ايرن في تونس

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

ابا في بيتي

I'm home--and I miss everyone so much already.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ايرن في امريكا

So right now I'm in the Atlanta airport, and despite feeling so sad about leaving this morning, I'm now feel almost empty. It's starting to really sink in that the amazing people I spent the last 6 weeks with are all on their way home, or already home, or about to head someplace new and I have no idea when I'll see them again. I also can't quite believe that I won't see all the Tunisians again until probably never unless I go back to Tunisia--which I'm seriously considering interning at AMIDEAST this next summer so that I have that opportunity--but we'll see.

Also. I figure its about time for me to add in some photos again.

Here's some of us in Kerkuan after the tour of the ruins

And while the second group toured a few of us opted just to enjoy the view and chat

My friend Noelle and I with some Tunisian students after a discussion group

This one's from before we left tunis--but It's a group of us at Bar Jamaica. You can't tell from the photo, but it's a rooftop bar that overlooks Bourgiba Street in Tunis

Sorry there really is no order at all to these---Heres a dorm photo of a few of us at the all purpose birthday celebration.

This is part of the colosseum in El Djem where we saw a Ray Charles impersonator concert--it was odd. I still haven't decided if it was good or not, but the view and the area was amazing

A group of us went to a restaurant in Mahdia and the view [if you can see it behind us] was absolutely amazing.

Ok. So important piece of info. In Tunisia--for whatever reason--shirts with random slightly strange english phrases are SUPER popular. One of our favorites was the classic 'wild for the night' shirt--featured below.

This is actually on top of a shop we went to in the Medina in Tunis

So while the bathrooms, most trains, busses, louages, streets, etc. have no ac and are completely more or less trashed--the train we took to Tunis [which was a mere 7.2 dinar round trip] absolutely spectacular, with one of the best ac's in all of Tunisia.

So. The govt decided to film part of lvn so we thought we'd watch it live in our hotel in Mahdia--naturally it was a shakshooka and we handball ended up being played instead--but we managed to enjoy the handball game all the same.
So Dane's kind of creeping--but here's a group of the girls after our 'graduation' of LVN 1

Group photo--There are a few brits/scotts, and a tunisian in the photo, but for the most part this is the group of people I spent the last 6 weeks with and they are all absolutely amazing

B'slema Tunisia! Aslema America

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

انا باش نمشي الى اماريكا حالا

So, I just finished my last weekend at LVN and I'm quite sad it's coming to a close. Over the past 4 weeks I have been able to make so many new friends and while I don't honestly think I will keep in touch with more than 5 or 6 people, so many more made my stay here unforgettable.

Took a louage with a friend to Sousse which was tons of fun--the only problem was not enough time there. Sousse is basically a beach town, so we walked down the main street to the beach. Swam for a bit, and then walked over to the medina and saw the ribat and a few other landmarks, then headed back to the village to grab a bus to take us to el djem for a concert the embassy payed for us to go to.

The only thing I will say was the louage service let me down... completely. EVERYONE that I know thats taken one says 'be careful! they drive like crazy! they speed horribly!' and well, on the way there the hour long trip took 1 1/2 hrs... this means our driver went UNDER the speed limit. lame. and on the way back, our driver, while he drove a bit fast, he was by no means going more than 15 kilometers over the speed limit AND he stopped for a good 20 min to pick up a friend.

Sunday was a basic souk shopping spree in nabeul and all and all I call it a successful weekend to end on.

Tonight are the students present powerpoints, skits, or sing depending on what they have been working on-- and assuming that they are chosen, which is just all kinds of sad that some of them work the entire time and dont get to present for no real reason at all. I mean I understand not everyone can present, but some of the ones chosen are just terribly boring.

Anywho, I'm off to finnish packing--we head for the airport at 4am tomorrow. I'll work on adding in more photos once im back in the states.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

الاول LVNنهاية ال

Now, I realized I never really explained what LVN is--so I figure I'll quickly go through that.

LVN is the 'Language Village at Nebul' and basically about 300 Tunisian college students who are all English majors come for two weeks so that they can chat in English and work on their English speaking skills and meet some native speakers.

Things to note:

Some how, MOST of these 21/22 year olds have NEVER been away from home for more than a day or two let alone 2 weeks so nearly ALL OF THEM have been homesick most of the time here.

The food is decent. There is always bread and water, but all else is questionable. Typically there is some sort of spicy salad or a tuna/cucumber/tomato salad but when there's not, and instead they give you mushy fries or potato chips to go along with your 'meat' or 'fish' that is really just a bundle of bones and only G-d knows what else---its kind of a downer.

But, overall LVN's been fun. Each night we have programs that basically turn into a night outdoor dance fiesta. Where somehow the Tunisians manage not to sweat at all in the 80 degree weather while all of the americans/scotts are drentched by the end. I just dont get it. Some of the girls are in the full pants/long sleeves/dress over outfit/head scarf attire, and out dancing and no sweating. Its crazy.

Biweekly beach trips are fun... and arabic class isnt too bad. Thus far I've only been sunburned twice so I call it a success.

Tonights the fairwell party so that should be fun--and then after the party a bunch of the fellows and a few of the Tunisian guides [or people who are helping run the program with all of the americans/scotts] are going out to calypso [its like the top club in tunisia] so that should be fun.

Pictures will come later.


Friday, July 17, 2009

LVNانا لا نحب القطط في ال

This morning. I awoke to a cat in my face.

1st. I do not have a pet cat here in Tunisia.

2nd. I do not keep my door open.

3rd. I have BARS on my windows.

BUT. Despite all of this. One of the many stray cats climbed through the bars and into my room through my window. Why was my window open you may ask? and the answer is easy. you try living with shut windows and no ac when its 104 degrees during the day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

نمشت إلى الصحراء

So hate to backtrack... but I felt I should fill in some blanks about my desert/south excursion.

First we went south to Kairouane

[the 4th holiest city in islam---here's the main mosque we visited]

Next we went to go see a camel that pumps water from a well that is completely safe to drink--and yes I actually drank it and it didnt taste any different than other Tunisian tap water [which is 100% not up to american standards--but not tooo terrible]

Next we visited some roman ruins... heres a part of a village and such

and here are some Byzantine ruins as Sbeitla [they were HUGE]

And then that night was off to Tozer to stay in a beautiful hotel

and that was day one... the rest is a bit more condensed.

next was camel time...

then the next day we continued our trip south and went to a berber village, and went inside someones house.. [i felt awful invading, but the family offered to let us visit]

here's how they make their bread [still]

and here is all [well a good number of us] with the 'owner' of the house

next we went to visit more berber shops--i was dressed in traditional berber wedding garb... it felt like it was a thousand degrees while i was in it..

finally we went to the island of djerba

heres the temple we saw...

and finally the pool we swam in for most of the last day

B'slema--real post on the village to come soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

quick update

I'm now at the language village, internet should be better from now on, so tomorrow I'll put a real update.

Miss everyone back in the states!