Thursday, April 24, 2008

Nuristan collection at Afghan national History Museum

It's actually quite fascinating, what is left of the exhibit after the taliban chopped up most of these restored pieces, The museum had also been bombed, but is now rebuilt and restoring what is possible.
The Nuristan or Kafiri of north eastern AFghanistan were a non-islam group of people living in seclusion in what they considered a "holy valley" with their own gods and customs before being conquered by islamists in late 19th century. This part of AFghanistan was a wooded valley, thus the many scupture of carved wood, done by lower caste craftsman.
These standing figures were made of the Righteous men of the society groups, I've read they stood at their homes, and I've been told they were put on their graves.
in the background, perhaps you'll notice some of the carved wooden beams from houses. the colonies were all biult into the mountainsides.
some fancy carved chairs and bowls are also displayed
The museum person told us these bowls were considered of great value and would be traded as such since the people had no actual type of money system.

these are extremely old religiuos figures, sorry i didn't read the notes, but they had both been destroyed by the taliban when they destroyed the museum years ago.


this stone tablet of ancient script date back to 200AD, as in 2nd century! (That's Nik, student who was nice enough to drive me to the Indian embassy and all around kabul the day we stopped by this museum)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

New Delhi.............

i bought a plane ticket Sunday morning here at the airport. I will be flying out of here next Monday and returning Friday. not a very long trip, so I'll be staying mostly in delhi except for one entire day trip to the taj majal and back. I had considered staying at the Fort palace resort hotel one night, but it's 3 hours from delhi and just no time this visit.
I will cover my goals of the Taj, and the Nehru exhibit by Charles and Ray Eames still displayed in Delhi. Also I have planned some very nice walking tours through a website I found online, Delhi magic, which I know fits me well because i read the lady's blog. I found a great hotel in the middle of the city I'm waiting for confirmation on a room. today is like the day before spring break...

in boring school news....students couldn't be better of course. however our new teacher had it out with the team leader yesterday on the ride to school. ugh what stress. the great thing is that he told her off everything that we other teachers probably have only dreamed of saying.. ha. then they almost went into it on the way back to lunch...him threatening of quitting, and her later threatening to have to let him go. i prayed twice when we got to school and then back from lunch, that God's hand would keep moving in everything and that whatever happens, it doesn't affect the school or the students badly. It was difficult to pray for them both, when at the same time God knows my desire would be either to leave. But prayer is a real comfort and the best thing to always turn to first. My goal is turn to God in prayer first at the up, very good times, with praise. those are times we are not seeking such comfort as much...

Ok I'm off to one more day before the "break" so to speak. Quic today on book 16. lets hope they perform well. My class got a big speech yesterday about the effort they also need to put in to learning English, including a diagram on the board that they need to connect the English words to the ideas, and not go through a Dari translation filter first. ha. I WILL make these guys read faster and speak faster, I have 2 more books to prove this group is capable as the rest. they have had a bad rep so far in the program. ha

Saturday, April 19, 2008

another saturday night and i ain't got.........

well another day gone. thank goodness for that one. Let's get these days rolling!
I did not make it to the airport today so i hope to go tomorrow to buy a plane ticket on KamAir from here and back to India, I hope to leave on a Monday and come back Friday, so that's 5 days, 4 nights. short brief trip, but hey I'm only coming from one time zone away. ha

we were supposed to have a "staff" meeting after school, our second official staff meeting since we've been here, go figure. anyway, it was postponed until tomorrow because we had to get keys made of something after school today... hmmm

tonight I'm going to play bingo. it's 5 euros to play, and the chances are about 1 in 3 of winning a prize. I will prolly get too tired by 10:30 to stay for the end. but maybe the first 2 hours will be fun ( I usually am going to sleep by 9 or 930 tops here) but its fun for the camaradery and everyone playing bingo together including the cafeteria workers etc....

no new news. Just hoping i can find a good flight because maybe no flights since that monday is a holiday here? I'm not sure. also if you feel like praying for me, I could use some prayer for my roomate situation back home, and that he'll communicate over email when possible. I'm prolly going to try and call him tomorrow and try and touch base about rent etc. pray for his conscience if anything.

more pics coming soon of me driving all around kabul last Thursday, and also the rest of vacation pics from Dubai. also, readers need to email me current pics of themselves doing whatever, like eating a meal, watching tv, or jsut hanging out outside. something normal and from home. just to keep me up to date on everyone.

