One of the benefits of my lifetime of nomadism is that I quickly settle into any new place, I’m not easily fazed or made wary of newness. I still see each new city he way I did growing up- so eager to soak up every little thing, to find rhythm and find home. Ever since I stepped on a plane out of Egypt I have missed living in the Middle East. I didn’t know where I’d end up- Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine but as soon as I graduated from college I started to look at how I would get where I wanted to be.
I did not think that I would end up in Nablus of all places, and that it would feel so…right. It’s been a day, so these are of course, first impressions. I’ve spent years ready to return to my comfort zone- learning a new city, speaking in broken Arabic, the constant stimulation of living somewhere new has been absent for so long. I think that’s the source of the calm and sheer contentment I feel.
I should have done this sooner.
|Morning ritual on the balcony.|
Nablus itself is terrifically charming- sand coloured 5 to 10 story buildings climb up two mountains on either side, the roads twist up the hills and cats dart between stalls in the souk. We live partway up one mountain, the top is covered in scraggly evergreens and there’s a Samaritan (yes, those Samaritans) village up there. Our apartment is huge, with large windows we keep open all day. Naturally, we are between a house with a whole brood of roosters and a mosque- 5am is rough right now. I’m sure I’ll learn to ignore it.
The community of expats (the word for us in Shaami is Ajaniib) at Teach for Palestine and another school at which I’ve taken a part time teaching position has so far been wonderful. At TFP we live in two apartments next to each other, it’s been wonderful so far to be able to sit in the kitchen talking until late at night all together. Between TFP and Pioneers Baccalaureate School we represent about 2/3 of the total expat population of Nablus and we’re less than 20.
Due to some border control issues, PBS was unable to bring a half dozen or so of it’s volunteers and needed help to teach English in their lower school.
I have never thought about teaching little kids but given my boundless energy and patience with little ones, I volunteered to teach one section of the second grade class.
I’m slightly terrified, in a healthy way. I’m also totally excited to do something completely different for eight hours a week.
Seriously, anyone with advice for teaching little ones in general or teaching english please reach out to me. I’ll be very well equipped by the school but I’m sure there are tips and tricks people have picked up along the way.
For now I’m desperately in need of a nap, I start teacher training tomorrow so we’ll see how that goes.
|Exploring the Old City|