August is here! I cannot say that time has just "flown" by, and yet suddenly it is August. Considering Mayumi is attending summer camp at the embassy starting the 12th--our last full week here--I basically see us only having 1.5 "regular" weeks left. During the week of Yumi's camp I will be limited in what I can do due to my needing to be on hand to collect her after camp (Nate will take her to/from but will deposit her back at the hotel at about 12:15pm and will need me to be here to meet her). Thus, I will spend that week doing short errands in preparation for our departure: packing, inflight entertainment toys and snacks, flight confirmation, etc. My parents arrive on the Thursday of that week. So can see--we really only have 1.5 normal weeks left. When I say normal, I'd like them to be anything but. I hope to stretch the girls a little and go on some more out of town trips. A final hurrah. Ideally, less sandy playgrounds and more historical/cultural sights.
Speaking of which, the girls really enjoyed our trio to the Roman Amphitheatre last week so I thought we would repeat the outing today. Which we did, with some enjoyable and not-so-enjoyable additions. For one, Yumi and I climbed to the top of the amphitheatre. I told her that we could if we found someone to watch Aya for me. I learned last time that climbing steep and slippery steps with Aya on my body is not a good idea. Yumi surprised me by marching up to the guard on duty at the main gate and asking him, in Arabic, if he would watch Aya so we could climb to the top. He completely understood her and agreed to do it. I had nothing to do with the interaction--she managed it all on her own. The guard--Ali--nicely held Aya while maintaining his post! She was admired by all the tourists coming in to the amphitheatre today.
We also enjoyed the "scary" museum and employees therein. Recall that the museum is particularly thrilling because of its many mankins sporting very heavy and dark bedouin attire. Last time, the museum caretaker promised yumi chocolate should she visit again and you had better believe she had not forgotten. He seemed happy to see us and insisted on giving Yumi a half dinar coin to buy herself some chocolate.
We walked into the downtown area and bought sesame bars and orange juice. We also went into the fruit and veggie souq and loaded up on carrots, cucumbers, and strawberries. I thought all was going well but when we got into the taxi Emi promptly threw up. Aya started to gag as well, and considering she was still strapped to my chest and abut 12 inches away from my face I sincerely hoped she would keep her snack down. She did...until we got home. And then she lost it all. Round two of showers (I bathed the girls this morning). Ah well--I guess the heat/sweetness of the juice/whatever got to them. I hope that was all; not looking forward to a stomach bug at this stage in the game.
Reaching the end of quiet time. Surprisingly, Emi did not sleep. I can hear her singing to herself. I think all three girls are awake. Erapie had to cancel so I am going to try to have my lesson today at 4:00pm in the courtyard with all three girls awake and, hopefully, playing happily while I talk with Nisreen. Inshallah.
This afternoon: Just minutes after I finished typing the above account there was a knock on my door: Erapie! Her plans changed and it turned out she could come. What a great surprise! She informed me that Nisreen was waiting down in the lobby so I skipped off for my lesson. Enjoyable as usual. I returned to find happy girls playing Connect Four with Erapie.
By this time Nate was home. He asked for some additional study time so I took the girls, some raisins, and a stack of books down to the hotel courtyard. I knew some of the employees were down there and I hoped I could rope them into reading to the girls.
Turns out the guys were mostly interested in watching a football match but they did play/read a bit with the girls. I settled on a cabana nearby and read to the girls when they were not crawling all over Mohaned and Yasir. It was an enjoyable hour, actually. Low key, everyone got along, and I was able to spend time reading the children's books I've been buying. We read to the girls every day but often only before bed and one book is the limit.
Dinner: Cold cereal, half a microwaved potato, and fruit salad. The fruit salad was actually awesome. Neither Emi nor Aya showed any signs of stomach upset although Aya has recently stopped eating well. She turned her nose up to most of what we offered her this evening. I can't blame her if her stomach is bothering her, but I hope she does not wake up ravenous at 5am.