02 March, 2006

Gainfully employed at saving the world (sort of)

Music of the moment: Zara and Warren Zevon

My life has quickly become quite hectic.

I formally begin my work with FIRDOS next week. I will be under contract as the assistant to the Director of Communications and Marketing. I will be paid for my work. My initial contract is for three months with the option to extend to a longterm, more full-time contract after that. I am quite excited about the work I will be doing with them and the additional contacts within the development community the DoC has offered to provide.

Of course that means until May 1st, when the current session ends at Amideast, I will be going to school 20 hours a week, working at FIRDOS 15 hours, teaching and preping lessons 10 hours, and finding time to study somewhere in there. Oh, and, a life would be nice, no? Funny thing is I told my really nice Palestinian cab driver today that life is better here, because in the States we only work all the time and here you have time to enjoy life. So much for that...

Most likely I will leave Amideast at the end of the term. But, as with so much else in my life right now, you gotta throw in a big, fat, "insha'allah."I will try to farm myself out as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and development. I will probably move into my own place this summer, maybe in June or July. For my adventurous travelling friends, you will be welcome to visit and I promise you will not be kidnapped and beheaded. Seriously. No, really.

All in all, I am quite pleased with things here. If you are somebody like me, constantly fascinated by the world around you, life is never boring, especially here. I am hoping my work with FIRDOS brings some interesting contacts in other sectors of society so I can get a bit more enmeshed in things. Life at the University is always a bit artifical and removed. Nice, but removed from the "real world". It will be nice to ease into a real routine and a real life. The ajnabi friends I have who will be here for the long haul are great and it will be fun to share the experience. And, I am slowly gathering a wonderful group of Syrian friends who are lovely.

In the mean time, I have to get home. We have our mid-terms on Sunday, I have to prep lessons, rewrite a proposed communication strategy (yeah, the whole thing), and some things I forgot.


27 February, 2006

Kayaking in Arabic

'oojatheef qaarbee fee al-bahar.
I paddle my kayak in the sea.
Finally, I know how to say this!
It only took a dictionary, photos, and a round of charades to get it, but I got it!
It's always nice when you can actually begin speaking about your real life.

Nothing much of note to report. No word back from FIRDOS about the details of my contract, as the director is out ill, but I will be working with them.

My other favorite word, or verb: tashaaear (to pretend to be a poet)
Very specific, no?
"The date was a disaster. He spent the whole evening pretending to be a poet!"

Also interesting, the word for oarsman or rower (moojatheef) is the same as blasphemer, only the later is followed by "against God." While I am sure there are those who would see a connection between the two with me, I am still a little nervous about screwing that up contextually. There's another word for oarsman that substitutes one letter, but that one's one letter off the word for "leper." Not quite sure what that says either.