Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Funny things kids say

So, I was in class the other day and a boy walked up to me and asked quite honestly, "Miss Carroll, are those natural gray highlights in your hair?" Well, I did intentionally overreact just a little bit. While it was funny, I must say, I have been noticing the gray hair much more since that comment. Ugh.

I think I really love the way kids will just ask you questions. Even in middle school they ask without thinking, but there is also an innocence that one can still observe. It is a unique age. I have an 8th grade class that has adopted the English Kindergarten class. I noticed the first day we went in that some of the behaviors remind me of the 7th and 8th graders I teach. :)

Please forgive my negligence in posting. I will make an effort to be better about it.

Monday, October 13, 2008


So, I did not realize that it had been over a month since my last post. Please forgive. I haven't had many pictures to update it...I know excuses, excuses :)

Anyway the first weekend in October a friend of mine from work and I went to Madrid for the weekend. We stayed in a hostel just off of the street with the major department store shopping.

This was a view from our window.

After checking in we decided to take a walk and what do you know, we found a Starbucks... just around the corner. This is one of my picture proofs that I was actually in Madrid... well sort of anyway. I was there, but I guess there is really no way to tell from the picture... anyway you guys know what I mean.

It was truly amazing to have a small taste of home...
I love street shots and so I will include a few.

For all my friends who know how much I like flowers, I was so glad to see that there were petunias there. :)

This is the cathedral that is across the courtyard from the palace. It was beautiful and enormous on the inside.

This is the palace.

I am really hoping that this video works for you to see. This was fun to just listen to these guys in the palace courtyard and just enjoy being outside.

This is Susan. We met this summer and she is working at a school about 30 minutes outside of Madrid. She was able to come into town and eat dinner with us. It was great fun to see her.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

August 24,2008

This week ended orientation and allowed for some down time before we begin inservices this week. I did have a birthday and then got a little sick. I am feeling better.

I wanted to post some pictures of where I live so you could get a better idea about where I am.

This is the living area. What you see is called a frosh. It's a Moroccan term for a couch. Our internet, tv and landline phone are all in this room. We spend time here :) Amanda (my roommate) and I have watched several epispodes of a few different tv shows that she has here. I am so thankful for her fantastic collection.

This is our kitchen. This is actually just one side :) Anyone who had been in my house will appreciate how much I like the fact that this is not a "one-butt kitchen." If you look carefully, there is a dishwasher in the right corner. It's pretty amazing that I moved all the way here to have a microwave AND a dishwasher.

When I got here I needed to buy a comforter. It's nice to have blue a part of my life again.

This is Calvin. SHE is my roommate's dog. I am
pleased to say that she is a very likable dog and loves people. She has been a fun surprise being here.

This is a corner of the view outside on our balcony. Yes that is the Atlantic Ocean and I wave periodically since it's in your general direction. :)

I also thought it would be fun to see some of the food. This is milk. One side is French and one side is Arabic. And here are some familiar cereals. You can see the Arabic on the boxes.
Yes the milk here comes in boxes. :)

So, this is one of the favorite stories that people like to know about the traditional tea. I couldn't get a great zoom on the pic. The tea is a Chinese green tea that is prepared with mint. It is very sweet when served.

It says that it contains extra gunpowder... who knew... :)
So, this last picture is out of the door of my "juliet balcony" (Rose is that right? it's not really a balcony. It has a little rail... but a full size door with a screen.)

This is one of the pics that makes me fully aware of where I am. I wish the picture showed how beautiful the moon was that night.

Thanks for all your comments. your thoughts. your prayers. your encouragements.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

link to pictures


Try clicking on this to see the other pictures on facebook. If it doesn't work, please leave me a comment or email me and let me know.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday August 17

I continue to recover from jetlag while making new, insightful connections with the people around campus.

Yesterday was quite an adventure as we were divided into groups of 2 with a guide and made our way around the city.

