had rain this past week- nothing much though but it always takes
people here by surprise. I was going from place to place during
the rain and during the time I went into 3 different taxis, none
of which used the wind-screen wipers. I'm not sure if they know
how to work them or if they just don't like to put them on. One
taxi driver kept stopping the taxi to wipe the windscreen with
a cloth. There's some things which I'll never get used to!
friend of mine had to cancel a meeting that he was taking because
he knew that there would be a very low turn-out because of the
weather (this was an indoor event!) We've only had one downpour
since we arrived and we were surprised by the amount. This was
last February shortly after we arrived but there hasn't been anything
like it since. As far as we can tell there is no drainage system
so all of the rainwater stays at street-level; this means that
the roads themselves can get halfway to the knees in water after
a bad downpour but this isn't common.
the run-up to Christmas we've been attending various celebrations
and events. We are enjoying it here since there isn't much in
the way of commercialisation and it means that there aren't the
usual distractions from the real meaning. This past week we've
attended a traditional service and a party of a friend who lives
did the talk at the English speaking service last Friday where
the children stayed in to do their part in the Christmas service.
It was unusual to do a talk without being translated, to be honest
I missed the regular "interruptions" to get my thoughts together
to clearly think out the next sentence. There was also the added
distraction that I now had to paint the picture on the sketchboard
from left to right and do the writing in English . . . it's surprising
how I'm getting used to doing the artwork in Arabic.
January is getting filled with speaking engagements. I'm receiving
phone calls from complete strangers saying that they heard about
me and want me to speak to the children that they are in charge
of, of course there is always a limit to how many I can accept
but I never like to refuse a booking. I'll be in Alexandria at
the beginning of January to do a children's talk then later to
do a S School teachers conference that has been arranged specially
for my visit- they are expecting at least 150 to attend. I'm really
pleased with how I'm getting these opportunities to train the
teachers since there is only one of me and I can't possibly get
round all of the classes by myself!
recently met a guy who does much of this type of training. He
wants to take me all over the country and arrange special conferences
in several of the major cities to do this type of training for
teachers, unfortunately I don't think that I will get the time
to do this!
news- Yes, after 10 months we've finally managed to get our automatic
washing machine! Gone are the days of trying to use the ancient
twin-tub that's broken (we had to siphon the water out of this
after every wash). We went to the part of the city that sells
washing machines (yes, no kidding!) and we kept on asking prices
until we found the cheapest, then knocked down the price a bit
more until it was in our price range. It took an extra couple
of days to get a plumber to come and fix it in but now it is all
finished and everything is working. We'll be spending the next
few days catching up on the washing and ironing!
hope to buy a turkey for Christmas day but there aren't many around.
We're having an open house on the 23rd for all of our friends
and we'll be having a quiet Christmas as a family together. As
I mentioned before, it is nice not to have the commercialisation
to spoil the celebrations. I'm keeping a lot of my Christmas money
to spend on magic tricks when I get back to England!
write again after Christmas,
Alison and Hannah
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