Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Little Language Confusion

Retreat...Trick or Treat...Happy Holidays...Happy Pumpkin Day...Throwing Leaves at friends...How do you think a three year old little boy can lump all of these in one very long conversation that has lasted for 2 days now. It all started yesterday morning when I got out some fall decorations for our dining room table. We were having some friends over that evening so we thought it was time to get some fall things out since the air is a little cooler now. The kids were so excited to help decorate. We put 3 pumpkins, fall leaves, candy corn (sent to me by some GREAT people!! thanks, guys!) and a table cloth on the table. After the whole 5 minutes it took to decorate was complete, Matthew Ray ran and turned out all of the lights, closed the curtains, and hid behind the couch. I said, "What are you doing, Matthew Ray?" He said, "I am hiding here and I will jump out and yell at our friends "Happy Pumpkin Day" when they get here!!!" I explained to him that they would not be arriving for another 5 hours. After being a little disappointed, he played for the rest of the afternoon. The door bell rang when our friends arrived and Matthew Ray wanted to help answer the door. When I opened the door, he yelled, "Happy Holidays!!" We all laughed and I tried to explain to our friends what had been going on in his little mind.
This morning we were getting the kids ready for school. We were telling them that they only had 2 days of school this week and then we leave for a retreat. Matthew Ray started jumping up and down and said, "Yeah!!! We get to go to the RE-Trick or Treat!!! I am going to throw leaves on all of my friends and jump around!!!" Of course, we tried to explain the difference between retreat and trick or treat and we also tried to explain that we didn't think there would be any leaves to throw on his friends but all of that didn't seem to bother him a bit. He's just glad to get a break from school and in his little mind all of these phrases put together make perfect sense. I am beginning to understand him so much more because this is exactly what my brain is doing with ARABIC!!!!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Is This How They Really See Us?

We were very surprised and excited as we were walking down a street near our home and found a new shop had opened. The floor and walls were covered with canvases of partially and completed paintings and drawings. As we stood outside the shop, it became apparant to us that the man in the center of the room painting was a gifted artist. After a time of admiring the different portraits and skillfully created scenes we inquired about the cost of a family portrait. After agreeing upon a price and delivering a family picture from which the artist would craft his masterpiece, we began to wait with anticipation for the final product. We were disappointed several times as we would arrive to find the shop closed during normal business hours (7-11 pm). Finally the day came when we found the store open and the owner inside. We paid the final price and the artist delivered his product. However, when we unrolled the canvas we discovered a picture that looked like the Dunavants had been genetically crossed with the Adam's Family or maybe even the Munsters!!!! Do they really see us this way?

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Finger Painting Fun!!!

Some VERY PRECIOUS (: person (Mimi to be exact) sent finger paints to us! Thank you very much! I am saying this kind of sarcastically.(no, very sarcastically!) Some of you may not know but I (Stacey) don't approve of play dough and paint! Don't get me wrong, I love for my kids to have fun but clean fun! I know is sounds mean but that's just me. Anyway, we had a finger painting afternoon today and it was really great fun! The kids had a blast and I (Stacey) had a blast watching their creativity. AND and I didn't even mind cleaning it up!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Altered Self (Stacey)

I have a really good friend here who has tagged me to blog "my altered self", describing to you the things that have changed about me since moving overseas. I didn't think I had changed that much since moving here 8 months ago but I surprised myself after I started typing!

1. I haven't driven a car in 8 months. We ride in taxi's here for transportation and we will do this for at least one more year. I don't know if I will remember how!

2. I no longer wipe down my faucets in my kitchen and bathroom sinks to make them shiny.(sounds kinda silly as I type this) Reason 1-I don't even think about it anymore because I have NO TIME! Reason 2-My house helper cleans my bathrooms at least twice a week.

3. I never thought I would leave my children at a run-down, ugly building with broken toys. Madison and Matthew Ray go to a Hadonna (daycare) that is really pitiful looking BUT the people are great and they love it much more than the first one that was beautiful but where they didn't get to run!

4. I have always been pretty relaxed about leaving my kids with others but I still was protective of them. Here I put all three of my children in a taxi alone to go to and from school!

5. I know this one may come as a surprise to some of you- I don't worry about my hair anymore! I can't worry because it is always being blown to pieces in the unairconditiond taxis. I fix it in the mornings and then never look back!

6. Matt and I have always worked close together but now we are REALLY WORKING CLOSE TOGETHER! We are in language right now and we have the same teacher at the same time in our home. We are together day and night. We love one another greatly but we are having to adjust to having each other around so much. :)

7. I think I would have panicked back in the states if my car had been broken down on the side of a major road with all three kids in 100 degree heat. For some reason I don't panic here-I am becoming quite the pro-only 2 taxi breakdowns this week!

8. I never would have dreamed that I would learn to speak another language. (I hated Spanish in High School because I thought it was so backwards and hard!) Now I am making (some) headway in the 2nd most difficult language in the world! (and I kinda like it!

Now I am tagging any of my camp friends who are now living overseas!

Coptic Wedding

When we visited the Coptic church we were invited to sit in on a Coptic wedding. Here's a clip of part of the wedding. All of the chanting is some kind of wedding song. There was this much movement by people on the stage the entire time! I am having a hard time commenting on this clip. I really don't know what to say except that it was all very strange. Tell us what you think!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Visiting a Coptic Church

Priests can be cool, too! Doesn't he look like ZZ Top?

We had some friends here this week and we were able to visit a Coptic church. Getting there was an event, as usual. The area was far from our home and we took a black and white taxi to get there. When we arrived to the edge of the town, the taxi driver told us that he would not drive into the town because the roads are very bad and the smell is even worse. So, we rented a tuc-tuc (small motorized vehicle) and proceeded through the town. We stuck out like sore-thumbs for sure! I don't think very many "white" people visit there often. On the way we passed small children running around without shoes along with livestock running freely beside them. One local man was throwing up on the side of the road. We assume some people just never get used to the smell.
After a very eye-opening ride, we arrived at the church. First we were able to speak to the church members. They were so warm and welcoming to us. We then were able to meet the priest and his wife and we spent some time with them over dinner at midnight!!!! It was such a great time that we decided to go back the next night. We took a break today but we are ready to see our new friends again soon!!

Us with a Saint and Jesus behind us.

The priest and his wife. (they are our age!)

Matt and the priest along with some dear friends.

Matt doing what he loves with a very interested young man in the church.

The group shot.