Friday, September 26, 2014

Years Go By

It's been almost a year since I've posted!  I'm pretty busy teaching English and organizing events for students and locals. I love my job and my students. While living in the Middle East certainly comes with a unique set of challenges, its a wonderful chapter in my life.

In addition to working and teaching and organizing and planning things, I've also gotten to do some fun traveling! For purposes of visa runs (to renew/get new visas to live and work in my country) and R&R, I've gotten to do some fun things in the past year! Here are some highlights:

Shenanigans on a working vacation in Kurdistan.

Snow in the desert! Christmas trip to Jordan.

Christmas 2013 with friends in Jordan.

New Years trip to Zurich, Switzerland.

Zurich. January 2014.

Vacation in the UAE. April 2014. This is the Burj al Arab in Dubai.

The view from the top of the Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building. Dubai.

Dad met me in the Emirates. He's riding a camel! Abu Dhabi.
(We also visited Ferrari World and toured Yas Marina Circuit while we were in Abu Dhabi!)

Roman ruins in Amman. April 2014.

View from the top of Mount Nebo. Jordan. June 2014.

Floating in the Dead Sea. June 2014.

At the Parthenon. Athens, Greece. June 2014.

Family time! Back in America for July, 2014.

Visited friends in SF! July 2014.

Relaxing week in Gulf Shores, AL with the family. July 2014.

Now I'm back in the Middle East! This was a sampling of a hot week in August 2014. 

Hopefully I'll post again soon! My contract for this job ends June 2015. Stay tuned for the next adventures in my crazy, adventurous, passionate, fun life!

Maybe one day I'll figure out how to link this page to social media... for now, you can follow me on Instagram @rebekah413 and Twitter @rebekahmeahl ... I post nearly every day!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Funny Stuff

Living and working overseas gives new perspective into humor. What's funny in America isn't funny here; what's funny here wouldn't always be considered humorous in the U.S. As for me, (a person who likes to laugh and easily cracks herself up) I've found plenty of reasons to laugh. Here are a few short recollections I've had in my first 50 days abroad:

1) I like it when students give me answers on tests that they assume are completely legitimate... but aren't anywhere in the realm of correctness. Here is one of my favorites: My final exam has a bonus question about the American holiday Thanksgiving. The bonus is to "name the American holiday that we celebrate by eating roast turkey"... The best (incorrect) answer yet is when a female student wrote: my wedding day.
I had so many questions after reading this answer! Is your wedding day a holiday in America? Did you/will you eat turkey on your wedding day?

2) Living and working in the same "bubble" as a handful of other people can make for some insane moments. We have decided that if there were a camera crew following us around, we'd have a top-rated reality show (or even sitcom) in the U.S. Seriously. I kid you not. You ALL would watch these train wreck moments. One of the funny things you'd all enjoy watching is the mess I made while baking a cake one afternoon. I had flour and batter everywhere. Different people kept walking into the kitchen and just laughing and shaking their head at me. If there were cameras to show HOW I clumsily made such a mess, much laughter would ensue. 

3) Working within a culture that most of the world sees as a threat (while in actuality, they are kind, funny, friendly and hospitable) has given me a unique point of view. Sometimes I see the irony and injustice in a humorous light. We had our students watch The Princess Diaries at a movie event to practice listening and then discussing (all in English). In a room full of mostly men, (in a culture that most of the world views warily) these guys absolutely CRACKED UP and howled with laughter at this movie! I loved it. I enjoyed it. And it was a breath of fresh air as I laughed along with them. Sitting in the middle of one of the most dangerous places in the world right now, we watched a silly, heartwarming movie and we laughed together. It was cathartic.

As you can see, I'm certainly enjoying my time here so far. I'm learning. I'm living. I'm growing. And hopefully I'm making a difference in my teeny part of the world.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


It's funny how one's perspective will change when removed from their normal surroundings, culture, and circumstances. I've lived outside of America for one month. That's it. A short month. Most would assume that it's no huge deal to "survive" for a month in another country, culture, and surrounded by a different religion. If you've never done it, maybe you should try it.

I've moved to two different homes in the last 28 days. I've eaten more chicken than I previously thought humanly possible, yet I haven't entirely grown tired of it. My home country has threatened to attack a country; the country I currently reside in would feel huge repercussions from any sort of attack. Because of this, I'm sometimes surrounded by tension so thick it could be cut with a knife.

I started taking classes in the local language. I cannot make some of the sounds that are necessary to speak it. Today in class, I felt like I was going to choke on my tongue if I continued to try to pronounce certain words. (It was really quite humorous!)

The name of the game... wait. This has progressed beyond fun and games. Let me rephrase... The way to handle life is to be FLEXIBLE. Be prepared for CHANGE. I have to remind myself that being fluid and "going with the flow" is not only necessary, but it's the only way to stay sane in the situation I live in. I've had to change my perspective. I have to force myself to do things differently. I've had to entirely overhaul certain parts of my life and lifestyle. And it's OK! I'm doing well. I'm processing these changes (sometimes out loud, or in writing, in the case of this blog post), and its OK. I know the One Who is in control of my life, of the situation I live in, and of the whole universe.

I sleep in peace each night, completely comfortable and resting in the knowledge that LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE. (Pack appropriately.) I think I have what it takes to live out this adventure. You?

**On a different note, I think my next blog post will be a collection of funny and humorous stories I've already collected from my time here. Be prepared to laugh!