Meetup.com had an interesting visit about a month ago. A woman posted on our site, saying that she ran a program hosting visiting high school students, and some of them were from Arabic countries, and had to do community service, and wanted to teach Arabic. I contacted her, on the longshot that there might be someone who could help me learn the Yemeni dialect better. Surprisingly, there was. Even more surprisingly, I learned that this exchange program has a kick-off celebration every year, and rents out space from my church!

I just came back from my first session, which was fun, and interesting. A very sweet young girl in hijab, asking me questions in Arabic, struggling through my Moroccan dialect, and reteaching me the Yemeni dialect. It was a bit...unusual. Normally, I wouldn't meet with an Arabic girl, but insist on a guy, because of the culture and religious standards. But we met with other people present, there are no Yemeni guys in the program, this is free, and I very much want to learn the Yemeni dialect.

Afterwards I joined her and her host family for f'tur, the breaking of the fast, and made my way home. It's a long ways home from West Seattle, and it appeared that the surprises had not ended for the night. As I walked 0.4 miles to the busstop, I heard a large rustling in the weeds of the drainage ditch next to me. There was this gentleman in the weeds, staring at me
intently. I carefully put my briefcase down, and pulled out my camera. He was generous enough not to move as I inched closer to him, contemplating the latest Office and the possibilities of rabies- for this guys was the size of a bull mastiff, and if he had charged, there would have been little I could do. But it was as if he were a model, posing for the shot.

After a few pictures, I thanked Brother Coon for his patience, and wended my way home.


Anonymous said…
we've had them living up on our roof for the past few years. I'll be glad to ship the whole family north...

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