Sunday, December 5, 2010

Poinsettias and Laps

After a restful morning due to being up until 4 AM with the all-night party in my neighborhood mosque, I took a long, 2 mile walk on the track during a beautiful Moroccan afternoon of about 75 or 80 degrees. The sun was cheering to my soul, and I felt like I was getting the muscles going just as I have during my long weekend travels. Last weekend, I had done a 13 mile bike ride, so I knew I needed to try to keep up my exercise regimen. 

I came to school this afternoon to set up supplies for the week, cut out parts for poinsettias for the four year olds, and cut tissue squares for the second graders' trees. My Monday will go more smoothly now. And, we may have Tuesday off for Moroccan New Year, giving me more prep and set up time. We'll see what the moon does. 

I'm looking forward to a big bowl of chili tonight that Jill made earlier today, along with some bread from a new find in bakeries here and a full night's sleep tonight. Please, Lord.

As I was on my walk on the track, I think about how far away my family and friends are now. I think of Vickie, a special friend I used to walk with, many days, in our lovely neighborhood. Everyone back in Seattle has busy lives, I am thinking, preparing for Christmas, enjoying a first snow, decorating trees, and here I am in 80 degree sunshine trying to make a few new, good friends in a very different school and country. No tree, no real poinsettias, no twinkle lights. Lap after lap. I have to persevere in order to accomplish my goal of two miles.

I think of quitting, but having trained for two half marathons earlier in my life, I know two miles is child's play, and I keep going. Sometimes, I think of quitting the work here like quitting the track, but I have persevered through much more adversity, hardship than this current assignment, I remind myself. I'll keep going. Just like the walk on the track.

My thought for this week: A righteous king brightens the lives of his people like a quiet sunrise, while one who “oppresses the poor is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops” (Proverbs 28:3). Lord, help me to brighten the lives of the people, the children, around me this week.

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