Friday, October 31, 2008

Meeting Our Partner Teachers


This is Brahim. He is my partner teacher. I will be teaching with him in Tanahoute, and then he will come and teach with me in Shishmaref. I recognize Brahim instantly from pictures he had sent. He also recognized me as soon as I walked into the room. It was like meeting an old friend.

Brahim amazingly remembered every detail I'd ever shared with them. He inquired about Steve (Hey Steve! He predicts that you are a very sad man right now. Are you?). He asked about Lisa, my sister who just got married. He asked after my brother-in-law Bryce and Caleb. He wanted to know how my parents Sam and Asenath were doing. I was amazed.

Brahim is very outgoing, smart, and willing to share. I think we are a good professional match, and I can already tell that he will teach me many things.


Polly and Fatima.


Trisha and Mustapha. They will be teaching relatively close to us, so we may get to visit each other's schools!


Susan and Abdenbe.


Malika and Danielle.


Leslie and Amina.


Carrie and Ouafa.

I was extraordinarily impressed with the Moroccan teachers. They were a very lively and welcoming group. We talked all through dinner. Their English is amazing, and their knowledge of English literature was astounding (especially considering that English is their third language!). I look forward to working with all of them and learning a lot.


We feasted with our new partners. We started with this tray of Moroccan food. I was too tired to learn what all of the different dishes were, but Brahim said there will be plenty of time for me to learn. The orange things on the bottom left are carrots, and I think the meat on the right was lamb. It was all wonderfully seasoned and delicious!


The next course was (I think) cornish game hens stuffed with couscous. The birds were topped with a sweet spicy sauce and toasted almonds.


Then followed beef. Perfectly tender and seasoned to perfection. I ate and ate and ate and ate, but I still left mounds of food on my plate. :)


This is how I looked when I attended the dinner. Shishmaref kids, do you recognize me without my hair in a ponytail? (Steve, do you recognize the mess on the table?) :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

We're Not In Alaska Anymore...


This was my first view of Africa from the airplane. At first it was hard to believe that we were actually there, but when I stepped off the plane it became very obvious I was far from home. Here's how I could tell...


Arabic signs in the airport.


Palm trees outside. (It felt like summer!)


The view from my hotel room.


The sconce in my hotel room. (If you don't know what a sconce is, you better look it up...)


The teapot in the hotel lobby.


It was very exciting to see new and different things, but I was very grateful to see this. I think I'll enjoy western toilets and toilet paper for a while longer...

Arrival in Washington, D.C.

I left Shishmaref on Monday night at 6:00pm to head to Washington, D.C. for the first phase of my Fulbright experience.

This is a little picture I took in Kotzebue to illustrate the conditions I left behind. Nice, huh?

I barely made my connection in Anchorage to Salt Lake City. Then I flew to the Washington Reagan Airport, putting me in Washington, D.C. and about 4:00pm on Tuesday. Needless to say, it was a long trip.

I was pleasantly surprised by the accommodations. My suite sported stylish decor...


a king size bed...


a television in the living area... (Note to readers: The pictures are blurry. I have self-identified that problem. I was tired. I'm sorry.)


and a television in the bedroom (Hey Steve! Are you jealous yet?).


Quintuple bonus was the Bliss products in the bathroom. Ahhhhhh... (Bliss is one of my favorite brands of bath and body products.)

This is how I felt about the whole thing. Life as a Fulbrighter is good so far...

Monday, October 27, 2008

What I Will Miss About Shishmaref

  • Being kugluqed (startled) every day during first hour
  • Looking for my magnet men every day because somebody hid them
  • Hiding my munchies so students don't find them
  • Playing Jenga
  • Steve
  • My students...all of them