Friday, April 18, 2008

guess what hit the school on an exciting wednesday?







if it had gone a little sooner or later , the truck would have gone through the wall into a classroom. luckily, it hit inbetween the two rooms and damaged a supporting metal beam just a bit.




well this has nothing to do with safety or security. It has more to do with culture


and learning how to drive a truck for the very first time in your life and pushing on the gas instead of the brake.



sad thing is in this culture if you wreck a car you have to pay for it and are put in jail until you do so. The kid driving was also injured.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

work wrok work blah blah

i had prayed about the whole thing with the team leader, and during my workout Thursday all I could think about was going to her room and saying I'm sorry and talk to her up front. What i wanted to apologize for was the list of things of suggestions about her i made a couple months ago, and had left in a book that she found later.
So i told her sorry for that and she said fine fine, and then I told her I am planning a trip to India, and she said she wasn't sure becuase I'd already traveled and other teachers would be gone. so i asked her well what is our policy on asking off unpaid leave, to which she had no answer as usal.

well long story short, I shook her hand and made nice. What God was telling me while i was at the gym, in addition to an email from my mom, is that I have to learn to love this fellow Christian. We are not always going to like other people whether they are Christians or not, but we are directed to encourage one another as believers in Christ. I must change my attitude completely and try to show this person i can be a friend. Although I will continue to disagree with her "mangement" style, cough cough, at times, i will have to wait to be asked, or when the time is right to give suggestions lightly.

update on this, is she has been difficult about me going on vacation, but the Major who is our program manager has already told me it should be fine since we don't expect many students to be here those days. the teamleader has told me she's ok with 3 days ot four or five. So since I plan to leave Mon and come back Friday, problem solved! we only have classes mon, tues, and wed. thurs and fri already free.

reading the bible and prayer are what encourage me the most. I have been reading a daily devotional book at breakfast, but I have found that is no substitute for constant prayer and reading the Word. nothing new of course. ha
lately I pray that I will remember to praise God at different moments throughout my day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Goodbye Istanbul, until next time..... last of the turkey pics...

scene of the old part of city with the bay in the background
walking around the hill filled with streets

the grand bazaar !!!

lamps for sale....
view from the Hamdi restaurant on the fourth floor where i ate my last night.
view of mosque looking from same spot
view of the city from the restaurant, also a nice desktop photo
me with city in back. ha

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

more istanbul........

park after we saw the sofia
me in front of a mosque ( i think maybe the blue mosque?)




we stopped here for tea after the tour



Turkey flag above while walking back towards town




Friday, April 11, 2008

so i was running at the gym........

had a great day yesterday.
I enjoyed having my room alone all morning and emptied my wardrobe and cleaned the room a little. (my desk needs help still though). I made plans with a student to pic me up after lunch, and got a ride over to the Indian Ebassy, and then we found it closed. ahh well. there is no way of calling the place. so I learned and got to see the city while Salek showed me what buildings were which.
apparently they only do foreigner visas to India on Mondays, so I'll let you know if I get over there after school Monday.
I ran yesterday for 20 minutes, 2 miles on the treadmill. then worked out my chest and arms. and later went to the "french" restaurant on base (called that becasue the French built it years ago) with a major and captain and tech seargent i'm friends with ( means we sit together at meals).

while running I thought a lot about my time here in Kabul, and decided one thing God had for me to learn here, was working with people and learning how to give up control of my situations.
My life in OKC was very routine and living in my own house and showing up at my jobs was very consistent, and I controlled who I wanted to see or spend time with, I could be very lazy or go do just the things I wanted.
I also realized I have to pray for my team leader, that she listens more to the team, or somehow becomes better and leading a team, because she really is a good teacher in the classroom with students.
I will be praying that I have the right words to say and not to say to my team leader. Because I think there will be time when I need to speak out when I feel it is right, and I think this lady needs to be molded and shaped into a better leader and if I can help so be it. ha
oh and the reason i was upset at myself for getting angry is because growing up as a little brother and sometime getting teased, I sort of trained myself to not get angry and show emotion and give the teaser what they wanted, and so I continue to be like that and so when I let her get to me, I felt like I lost that little battle I play. ahh well. not again!
so I'm off to the mess hall. and then class to test on book 17. and then i get a nother class to teach book 16. shweet another week in Kabul, here it goes....

