Sunday, May 30, 2010

Reveries of Flight

We are the army of the far from perfect.

And we come here, not to berate those who are not perfect, but show them the way to become perfect.

Yet there are many here who wish for this to stay out of reach.

Following the footsteps of heroes never led to the safe and grey road.

There are things happening here. There are powers moving here, powers that having been moving in opposition for hundreds, nay, thousands of years. While we doubt not the light, it grows darker here. Not just for us, but for our friends here.

But the Prince of the Dawn will not be moved, and will bring the light again.

Please Remember our friends here as they stand fast against the son of the morning.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

To understand

Good morning, readers.

Yesterday was our school's graduation. There were 11 seniors, some really good kids, who are now leaving us and going into the wide world. The graduation, after emergencarily (why is that not a word?) getting moved due to the big conference which was supposed to start this week, went pretty well. I did sound, and because of the move, we didn't have as many frills as in the past, which meant I could just take our little sound system and set up in about 20 minutes instead of it taking me 3 hours. That was nice. The ceremony was pretty good, but it did remind me of what country I live in, when the speaker, the head of education for this country, was describing some of his vision for education in the country (that by 2020 every child would have access to basic education, in a building, with qualified teachers), and he said that, "I hope to see these things come to pass, if I am not assassinated before then." This has seriously to be one of the only countries in the world where almost the entire room laughs at a speaker's joke about his own possible assassination.

So now, there are about two more weeks of school left, and just over a month before we leave. It really feels like the year is winding down. We know people are leaving soon, and I think the reality that I'm not coming back next year hasn't fully sunk in yet. Three years is not and is a lot of time to invest in a place. The relationships we have built here are going to, and not going to, end in many ways. The time of transition is coming on, in a way it never exactly has in my life. When I went off to college, it was with the thought that I would still stay connected to friends. And I did. When I left there, it was more of a sudden switch away, and I didn't have the time to really transition. When I came here, tit was originally just a short term deal, and it gradually became three years. Now, we're leaving, and we're heading into another great unknown. I think the unsettling that I feel about that is more than I realized. And I know I can't hold on to here, but I don't have anything tangible I can grab on to and hold for the next stage, except for D. And I'm not much of one for goodbyes, so closing this chapter out is hard and means I turn into her more than I perhaps should at times. I don't want to do things with people, because it reminds me that we'll soon be gone.

I've been thinking more recently on how to be who I am called to be wherever I go. I want to be His child where I am, and I know ways to do that here. I know I need to develop more in that area, especially when we move, but I don't know how. I also feel like I am growing in my understanding of how the larger world works, and that also plays a roll in helping me to understand how to serve as I am called. All of this to say, I don't know how life looks like next, and that makes me unsettled as well.

Why do I bring all this up?

Is it because I want to be whiny and for you to feel pity for me?

Not really.

It's because this is what life is about.

Not knowing, not understanding, sometimes feelingly like nothing ever happens, sometimes feeling like you are lurching along from crisis to crisis, and then other times feeling as though you have everything under control. It's about seeing the path that you are supposed to Walk, and walking it. It's about knowing that by yourself, you are going to live, but that you need to just die so you can truly live. It's about dependency, trust, surrender, and action. It's about waking up in the morning, knowing that the day is sufficient for its own troubles.

It's about keeping your feet on the water.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


The end of the school year, and my time here, is coming on. I feel like I'm gasping for breath against the tide of tasks, events, and stressors.

Our dads left yesterday, and are currently winging their way home. I think they had a good time. Dad took in the neighborhood of 800 pictures in the 10 days he was here, thank goodness for digital cameras, eh? They got to experience a nearly full spectrum of life in Kabul, including the cancellation of a number of activities and not being able to take our trip to a village up north. Some disappointments, but also a routine-ish part of our life here. "The Dads," as they were known on our campus, got to help D with a number of conversation activities in her classes, and they helped me do an inventory of my equipment, which was very valuable because it would have taken me 4 or 6 hours to do what they did in about 3.

The end of the year is going to be breakneck, with graduation, a software conversion, and people leaving. But it should be a good time of transition out of here as we get ready to go home. Oh yeah, and get married.

I've been working on editing together a video from the beautiful footage a friend shot for us, and the great pictures our co-workers took at the party. Hopefully when I get home you all can see it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Time for a party!

Our engagement party was last night! We had a great time, and we think a decent amount of our guests did too!

