Sunday, August 13, 2006

Since I moved...

It occurs to me now that I don't post often from home... most of my blog posts are from work/school filling in time. But now that I've moved and have internet access (albeit the dial-up dinosaur) and have time at home it's worthwhile to post, I think, about what's happened in the last week or so. That is, before tomorrow comes with excitement which causes me to forget all that is currently on my mind.

To start with, moving in with Alice has been great. She's easy to get along with and has helped me a lot to move in and get situated. My room still isn't entirely unpacked--it's mostly school/computer supplies and decor that hasn't been pulled out yet, and the few boxes remaining are no longer on the floor. Today I bought a little cabinet to place in my very large closet because, oddly enough, there is no linen closet in this apartment. (If I hadn't mentioned that already.)

I've also had the opportunity to get together with more sisters, socially. I am not one to get along too easily with women in general, if I get the impression that they just talk so much about... nothing. And that's kind of how it is with these ladies. Most of them are old enough or nearly old enough to be my mother--and some in fact have kids my age! So talking with them is a little bit strange (I really need to emphasize that) and I probably seem rather shy and introverted because I can't find much to add to the conversation from my perspective. Nevertheless, it's provided me an opportunity to meet other sisters who are my age.

So let me start, I did go walking last Tuesday with the sisters, and the first few to arrive were all much older than I am. Towards the end, another family came with two girls who are closer to my age that I got to talk to a little bit.

The next night, Wednesday, was "Sisters Night Out." I think they do this every month, and I've been once before but (despite requesting such) have yet to be put on the mailing list, so after the one time I haven't heard any more about it. (They probably think I've just not come, but in reality I didn't know where/when they were!) And because I was coming to this one, and a few of the sisters have heard that I've moved in with Alice, they brought their daughters, some sisters who were nearer my age. Four, actually. Sarah, Neema, Sarah, and Mariam. So this time I wasn't socializing with mostly older ladies but got to talk to a few nearer my age, and that was funner, even though these girls still aren't the kind I can talk to easily. Most of the girls I've talked to are ones I've met through the MSA, really, or see at the masjid. Here were just more who I haven't seen often at the masjid, and it was certainly nice to meet them.

Let's see, then... Thursday I just slept when I got home, thinking I needed to work that night--the lab was actually closed, though, so I went right back home and back to sleep. Friday was jumma'ah... I ran a few errands, spent some time at school, and finally got my computer and internet hooked up. Saturday I mostly just slept again... this week my sleep schedule will actually be normal, inshaAllah, because I'm not going into the lab at all... yay, alhamdulillah. But then last night (Saturday night) I got to go to a Tikkun meeting.

Tikkun is basically a Jewish group (just in the US, I think) that is devoted to discussing peace in the Middle East. (Actually it's a magazine, but there's a group organized along with it.) I'm having a hard time figuring out exactly what it is, but it's not bad. Khamsa when she invited me described it as an interfaith dialogue group. Mainly, it's a Jewish group, I'd say, that engages in dialogue with other faiths. Last night a local sister was invited to speak about her recent experiences in Lebanon. She was actually vacationing there with her husband and children when Israel started with the air strikes, and was evacuated after about two weeks. Her story is really astonishing, though when she tells it she makes it sound ho-hum, ordinary. She described the Lebanese people reacting to the bombings, the response of the American (and other embassies) and their reluctance to help people get out. She also talked about how people were trying to get out of the country, to Syria and other places, and problems they were running in to. I guess that's more or less why I was there, I'm not sure how many of the sisters I went with normally go, though many had gone before.

After Khalilah's story, there was a little bit of discussion, mostly questions for her. Since I've never really had the opportunity to witness a real-live session like this, dealing with such a sensitive topic, I was really impressed. I've also never really gotten to see Jews talk so candidly about Israel, and it was certainly nice to see how we all agreed on so many things.

In other news... school is starting soon, and what to do about that? InshaAllah after this week I will be rested and can start fresh with the schoolwork.

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