Saturday, June 28, 2008

I'm trying to find out about my taxes...

my boss emailed to ask when I wanted to fly home (delayed from end of contract sep 26th). So I am trying to get verification of the tax laws about exemption, everything i read online says 330 days out of country, but two people on base have said its prorated if you are gone less than that. It's important I verify that otherwise I lose a huge chunk of money by coming home too early.
AND, we all recieved an email that DLI is picking up another year contract with our boss in OKC for 2 or 3 teachers for one more year. I don't plan on being one of them.

Friday, June 27, 2008

great weekend....

was very nice, going in Thrusday morning and cleaning and organizing a bunch of stuff in my ROOM. got a LOT done, and then I relaxed some yesterday and also worked out at the gym, killed my legs blah. and I went to rug store on base and bought not 1,2,or 3, but 4 rugs(one runner shown above) . they are all shweet and an excellent deal of course because I kept saying well how about 2 for this, or 3 for this, etc etc and that's the way it works!!! we were taken off of imenent threat. I didn't ever mention it because no reason to worry I'm always safe here on base, but after the prison break in kandahar ( you may have heard something, if not KEEP UP WITH WORLD you lazy American! ha) we were told not leave base anymore, but now everything is fine and they cleaned up all the villages around kandahar and rounded up a lot of taliban etc... so we are back to normal ops. ( not like I have anywhere to go off base anyway, but eventually I'll be going to get a visa to Tajikstan or India for our time off in August.)
I am now telling my sisters that you are right , I have too many boxers here. I wasn't sure about the laundry situation before I got here, but it turns out i can take the laundry in every day and pic it up one day later, so I have plenty of boxers! I actually go about every day either taking it in or picking it up, i have 4 gym shorts so that's about my limit on days to wait. So thank you dear dear sisters for helping me pack and all. I know I know. I can't take it with me!! but in the mean time it never hurts to be prepared.... right? ha

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

chin beard going going gone...

I decided to shave the chin beard this morning , which is like my friday morning here. I'm wearing tshirt and jeans today with some black convers hightops so might as well shave up and lose the grey, that's right most of the grey is in my beard. ugh!

things have been going well. I love talking with the students and seeing them at break and keeping up with the ones I've had in class before. also my current group are all really nice guys. we had a big conversation the other day about the quoran and the bible, and we discussed religion, and they are always fascinated about how I pray. they are required to do so 5 times a day, and this means getting up before 4:30 am EVERY morning. yuck. and I was telling them about going to church and hearing a man teach us about the bible and how we prayed before and after that. They asked what do we do, and I showed them maybe we bow our heads, standing or sitting, and maybe some people kneel etc. It's very interesting that they know all the same history of israel, Abraham, Jonah, Shadrak Meshack and abednego, danial and the lions etc...

they also asked about after death, the idea of heaven or hell which is similar to theirs, and I was saying how we believe people who believe that Jesus was the son of God go to heaven. anyway always a joy, but of course I'm always wanting to get right back to the book and teach teach. but the few conversations are really great.

It's sad that a lot of Americans see muslims as crazy terrorists, thats only special groups. The majority of muslims are poor, and follow Mohamuds rules and really are quite devout and respectful of their religion and others, I guess the people I've met here anyway. i sort of compare it to people who blow up abortion clinics in the US and how i wouldn't want that radicalism representing all Christians either.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

mon morn

my favorite shirt lately! I picked this shirt up in New Delhi while in india, it's made of linen in front and the back and sleeves are knit. man this shirt couldn't fit better or feel more comfortable in the heat here. its perfect other than I have to wash it in the sink. This picture also shows how I wear my badge every day, and then I'm using my shoulder bag for taking stuff to work and back every day, I keep magazines to read, school stuff, and cameras and ipod in there.
This next pic is a view from the back seat of the SUV I was in Friday going to Eggers. A convoy always has a minimal of 2 SUVs. behind us is where the radio jamming equipment is.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

went to eggers last weekend on friday

was a good weekend. Friday I was able to go with a convoy over to camp Eggers. A friend on base, captain hauser had been transferred to live over there, so they had a convoy going over to take him and his stuff. and then we brought back a major fischer (from Edmond btw).
I had a good American style lunch which was awesome, and then shopped a t at the BX on base, wheat thins, chips ahoy cookies, gum. And then I shopped at the bazaar which is really huge on Fridays at that camp. Nothing much just a blanket, a small box thing, and this paper weight thing.
I watched some movies on dvd in my room and read a lot. THANKS MOM AND DAD, I recieved the box of PINWHEEL cookies and magazines from home. yeah! also just yesterday I got the box with the tshirt and Monocle magazine. yeah!
I'm set up now with stuff to read and browse through while riding in the van, at the mess hall, or reading on the treadmill.
The new DLI teacher arrived so we are 7 again. He's an oldert guy, a long time ESL teacher who's travelled and lived in many countries teaching ENglish, and an absolute professional. (he is from the same county in Kentucky that had a banker leave with all the cash, ruining the lives of many Hungarian immigrants back before world war II that ended up financing the political party of Himmler from the Nazis)
anyway, summer here has been fine, teaching has never been better, everyone seems to be getting along nice enough and I'm happy with the routine of teaching teaching teaching and some gym time and then dinner and room time.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

wed morning for me is tuesday evening for you..

good morning from Kabul.

