are in Athens, mere steps away from the Acropolis that sits high above the city inviting people of every tribe and nation to come and walk its ancient paths. It is the height of privilege to be here and I am deeply mindful of this. And though Athens has … Continue reading Betsy – An Extravagant Friend

Christmas Eve Reflection from Thessaloniki

Every year I write a Christmas Eve Reflection. Usually it's in a fully decorated home with Christmas music playing in the background. It's written in the midst of the frenzied joy of Christmas in the West and I usually have presents to wrap and stockings to fill. This year I write it from the sunshine … Continue reading Christmas Eve Reflection from Thessaloniki

A Christmas Story about Advocacy and Failure and Kittens

A cat had kittens in our building about a month ago. We were alerted to this by our neighbor. The cat is fiercely protective, constantly foraging for food and growling lest one of us gets too close to her precious offspring. There are three kittens - two jet black and one with some orange stripes … Continue reading A Christmas Story about Advocacy and Failure and Kittens

A Life Overseas – ‘Tis the Season of Incongruity

Deck the halls with calls for charity! Fa-la-la-la-laaa, la-la-la-la! ‘Tis the season of incongruity! Fa-la-la-la-laaa, la-la-la-la! #CottageChristmas or starving children? Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la! My heart is caught and I cannot win this thing! Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laa. I don’t know about you, but I can’t do this. The sense of incongruity is overwhelming me this Christmas. I go from essays … Continue reading A Life Overseas – ‘Tis the Season of Incongruity

Some Ramblings on Life, Loss of Ideals, and Culture Stripping

I arrive back to Rania in the rain. The mountains along the road from Erbil to Rania have changed from dusty brown to lush green. They are beautiful. Rivers are rushing with muddy water, an indication that it has rained for some days, and the sun is seemingly lost behind clouds. It's hard to believe … Continue reading Some Ramblings on Life, Loss of Ideals, and Culture Stripping

A Life Overseas – Capable of Complexity

I'm at A Life Overseas talking about needing to be capable of complexity when we talk about the TCK experience! I loved growing up overseas. I loved that I knew how to traverse the globe at a young age, that I grew up on curry and hot pakoras, that I could see some of the highest mountains in the … Continue reading A Life Overseas – Capable of Complexity

A Slice of Life – Kurdistan

"Write more about Kurdistan! I want to hear more about your life!" This text came from my younger daughter recently. I realize I haven't written much about my new normal. Perhaps it's because my new normal sometimes seems so far beyond what I ever imagined that I can't find words. Other times it feels so … Continue reading A Slice of Life – Kurdistan

Welcome to Rania Bazaar

It is around three thirty in the afternoon when we step out of our building and immediately the hot air rushes to greet us. Though the evenings and mornings are cool, we still feel the heat during these afternoon hours. We walk across a field and wait until oncoming traffic allows for safe crossing. We … Continue reading Welcome to Rania Bazaar

The Rain Came

The rain came. One minute it was the hot, dry sun of a high desert and rays of light spread across my living room and peeked into the darkened hallway. I took a quick walk to our plant store nearby – we call it our arboretum – and walked back with a green treasure, its … Continue reading The Rain Came

The Life of a Good Man

"The life of a good man who has died belongs to the people who cared about him, and ought to, and maybe itself is as much comfort as ought to be asked or offered. And surely the talk of a reunion in Heaven is thin comfort to people who need each other here as much … Continue reading The Life of a Good Man

“Why?” – On One ‘Why’ Question a Day

"Really?" I raised my eyebrows as I looked at my husband. “You’re going to waste your one ‘why’ question on this?” “Doesn’t count!” he said emphatically! “Does too!” I replied. “Does not!” We stood there like two children in the middle of the dusty road in back of our apartment, the afternoon shadows of the … Continue reading “Why?” – On One ‘Why’ Question a Day

Physical Well-being and Cross-Cultural Adjustment

I was sick yesterday. Not laid flat in bed with a high fever sick, but a low grade fever, aches, and general feelings of misery. I was scheduled to visit the maternal child hospital with the Maternal Child Health Professor- Mamusta Renas. I had been looking forward to this visit, and I was not going … Continue reading Physical Well-being and Cross-Cultural Adjustment