Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dozan wa Awtar February performance

Follow this link so see my friend's post about the first Feb. concert.    Next stop will be at Beit al-Ruwwad in Hashmi next week.  From musicals and choreography to muwashahaat (folkloric) music, Dozan is here to serve. 
~ Um Tulip

Monday, February 22, 2010

from the mouths of babes...

Here are a few comments from my children.  It's been a long couple weeks, as a bad virus went to the family. Baby Bulb turned one and was sick on his birthday.  We're all on the mend now, and in the past few days I've been making notes of some of their crazy comments.

Baby Bulb's words are pretty much: haada (this)  dad, dibedibedibe, and waaaa.

The other two, however:

Oliver: "Are mouses real?  I never saw one."
Teddy Bear: "I saw a mouse in my a story."  (sigh of relief from the parents)

Oliver: "Can you find a different way to help me get to sleep?  Counting backwards is really hard,

Teddy Bear: "I flushed the toilet and I wiped my bottom two times - not two and a half - Mom - David is two and a half."

Teddy Bear: "Coconuts don't eat onions - cuz they don't have mouths."

Mom: "I think we should change your jammies as they have throw up on them.  Teddy Bear: "Tomorrow I don't want to wear them."

Teddy Bear: "Don't touch your hand on this side of the potty - I peed on it, okay?"

Dad: "Buckle your seatbelt." 
Oliver: "Seatbelts are for cars - and airplanes."
 Teddy Bear: "If you go upside down in an airplane you need to have a seatbelt."
Oliver: "Yeah, in a plane they have a potty - but you can't use it all the time."  (we learned this the hard way)
Teddy Bear "Cars don't have potties!
Oliver: "You shouldn't go to the potty in an airplane when it goes upside down - you know what might happen?"

~ Um Tulip

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jerusalem Trip: Part 3

Better late than never, right?  Have some spare time this morning and thought I'd better finish up writing about our trip as promised.  I'm a stickler for following through with what I started, but that's hard to do with three little boys, especially as baby bulb is learning to walk!

I left off with our first night at the Notre Dame center in the Holy City.  However, we still had one more day before actually seeing Jerusalem.  We got on the bus after a lovely breakfast (lots of food kids love) and headed toward Bethlehem.  Approaching the wall was probably the most difficult leg of the trip for all of us.  One new friend tried to distract us by telling us about olive oil.  Apparently, there is some amazing olive oil made in one part of the country that only locals can consume, as it's too heavy for foreigners.  She can hardly cook with it herself.   Each region has special olive groves with a unique flavor.  It reminded me of listening to wine aficionados and coffee growers discuss their crops.  Unfortunately, she couldn't distract us for long, as the conversation lends itself to a discussion of the land.  The tragedy of so many losing their precious olive groves leaves me speechless.


Olive trees dating to the time of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane

Getting into Bethlehem took a while as we waited for a procession from the president of Costa Rica.  Then, we got tied up inside the Church of the Nativity as the security for the Costa Rican president came through.  The highlight was performing in the Church of St. Catherine next to the Church of the Nativity.  We joined in a beautiful mass and enjoyed a local monk playing the organ afterward.  We had lunch at a local pizza place and Abu Tulip got to meet up with a friend who lives in the area.  His son is a friend of ours from our college days.


The ancient mosaic floor under the current floor of the Church of the Nativity.

Dinner was back at the hotel and we got ready for a lot of walking the next day.  Our hosts couldn't have been better tour guides.  Not only did they know the history of the land, they could point out to an old home in the old city and mention, "That is my family's home.  My brother still lives there."  It was intensely personal.  A friend shared with us how her family and many Christian families decided to sell their homes to the Latin Patriarch.  While they continue to live there, this secures their home as part of the Palestinian Christian area, preventing it from being sold to others who will not preserve their heritage.    I recently read how in the 1920s the old city was around 52% Christian homes.  Today the percentage is a dismal one quarter of 1%.  The city risks become nothing more than a tourist attraction.  Again, I'm left without words to describe the anger and pain I feel along with my Arab brothers and sisters.  


View of the old city, looking over the Valley of the Kings.  I can hear Jesus weeping.

Phenomenal mosaics at the Church of the Ascension.  We weren't able to sing inside as another group was already there, singing a mass in German.  The acoustics would have been beautiful.

We did get to sing here, the Dormition of Mary Church
There weren't many tourists, so it was quiet and beautiful as we filled the space with song.  We stood in a circle, letting our voices play off the walls of the space.


I will never get over the unifying nature of making music together.
May the heavens delight in the sound.  ~ Um Tulip

Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent. ~Victor Hugo

He who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once. ~Robert Browning

Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken. ~Ludwig van Beethoven  

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wintry Mix

Thursday we were sent home from school early due to snow.  I had a class first hour, with the fifth grade.  As we were waiting for the rest of the students to trickle in due to bus delays, I had to come up with a quick English lesson on the spot.  I couldn't teach the lesson I had planned as half the students weren't in.  So thankful for the smartboard, I pulled up pics of snow on google images and we did a quick journal on snow activities.  This is by far my favorite picture.  The students loved it.  I don't know who took it, so I can't give it credit, but enjoy it anyway.


On the way home  I did see a little snow, more sleet, and a lot of rain.  It's been cold, but nothing like the snowy Michigan winters I used to endure.  We just received a text message that tomorrow is a one hour delay unless we hear otherwise.  It's been nice to have a little extra time at home.  Baby Bulb is taking his first steps.  He turns a year in about a week.  My, how time flies.              ~ Um Tulip

Thursday, February 4, 2010

do not be surprised if...

So, we just got this email from the department of state:

Warden Message

Subject: Tawjihi Celebrations – February 6, 2010

On Saturday, February 6th, the Jordanian Ministry of Education intends to release the interim results of the high-school exam (the Tawjihi). Families throughout Amman often celebrate when the results are announced, and for some the celebration is exuberant. Groups of young adults may drive around in cars blowing horns, and some individuals may shoot into the air. The direct threat is minimal, but traffic can be congested. Please do not be surprised if you hear shooting.

The U.S. Embassy in Amman is located on.......

I especially like the embassy's choice of the word exuberant. Wondering how this will all turn out if the roads are icy as predicted. Hoping for another snow day and to be inside with a hot cup of cocoa.

Minshuuf. ~ Um Tulip