We are giving the book quizzes today. and then an after school meeting and the "weekend" begins. ha. I don't have any plans this weekend except I'm asking around to see if there are any convoys going over to Camp Eggers Friday so i can get my ID card replaced. also they have an awesome huge bazaar on Fridays at camp Eggers and I haven't been over there since winter time.

two of my buds on base or getting transferred to Camp Eggers so that reduces our mess hall table group of guys by 2, a major and a captain.

One of the things about living overseas is how far away you can feel every now and then, for example my parents went on a trip this weekend and all I can think about is their safety while travelling so I'm praying for God's protection. and I find this ironic cause I know my parents pray for my safety often since I am in Afghanistan after all. ha

Sunday, June 15, 2008

science fiction museum

thats the title of the multi movie black market style dvd that my roomie bought a while back. It contains these movies" Eragon, Night at the museum, Pan's labyrinth, all the harry potter movies except the last one, and all the star wars movies.
Anyway, so I watched the 2nd and fourth or 5th potter movies and tonight I'm watching the first one. I've been looking at some landscape sites online just for fun, and checking around, I bought some past issues of Monocle magazine online today. And I've been teaching like crazy and making copies and planning each next step of the way for class. Students are keeping up well. Book quiz on Wednesday... no one knows what's going on with our contract, not much chance (as I see it) of ILS getting another year for us to teach (I'd never work another year for ILS again regardless of the $$) and then someone mentioned DLI was negotiating an extension on the contract, and someone else mention maybe we'd be working an extra month or two... blah
I am sticking with either travelling for 6 weeks or working for 6 weeks and then coming home early November etc. yee haw...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

i think 14 weeks officially...

or you could say 3.5 months. that's the time left on our contract here.
how exciting. I am not sure of what's next but it's exciting that there is some CHANGE ahead, and it will involve travel and seeing different people, and getting out into the modern world again. And at the end of it all, a RETURN to home. visit my family and friends! yeah.
the official end date of our contract is Sep 26th, I'm trying to get hired on for an extra 6 weeks because of tax exemption I can't return to the US until after nov 9. SO if I don't get hired extra time I will TRAVEL.
I have no information about the opportunity of returning in janurary or not, and won't know until end of June.
BUT I am excited either way for the end of this employment, knowing I've done my part and the best I could, i can only hope that the students continue to learn English and stay motivated to stay in the military and help Afghanistans future.
I must continue to seek God's will each step, each day and not just coast out the ride from here.
I DO thank God daily for the way things are going now that things are run by the mil. program manager, col Langford, and we are all jsut teachers teaching without the drama of before. ha
also God has been telling me to show grace to this new teacher because of all the grace He's given me plus what I know others put up with me.
ALSO good news is the pilots will be doing some tech training at FAA in OKC, so I may have the chance to show them a bit OKC in the future. not all my students, only the fixed wings pilots. we also teach rotary wing(helicopter) pilots and tech and engineers and loadmasters etc...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

summer fish

I grew up reading and memorizing all about freshwater tropical fish. I had an aqaurium and a few books and was fascinated to read about breeding strains of guppies and about how all the different aquarium fish reproduced, egglayers, nestbuilders, livebearers. etc... cichlids, poecilidae, adipose fins, scientific names with latin words like striatus or labio etc... as a kid that fascinated me.
anyone else have an aquarium as a kid, or like freshwater fish? I bought these prints on ebay last week cause I'v always loved fish. well anyway I got this idea of someday having fish prints up on the wall in some room (a son's room would be perfect). or bathroom, or maybe a kitchen with fish prints all around the room or walls... etc

these pictures are from 1907 and show bait fish.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

from the turkmenistan bazzaar, store really, in Kabul today. went with a student. had a great time looking at all the handiwork and drinking tea and talking to them about the way of life for the turkmen, the house was a "Yute" and then inside they had a display of a loom for making rugs, and different yarns. they told me these houses can be wrapped up and carried on donkeys from place to place. my student said he remembers living in one at age 8 near the afghan turmenistan border.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

weekend coming again in kabul.....

here are my students doing a little exercise i required of them, making use of some illustrations that i had laminated before coming over, they are different pictures which help promt sentences for writing. Here my students are assigned to write a sentence with the words might, may, and could.
the next picture is a pair of afghan dolls i bought at the market last saturday. from a women's group that helps widows and such earn money.

I saw this group for the last time today, saturday we are starting new books with all new classes. I've had some of the guys in this class for 4 or 5 books! that's a long time. i love 'em all of