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Category: Dan

Nabulsi Trekking with Will ?>

Nabulsi Trekking with Will

The schools here have an unusual finals schedule where all the children (K-12) attend school for 1/2 days for two weeks, taking one final exam per day. I don’t know how much you remember about 2nd and 4th grade, but rigorous final exams usually aren’t part of the mix. Since these are pretty much down weeks for Will, as he’s not needing to study much (he’s not taking the Arabic language finals), I checked him out of school early on…

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Online Teaching Wrapup ?>

Online Teaching Wrapup

The past few weeks have been a whirlwind with all of the end-of-semester activities. Regular readers know that as the Fulbright spouse (that’s a thing, right?) on this adventure, I’ve been remotely teaching my college courses back in Mississippi. I’m so grateful that my college gave me this opportunity as there aren’t many institutions who would have allowed such flexibility! Teaching my courses remotely has been wonderful, but not without its own unique set of challenges. Now that the last…

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside ?>

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

The cold snap has definitely begun here in Palestine with lows dipping into the 40s. Regular readers might recall my excitement in September about being able to always get a breeze blowing through the apartment, eliminating the need for air conditioning. Our think stone walls and tile floors kept the apartment nice and cool. That was a fantastic feature of this 4th floor apartment on top of a hill back when the temperatures were in the 80s and 90s. Today,…

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Driving in Palestine ?>

Driving in Palestine

Getting around town by taxi and servee is actually really easy. The transportation system takes a little bit to figure out, but it does work. We’ve been here for a little over two months now and we can pretty easily get anywhere in town we need to go without a car for just a few shekels. That said, I didn’t realize how much I had missed driving until this past weekend!

Zaitun Harvest ?>

Zaitun Harvest

Last weekend, we had the opportunity to participate in that most Palestinian of traditions — olive picking! Our friends from the kid’s school invited us to their family village about 30 minutes outside of town for the adventure. His family has about 800 olive trees in the hills surrounding the village, so they’ve been picking for a few weeks now. I can’t tell you what a special moment that was for me to be in the orchards with our families….

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Visiting a World Wonder ?>

Visiting a World Wonder

The Sid Meiers fans among you will recognize the image above as one of the title screens from Civ V (Civ VI’s release is only a week away, but sadly, my Macbook is too old to run it — it’s upgrade time, I think). It’s one of those magical places that conjures up images of adventure and romance. And it’s now a UNESCO site and one of the 7 new wonders of the world. Before we dive in, here’s my…

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Epic Cell Phone Commercials ?>

Epic Cell Phone Commercials

I realized I didn’t have an adblocker in Chrome, but after seeing this commercial over the past couple of days, I don’t think I’ll install one. This is from our local cell phone company. The commercials here are much more narrative driven, I think. Lots of symbolism packed into 54 seconds…

Will Teach for Food ?>

Will Teach for Food

One of the highlights of the trip so far has been all the Palestinian meals I’ve eaten in the homes of our new friends. There’s nothing like home cooking; even when the flavor profiles are completely different from our own, things taste so much better when you know they were cooked with love. One of my favorite dishes so far has been Maqluba, which means “upside down.” This dish consists of rice, cucumbers, tomatoes, spices and chicken. You cook everything…

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Mastering Play Dates ?>

Mastering Play Dates

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that my role here on the trip is to wrangle the kids. On Friday, the kids participated a fun run organized by Lost Children with the neighbor kids. The organization is doing some great things here to help Palestinian kids have normal childhoods. All the kids received free t-shirts, hats, and toys and after the run, they had a block party with traditional dancing, face painting, and bounce houses. I had originally…

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Digital Footprints in Palestine ?>

Digital Footprints in Palestine

We hear a lot about how everything we do online is tracked, and how companies can put together uncanny profiles of us from all of our public data (for example, that famous story of Target figuring out a teen girl was pregnant before her parents did). While the idea of privacy in a digital age is quickly vanishing, I was thinking the other day about how our digital lives do give us the opportunity to reconstruct thought patterns that we…

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