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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What I'm reading

Why is it that the Shakespeare play I know the most lines from is Hamlet?

What do you read, my lord?
Words, words, words.

I will take my leave of you.
You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will more willingly part withal. Except my life, except my life, except my life.

Where is Polonius?
At supper.
At supper! Where?
Not where he eats, but where he is eaten.

I suppose it could be because I read it in my senior English class in high school (psych lit) and watched part of Kevin Brannaugh's movie adaptation of it, which I later saw in full. We also watched a comedic version by the Reduced Shakespeare Company. Then I saw the more up-dated Hamlet with Julia Styles. Then I found Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the library and laughed myself silly. Anyway, that's not today's topic, but it is what I feel like saying every time someone asks me what I'm reading. Words, words, words.

This is a book I started about a week ago and could not wait to finish. I finished it at work two nights ago, on my lunch break. Here I sit, crying in the lunch room. It's a beautiful and somewhat melancholy book about a little German girl who grows up in Nepal and Indonesia--and doesn't know Germany at all and gets intense culture shock going back the first and every time afterward.

It's a very well written, easy-to-read, true story of a daughter of missionaries who move to the jungle to learn the Fayu language and culture. I'm sure it appeals a lot to missionary kids and third culture kids of all kinds, and also people like me (I like to style myself as a third culture adult--on somewhat of a different level than having grown up in a culture other than my parents', but still having spent critical, formative years in radically different cultures and becoming some of this and some of that and some of what I was born as).

It's just beautiful and eye-opening and not too too much to try to process. Although it might be a little rough on your heart in some chapters, mostly it is delightful. And in my experience, delight is sweetened from having tasted sorrow.

Anyway, if you've been to Indonesia, or are/were (is there were?) a missionary, want to know about UPGs (unreached people groups--those with little or no outside contact), or just want an easy but true read about a beautiful jungle childhood, this is a good book.

And now on to my next book....tba pending whether I like the one I'll probably start tonight at work. Tonight is my last night shift of the block, then Stacey arrives tomorrow from Calgary! We also just got news last night (well, I didn't get it until this afternoon) that our brother Andrew is coming home from Thailand on May 31st, and we'll likely pick him up from the airport. Hooray! Other than that, Frodo is moving quite a lot now (not quite hard enough yet for Jason to feel) and I find it the coolest thing ever. Especially at work when I feel so isolated and sometimes a bit overwhelmed, then I get this little nudge nudge from inside and joy fills me. It will be wonderful to see Frodo's face in October.

Oh, we're also looking at houses. To buy. Not as scary as I imagined it. I suppose I've done scarier things (cliff jumping, dengue fever, India all come to mind). This, for me, is mostly just exciting. We're just waiting on one document from the States before we can proceed--come on FICO! Stop holding us up!!!!!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Something to blog about

I believe those were my exact words last night on the way home from the library. Yesterday was a day of firsts for me.

I saw my first killdeer (a kind of bird with an ingenous method of protecting its nest) yesterday afternoon while driving in the car with Jason. He's a dear, and knows so much about the wildlife here. I'll often ask, "What bird is making that call?" and he'll casually reply "a red-winged blackbird" or "cardinal" or "blue jay" and then in a few seconds I'll spot the lovely creature. It's like living on a nature show. So cool. So yesterday it was a killdeer in the field (soon to be a strip mall/more sprawling townhouse complex) by the library. Apparently these crafty birds, when a predator is too close to its young or eggs, will start to run away, dragging a 'broken' wing behind to lure the predator away from the nest. Then when the threat is out of the immediate area, they'll take to the air and laugh. Okay, maybe the laugh part was my interpretation. Isn't that cool? Now I've got a terrible urge to go trekking through the brush in that field to see this display for myself.

Yesterday I also held my first toad. It was just hanging out in front of our friend's apartment building. When it didn't hop away as I began to pet it, I picked it up for a closer look. They actually ARE dry, not all moist like a sapo. And bumpy.