sofia cathedral....istanbul

many random pieces of greek temple statuary at what now is a museum at Sophia
inside the church which began as Christian and then Muslim, and now Secular with each change reflecting the current influence on Istanbul.

this was the first builiding in the world to use the arch and dome in building, then the catholics copied it, and then mosques copied it. It began here.




the underground cistern with modern day istanbul paved and built above. this was never meant to be seen but to be underwater as a huge cistern for the city.
here is an actual Medusa head from an ancient greek temple. They used this in the construction of the cistern to use under a shorter column, they face it upside down in disrespect.

friday off blahg

today the roomie is gone on a flight with some pilot friends somewhere. so i will prolly turn the music up and arrange stuff in here and clean.
I am also trying to find a ride to the Indian Embassy this afternoon. A student with a car might be available after lunch. yeah!
I am trying to get a visa to India for a visist coming up the first week of may when the school is down for a week.


RANT-

I sort of lost control yesterday morning at the school when the teamleader asked me to take someone back to base and then come back for her etc... because when i asked will you be ready at 11:30 to leave (which is our usual time to be GONE from the school on Thursdays) she mentioned she'd be teaching until 11:30 and then the cleaners would need to clean her room. I just lost it for her complete disregard for my time. i didn't yell but i was so angry i was shaking uncontrollably while at the same time speaking very calmy and trying to say what i had to say. well, don't ever try to out drama a drama queen. i sat down and she started yelling at me immediately. hear are her exact words and blatant lie "thats why i said I'd take you both back and come back here with the van" ( she never said that, I went back before leaving and called her out of her room to speak to her a moment. which I shouldn't have done until I calmed down I know now, later). anyway, she dove in with what a small part mine is and how important her job is or whatever, and used the world selfish, and then what happened is we just loaded up everyone in the van and then everyone returned and she went back alone to spend who knows how much more time.

oh yeah while i was sitting down, i told her, its not just this one time, you are too free with our personal time, and i used the words unfair and inconsiderate.

SO anyway, i wrote her an email after i came back to apologize for saying those things and that I would try to be less selfish or inconveniented in the future etc. and flexible and all that. blah, this was only because i was personally mad at myself for letting her get to me. and also i had another completely letter in mind to write when I got back, but insteaad said, no I'll just keep things nice and write and apology. that's the professional way. and yes, personally I can be very very sefish, you all know that much about me, but professionally, I reminded myself that I had just distributed everyone's books for them to their rooms, printed the new role sheets and distributed, and was taking a workbook home to copy homework pages for another teacher. this is all on my own initiative because i like work time for work, and my time for my own time.

Well she never responded to my email, but I'm going to try and get her to shake my hand next time i see her. i carbon copied the email to our boss back home, because i also need to cover my back against her consistent lying. No offense to women readers, but women don't forget and can def. hold grudges, so I will remain ready to fire if she pushes any one of my buttons. ha


other new--

Good news? yes. (other than the so called team "leader" is leaving the country April 26th to may 4th). we had a very very good PMR meeting with the general and all those involved yesterday at 3 pm. ( this was something that got me all stressed out about her using up my free time after 11:30 since we we are required at the general's meetings on our day "off") and the meeting went very well. the DLI rep was there, the program is getting completely on track, we were told the extra avation english classes are not part of our contract to come up with curriculum. so we can chill and just TEACH! ha
also we were told there were 7 DLI instructors ready to take over after the contract is over in Sep 28th. They discussed hiring us back on with DLI, and niceties ensued, oh of course, of course, etc.. but I will tell you that i wil lonly be interested in a few extra months. not another year, and this is only on condition the team leader leaves. ha
so i can work extra here or just travel before coming home in november we shall see.
but the best thing is in the meeting everyone was exactly on the same page, the team leader kept her mouth shut for the most part, and for a first didn't complain or ask for anything extra.
well thanks for letting me vent sorry if this is all boring work stuff.

with some of my time i hope to write on my other blog a sort of poem about the perfect super villian, I'm just sort of motivated today. if you check my profile you may notice the link.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Istanbul, it's amazing what you can see in a day....

nice display at a downtown square, Tamik I think
outdoor cafes are everywhere in turkey, for lunch or dinner etc
walking street in istanbul
police in case the protest got out of hand
communist party protesting
at the base the tower you'll see in a lot of istanbul pics
the tower top