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

Speak Out Loud

Keep in mind to speak out loud the works of God! As you transition with your soul mate it will be good to hear your voices remembering what God has done...* One month ago we left the United States with 8 suitcases, two carry on bags, and two hearts that were open to whatever awaited … Continue reading Speak Out Loud

Beauty in the Ordinary

The light was just going over the mountains and shades of purple, blue, rose, and orange all melded together into an ordinary sunset. Miraculously ordinary. I wanted to capture it, even though I know that there will be another one tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after. Beautiful sunsets are a part of … Continue reading Beauty in the Ordinary

On Picnics in Kurdistan

Yesterday was Friday - the day of worship, rest, and picnics in Kurdistan. Yes - picnics. About a 10 minute drive from our apartment is beautiful Lake Dukan and an area called Darband. Come Friday and Saturday, Darband is full of people from all over the area enjoying the cool breezes and beauty of Lake … Continue reading On Picnics in Kurdistan

Ladies Day Out

I am driving from the downtown area of Rockport when I suddenly decide to stop and sit a spell by the ocean. The day is perfect September, all blue sky and mild temperatures. It is low tide and the beach has lost the crowds of summer, leaving pristine sand and so much space. I easily … Continue reading Ladies Day Out

On Waiting…

We are sitting in a government office in Suleimaniyah (commonly called Suli) and we are waiting. We left Rania at seven in the morning. The sun had already welcomed the day and a beautiful breeze accompanied us on our walk to the university. The road between Rania and Suli begins as a one lane, heavily … Continue reading On Waiting…

Rania – Reflections on Place, Work, and Travel

I walk up the three flights of stairs to our apartment and unlock the door. I step inside and breathe a sigh of gratitude. No matter where you live, you need a home base. This is why the displacement and refugee crisis of our time is so important to care about. We are created for … Continue reading Rania – Reflections on Place, Work, and Travel

Peeling Pomegranates in Rania

I wake to a sun-filled room in Kurdistan. It is Friday and we have slept late, still catching up from hours of lost sleep in the last couple weeks of packing and moving. Friday begins our weekend in this part of the world, and the mosque behind our apartment reminds us that it is a … Continue reading Peeling Pomegranates in Rania

Enlarging our hearts in Ranya ڕانیه

It's difficult to believe that we have only been in Kurdistan for 48 hours. Our flight from Qatar was uneventful. We connected with another new faculty member just before boarding the plane. The fact that she spotted us so easily was a reminder that we are westerners and everything from the way we talk to … Continue reading Enlarging our hearts in Ranya ڕانیه

Next Stop Kurdistan

We head to the airport in Doha Qatar early in the morning. Already the air is heavy with heat. Humidity is high and my husband’s glasses fog up as soon as he steps outside. The majority of Qatar is not Qataris but those in Qatar for work or travel. It feels like a fascinating and … Continue reading Next Stop Kurdistan