And then what did I see to complete my wildlife trifecta? A FOX!!!!!!! Oh my goodness. I've only seen foxes in movies (Secret Garden anyone?). This one ran across the road, again from the field by the library, but it was dark this time. I though at first it was a dog, then a coyote, but the bushy tail and pointy face gave him away. A fox!!! They're actually taller than I imagined--long legs and bushy tail. I couldn't help wondering if he was trying to find a killdeer nest while mama killdeer was sleeping. But imagine, a fox in the city. It was so cool.

Our last first last night was Frodo. I finally distinctly felt the nudge-nudge of little feet. Or little elbows or knees or some other body part. I think Frodo was so excited mommy had finally stopped doing doing doing on her day off and was laying down ("PS," Frodo says, "Thanks for getting all that Indian food off my head!"), that Frodo did a little dance or more of a swim inside. I felt the first nudge, and said "I think Frodo just kicked me." Closely followed by the second nudge, "That was definitely Frodo!" Then Jason put his hand on my belly, and Frodo kicked his fingers twice!!!!! He didn't feel it, but I did. It was awesome. Only 18 weeks, which is classically early for primigravidas (first time pregnant mommies), but there were four distinct nudges from our little hobbit.

That's all. More later.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A note on October birthdays

You know what the weird thing is about telling people we're having a baby in October?

Nearly everyone else I meet seems to also have been born in October. Seriously. Nearly everyone at work has a birthday in October, and today I just read Dana's comments that she and Joel were also born in October.

So what's the deal, Ontarians? Can you only think of one way to celebrate New Year's or is there just routinely a cold snap every year?

Just wondering. I'm not from here, you know.

Long weekend away

Home again, home again. It's nice to be home. I like my home. I missed my husband and being able to snack whenever I wanted to. :)

This weekend was the women's retreat with the womens from church. I was also a part of the planning committee that arranged everything going into the retreat--oy! Lots of work! I had a lot of fun doing it, and a great time working with and getting to know Linda and Joanne, but in a lot of ways I was totally relieved on Friday because that meant most of my work was done.

My favourite part of the weekend....well, I had several favourite parts. One was doing lectio divina, basically listening to scripture, writing down one word or image that pops out at you, doing it again, and hearing what three or four other people heard. It was really cool, powerful. I felt like I was hearing passages I had read several times for the very first time. Also getting to know women with whom I attend church but have never really gotten to talk to before was awesome! I also got to reconnect with a lot of my friends who I haven't been able to see very frequently since I started working with the po-pos. And also getting to whack the heck out of Tina's drum during the worship time was awesome. I don't get to play my drum enough (and forgot to bring it up with me this weekend.) Her djembe is also quite a bit larger than mine, which was neat as far as getting different tones and sounds out of it, but it was a bit awkward to hold when I wanted to use the edge nearest to myself. Also, my smaller drum can be held under one arm (usually my left) while I play it, and I also usually use the clack of my ring against the wood when I'm holding it like that, which I missed with the larger one.

The weekend was really wonderful, and I made lots of new friends and found out that I'm actually capable of doing more than I think. I'm getting more and more excited about Frodo (there were six babies there this year with their mommies) and not having to work outside the home for at least a year. I got to know a woman at the retreat who had seven children in eight years--beginning at the ripe old age of eighteen! I was shocked and amazed and then amazed some more at her life. She and her husband lived all over the place, hauling their little ones around the globe everywhere from Belgium to Rome to India. Sounds good to me. :)

There are so many more things I could share, but suffice it to say it was incredible. I'm so glad I went. I'm so glad Linda asked me to be a part of the planning side of things. It was great making new friends. And most of all, it's good to be home again and see my husband. We spent two hours talking last night after he got home from work. Neither of us could seem to shut up--just wanted to share our different weekends and all the stuff we did. I love that man, and I'm having his baby in just about five months!