Perhaps it’s just the fact that I spent the weekend sleeping outside under the stars in the desert, without a hat, and when I woke up I was covered in cold dew droplets, but I’m not feeling particularly healthy this morning. Thanksgiving was excellent; in fact, I had two of them – one with my colleague Shawn at his house the actual night of, and then I was back down in Wadi Rum with Jeff and Aaron and some other friends to celebrate a more traditional turkey-centric Thanksgiving.

Shawn’s dinner was completely wild; he has this tiny little apartment up near 3rd circle that he just packed with friends and coworkers, and when I arrived, the place already smelled strongly of garlic, hot sauce, and cooking meat. Shawn was one of my first friends here, and now he’s leaving the country for good in a week so I didn’t want to miss one of the last times that I would have to hang out with him. He and his roommates and friends whipped up about 6 different dishes in the span of an hour, and then we all crowded out onto his porch to have what was perhaps the most Mexican food-filled Thanksgiving I’ve ever had. No one spoke for about 15 minutes because we were all so busy just shoveling it down. It was cold outside in the night air, but trust me, after that garlic and sauce did its job, none of us were feeling it. It was a great party, followed by a couple hours of dancing, which left me wondering how I was going to be able to get myself up in time to meet up with Aaron to get to Wadi Rum the next morning. I’ll try to write about that soon, within the next few days – it’ll probably be another longer post, so I need to get all the photos ready!

December starts tomorrow; I don’t have a lot of work with my Iraqi students lined up for this month because it’s going to be filled with so many breaks. The Islamic holiday Eid ul-Adha is next week, which means we’ll have most of it off, and then of course Christmas. I leave for home two days before the 25th, which means I’ll get to experience the joys of pre-Christmas flying by myself, for the first time.

I don’t have time to write much more; Jeff and Aaron will be here in a few minutes to pick me up to take me to Ayn Al Basha for class. Because of the cold and sore throat that I’m now sporting thanks to the weather, I’m glad that Sunday is a half day for my students. Here’s a picture of my friend and translator (or, mutarjeem) Qayssar, leading the class a few weeks ago. As you can tell, everyone loves taking pictures of the action, and several of the students have joked about putting it on Youtube (at least, I think they’re joking!)

Leading the computer hardware class in mid-November