I feel like I got a significant glimpse of what Casa has to offer, as well as a sunburn:) .

I want to post some pictures so you can see some of what I saw....

This is one of the areas of town that has a more western/ French clientel. You can see the little McDonalds sign. The people who shop here typically have money to spend and the stores tend to be very expensive. I did walk by a Cartier shop... I've really only seen those in the major cities in the US.

This is one of the old city gates that goes into a part of town called Old Medina. This gate is hundreds of years old and was used when the city was new and much smaller. Across the street is the port. I learned (because the police were telling me not to:) that the port is a government property and you cannot take pics there. It was really a beautiful part of the old city.
This is the largest mosque in Casa. If you google the city, this is one of the first landmarks that people want to see. It is called Hassan 2 after the former king. It is enourmous and the tile work is amazing. I will probably try to tour it eventually, but there wasn't time for that.

So, this is as close to the beach as I have been so far. It is quite a walk and with my current foot issues, it hasn't seemed like a great idea so far. I am waiting to catch a ride with someone.

We ate a great beach resort restaurant with an amazing view of the water for lunch. I had a chicken panini sandwich and a glass of freshly squeezed apple juice (well, I'm not sure that squeezing was the process, but it was pulpy and fresh) :)

We also saw a train station which I hope to take at some point in my journey here.

Language learning is a process. Being out yesterday afforded me the opportunity to use some of the Derija (Arabic) and French. I am continually surprised by the amount of times i have to stop myself because my first thought to answer is in Spanish... who would have thought that? :)

I so enjoyed the city tour, but was exahusted and my little foot was quite tired. I decided to take the day off today. I have watched the 2nd season of The Closer... the English in my head has become much more southern than normal. I gave my roommate a disclaimer so if I begin speaking more southern she would know why... she's from the northeast... she just laughed...

I am feeling good about being here, but look forward to having a schedule soon. I will be grateful to get into school and teaching.

I am amazed how my heart has changed over these past couple of years. For a while teaching was so far from my passion. I would not say that it's my passion now exactly, but it is closer. I think my passion is people and their hearts.

Establishing yourself in new place is hard. I am thankful to be here, but I don't want to take on too much to fast. So, the day off has been great.

There are more pictures on facebook if you want a look.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

First Days

Well, I have had my first official days here in the new country.

Some of you know a little of my story getting here. It began with a stolen wallet and Ipod which was before I left home. It continued as I arrived at the airport and my flight was cancelled, my next flight delayed and then missing my flight into the country. I had to get my own hotel room by myself at 1 am which ended up being in Queens. It was VERY expensive, but it allowed me to rest before my overnight flight into the country. My first night I slept about 15 hours total.

We started our orientation process on Wednesday. There are many new people from various walks of life here. It will be great getting to know them all.

I have had 2 native dishes from the region made by nationals. They were wonderful. Yesterday's had chicken with a curry seasoning and then apricots and almonds cooked on it. It was so good. Today's dish was made of cous cous and had chicken with some veggies and some raisins on top. I ate both meals with my fingers... thank you very much that is what is normal and customary here. ;)

I also had my first experience with a mall today. Well, it was sort of like a mall and in a way like a Wal-Mart. There were small boutique stores with specialty clothing, accessories, and other things. Then in the middle of the big "mall" there is a store with most everything you may need. I got really overwhelmed really quickly as I saw so many new things. Almost all of the labels are in Arabic and French.

We also had our first Arabic lesson today. I cannot make it look like Spanish or English so my brain went a little crazy. French seems to be coming a little more naturally.

I am trying to take it easy as I spend time getting used to the climate and all the new people. I am having fun.... :)

My foot is doing ok. I am trying to stay off of it. You can pray for my continued perfect healing. Also for my body to adjust to the time difference.

I am encouraged about being here. There are so many interesting, heartfelt stories.

I'll try to update as soon as I can. B'slama.