It was such a blessing to be able to spend time with Tasha this past week. It had been over a year since I'd seen her, and nearly a year since I'd last seen anyone from GWA. Tasha came up to spend time with an old roommate of hers who lives in Seattle, and to get to the wedding of Adam and Kattie, which we had the pleasure of attending with Janette. Yesterday was the first opportunity really to spend a good chunk of the day together, and we had really meaningful conversation driving South to a speaking engagement of Tasha's way down in Orting, where she shared about her experiences at GWA and in Morocco. And she did such an amazing job as well! Much better than I could have done. I forget too much how other-worldly Islam often seems to Americans. Tasha knew how to describe it in a way that people could relate to, and at the same time exciting and encouraging them to work in Morocco as well. I was going to take pictures of her speaking, but I was too enraptured in listening to her share. So all I got was this mountain outside the building where she was speaking.
That evening we met up, along with her old roommate, Tham, to go out to Vietnamese. But we had some time to kill, so we walked down from the International District to the Waterfront, to see the sights along the Boardwalk. There's a curio shop there, with lots of knickknacks and strange objects on display, like this two-headed calf. I don't know if it was the lighting or what, but at a certain point, it really became clear how truly jet-lagged Tasha was once it got dark.
From there we walked on to the aquarium, closed at this point, but we were able to peek inside to see the Windows on Washington Waters, and the small tank outside.
An elevator takes you up 8 stories from the waterfront to 3rd and Pike, the top floor of the Pike Place Market, the souq modeled on Turkish souqs. The market was closing about this time, 1730, but we did get to wander into the Moroccan store, where Tasha practiced some of her Arabic with the proprietor. And then, a special treat, having a cup of jo at the first ever Starbucks in the world. (You'll have to click and magnify to see why the logo got changed worldwide.)
Then it was off to some exceptional Vietnamese food at a restaurant chosen by Tham.
And I am left feeling elation at the experience of seeing my friend again, and yet great sorrow, for the time was far too short.