born to roll

July 9, 2011

“I am so glad you’re here,” my grandfather announced when I walked into the painting zone today. “You see, I have a problem here: I didn’t realize I had a left-handed roller!” Sure enough, when I took the roller from him and gave it a try, I too determined it to be of the lefty variety. Turns out I didn’t need painting skills for this job . . . my inborn handedness was sufficient to make me perfectly suited :-)


last things

July 8, 2011

On this last night of orientation, we celebrated with a banquet, a musical presentation by the children of the trainees, music for us to sing, and a sort of a sending. We wore traditional dress from our respective destinations, representing well over 20 different countries from around the world. But for all today’s focus on future anticipation, we also did a good bit of enjoying things that won’t be in the year to come: soaking up some Southern sun [with un-covered heads] and heat for one. A post-classes dip in the pool, for another. And, of course, some good, traditional Memphis pork BBQ . . . now that is something my particular country group will most definitely not be getting for a lonnnngggggg time!

festive fourth

July 5, 2011

It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the fireworks. I did. I especially enjoyed my first time setting some off myself. And the proper show for this city was rather elaborate, really. But what really made this one of the better Fourths I’ve had [no, I’m afraid it wasn’t the lessons and classes that filled much of the day] was what I joined in on in between food and fire this evening, was a salsa and swing class. I guess if was fitting for our internationally-inclined crew to spend this evening doing a variety of Latin dances. Most I have done before, but some–like Merengue–were new to me . . . and decidedly fun. Come dark, we walked out for the fireworks, of which the consensus favorites were the “chandelier” ones and what one in our group perfectly penned the “baby dragons hatching” variety. Yes, dancing the night away was a fine way indeed to celebrate this patriotic day :-)

colorful country

July 2, 2011

Here in the far-off land in which I find myself, there are bizarre manners of communication that I am starting to grow accustomed to. This evening one of the dining hall staff was conversing with my table and made a comment that made me request a repeat, slow enough for me to write down the expression he used. At one point in my life I may have been able to remember it readily enough without the scribble but these days I don’t have full confidence in my memory, even when it comes to the words that so naturally run through my wordy brain :-) Anyhow, this is what he said, as he directed me to the nearest Post Office, warning me to steer clear of one street that would be “busier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.” He later added to the expression, with an alternative of, “busier than a one-armed paper hanger.” This second one had me quite perplexed until it donned on me that the “paper” in question was otherwise known as “wallpaper.” Yes, language here in far-off country is a colorful one–and happily, so was tonight’s sunset :-)