The day started with D and my Thursday morning tradition of breakfast together. Then we started the set up. There were a lot of small details that I won't bore you with, but the basic idea is that we had to set up the tables and chairs under the tents. Yes, our party was out of doors, under two tents, with a divider down the middle so we had a men's side and a women's side. On the women's side, there was also a small stage where we had a head table that had cake! We ended up going back and forth between both sides, we went from the men's side to the women's side semi frequently (mainly just us, almost no other women came to the men's side, and very few men came to the women's side.) to greet the guests and thank them for coming. After the traditional supper, we had a cake cutting and then some traditional dancing. It was quite the sight to see my dad dancing with the locals in their traditional dance!

We had a pretty good time. Once I get my camera with pictures back from the guy who took photos for me, I'll try to put a couple up.

Monday, May 10, 2010


My dad and Diane's dad are here! They are spending about 10 days with us, and it's going to be pretty good. They just got here and are not overly jetlagged so far. We're pretty excited.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Save your breath

I was going to post pictures, but Blogger is not cooperating.

We're back from our whirlwind 4 days in Jordan (Dead Sea, Petra [AWESOME!!!]) and 4 days in Istanbul (Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar). It was a busy but fun trip. Jordan was pretty good, if a little tiring because of necessary late nights, long drives, and long hike through Petra. My demi-evil twin sister flew over from her home to Jordan and was with us there, and that was pretty cool. Istanbul was good after we finally got into our rented flat (after I yelled at the man on the phone). Istanbul was less hectic, and we had some cool stuff happen to us.

While in Jordan, we went to Mount Nebo, where Moses supposedly looked out over the promised land, and then to Bethany in Jordan. Bethany was pretty interesting because you can go down to the Jordan river, and there is an Israeli tourist spot just opposite. So there are guards on both sides, to monitor the possible Jordan crossing, since at that point, the Jordan isn't much bigger than the creek in my parent's backyard. After that, we went to the Dead Sea. I could float in the Dead Sea's hypersalinated water, which was an interesting experience. After some floating, and comparing the Dead Sea to the freshwater pool at the beach, D and my sister went and bought Dead Sea mud to cover themselves with. That was kind of entertaining. Then we drove to Petra (actually, Wadi Musa, the town by Petra), and the view through the Jordan Mountains was awesome. In Petra, we hiked down the Siq to the Treasury (the big building from Indian Jones and the Last Crusade), which is actually a Nabatean tomb. It's pretty impressive, I will post pictures if I can. I highly enjoyed Petra. After that, it was a 6 A.M. flight out the next day.

We flew to Istanbul, and my nice sister helped us understand the Metro and find our flat. Then we went out to eat at Chilis (D and I go to Chilis in every country [Jordan Chilis - could be the U.S. Seriously.] we visit, so it was a combo Birthday dinner and Chilis visit), after which she flew back to her home. The next day, we went and bought coats (because Istanbul is cold) on the pedestrian shopping boulevard Istiklal Caddeshi in Istanbul, and then went to Sultanahmet Square to get lunch, where we made our Way to a random cafe and had a super-encouraging encounter with an American lady and her friend. We had planned to go to the Hagia Sofia that afternoon, but didn't make it because of our cafe Detour, which was just fine. We went into the Blue Mosque instead. (that's a pretty impressive building, and I thought it was interesting how everyone who was not Muslim had to go to a side entrance to get to the same spot.) The next day, we made it to a crowded Topkapi Palace (where D and I almost succumbed to tourist rage because, well, to be culturalist, Orientals don't have a personal space bubble) and saw a bunch of cool artifacts from the Ottoman period. Then we went to the Hagia Sofia and saw it. The building is impressive. It was the main cathedral of the Byzantine Empire and the Eastern Orthodox Church, then in 1453 the Ottomans turned it into a mosque and removed all the old iconography and plastered over the mosaic walls. There is reconstruction being done, so there were lots of scaffolds, and it is a strange hybrid building. But it's just huge and to think it was built in the 300s is amazing. We also went to the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaars in Istanbul, rode around the Metro system and went to a mall. We also took a joyride on the ferry to Asia. It was a pretty good trip, even though the ending was tiring, because we had to travel overnight and get back here at 8:00 A.M.... so we flew through the night.

But it was a pretty great trip, and one that we probably wouldn't be able to take later in life.

Speaking of life...

I'm pretty excited to announce that I have a job for when we get back in the U.S.! I'm going to be working for a network support company in Omaha, a small company with some sharp people, which is exactly what I wanted. I am really excited that such a job has been Provided to me!

And this is all the time I have for writing now, because I have to do some planning work for our engagement party and our dad's visit next week. That's also really exciting, even though it makes our lives pretty busy.