August 22, 2007

Carrots & Zikr

I dare say I can look at a carrot the same again. I had sent a bundle of my kids' clothes that no longer fit them to a friend's house , ie the Afghan family with 6 girls. The mom was peeling and slicing carrots at that time. She invited me in. I said I had to run errands at the post office and also had to make it in time to attend my son's special hat event that afternoon. However, I went in just the same after she insisted a couple of time. Besides, drinking tea without sugar and munching almonds wasn't going do much harm.
After she brought out some tea, raisins, almonds and sweets for me on a tray, she continued to peel carrots and slice them up julienne style, sometimes chewing raw carrots in her own mouth, sometimes handing them out to her youngest, a one year baby and my toddler, while her second youngest , a 2 year old toddler was sound asleep under a blanket. She said she was going to cook the carrots with some rice for her family. I think she was preparing a bag of them , about 10 or more carrots for dinner that day. I've never seen anyone peel that much carrots for an entire hour with such zest. In fact I've never seen anyone peel carrots before except myself . But I will only chop up one carrot (or two) in under a minute to cook them for my toddler who seems to be the only member in my household who likes to eat them. While this family in front of me took to carrot like fish to water. I watched her concentrating on the carrots , shifting through the sliced up carrots in the colander to see if everything is sliced up and slicing any remainder left that hasn't been, while we conversed in rudimentary English about daily matters on the floor of her living room. Her patience undertaking this kitchen chore on the sprawling Persian carpet, amazes me. I could only liken it to seeing the serenity of one making zikr with his/her tasbih/prayer beads on a sejadah, completely oblivious of his/her surroundings.


Dd had her numeracy test yesterday and she told us her mind was thinking about the story book in her desk that the teacher said she could read after she finished her test.... Hmmm.. Hope she did okay though.
Her school and another school won for best project and presentation. Dh told me their booths were really informative and very well presented. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that they share the same science teachers who teach at both the schools. Anyway, I am pleased that they beat another school nearby with the much larger pupil population and great amenities ( including a swimming pool). Wicked huh!

August 15, 2007

Dd's Test Preparation

Dd will have a big test next week. I keep asking her to practice and do some mock tests at home which has fallen on deaf ear. She keeps reading books. Story books. My fault. I kept on buying her story books by Roald Dahl and Andy Griffith for the past weeks.
May I add that she also has a science presentation on the night of the test. The teacher says she will be fine. (I hope so).
Oh well she 's only 8. Who cares about test at that age!

August 11, 2007

In Search of Good Books

As I darted my eyes across the shelves laden with books , I came across "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho on one of them. I bought it along with some other books for dd. I haven't read a fiction for ages but gave it a go before bed, reading about 40+ pages. And the next morning , finished the 170+ pages in between making breakfast for the family. It was a breeze reading the book, quite effortless, fluid.. The words flowing easily as they were simple and manageable. The backdrop was also one of my fave places; The Sahara Desert.
I checked the library catalogue if any of Paulo Coelho books were available to borrow. Unfortunately not. So I went to the bookstores to find some more books to read. I chose "A Thousand Splendid Suns" and "The Kite Runner" both by Khaled Hosseini, "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne and "Like a Flowing River" by Paulo Coelho which I read of his thoughts and reflection. I tried reading a few pages of The Kite Runner at the same time. It was descriptive and I found it initially difficult and not as fluid to read as Coelho's books. However, Afghanistan history/culture intrigues me. I had watched the DVD of "In Search of an Afghan Girl" the previous week about the refugee girl with the haunting sea green eyes on the cover of National Geographic in 1985. (I used to collect Nat Geo magazines monthly issues since I read an article of Ibnu Battuta in 1991. I still kept some of them}.
Once more , I gave "The Kite Runner" another try and finished it in one day. Then I gave "A Thousand Splendid Suns" a try and finished it in a day today. Compelling stories. How could people endure them?....