Sunday, February 27, 2011

Family

There are times when I definitely feel like a boarder in the home-stay family. Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful family, and am eternally grateful, but like many things in life; this is not what I had planned for. Oman was an option for me always, thanks to Drake’s incredible Study Abroad (http://www.drake.edu/international/study-abroad/) choices. However I had grand dreams of gallivanting off after school every day down Alexandria’s back alleys to find the soul of the city, to meet everyone, and fall in love with the language, the people, the city, and the Mediterranean Sea. All that changed…
Yesterday those changes were put into perspective. The parents were working late, which meant the kids were rambunctious and when the father came home they ran towards him and jumped into his arms. (I used to do that as a kid, when my dad had this long tan trench coat that I can still smell when I close my eyes, and an odd top hat/fedora sort of thing. I am now poked fun of in my family my choices in odd hats, though I am pretty sure that’s where my fascination started. Like father, like son.) As I sat watching this over my book and cup of tea, I realized this is an aspect of Egyptian life I would not get to know from my apartment. This is the soul of Oman: family life.
One of the girls had to make a clock for her homework and was struggling. So like good proud men, the father and I worked together to create a cardboard timepiece to rival Rolex. We even made working hands and used a tack to secure them. Then I pulled out my multi-tool to make use of the pliers to safely secure the back end of the tack. It was a fine clock. Then the English workbook required her to draw in the hands. She can’t read well, so I ended up teaching her to tell time with the help of my analog watch, while the father helped her brother with counting in Arabic. I may be assisting at a first grade English level, but I finally feel useful in this family.

1 comment:

Samantha said...

I think you and "Little Ann" should get together and write tales of family life across the world. Some of her stuff from Spain is as charming as this tale. I can totally picture it in my head (well, almost).

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