Sunday, November 29, 2009

Saturday Stroll...

Stephanie and I decided to take a stroll through the city yesterday. We started close to home in Tahrir (Liberation) Square, where the military museum is located...
There are also government ministries.... My favourie of which is SNACC, the "Supreme National Authority for Combating Corruption." Quite a laugh!
From there, we took a walk down Gamal Abdel Nasser Street, named after the former president of Egypt, who engaged in a proxy war with Saudi Arabia over the fate of then North Yemen from 1962-1970: would the former north remain an Imamate (ruled by a religious leader, as Saudi Arabia would have had it), or would it become a republic (as Nasser wanted)?
It became, in word only, a republic.
Stephanie liked the following mural a lot...
Here we are coming up on a huge building filled with advertisements on Zubaireyh Street...
Cops directing (and not too well, I'll have you know) traffic.
The mosque near our house from which we hear the call to prayer 5 times a day. It can be quite beautiful AND quite annoying.
The Yemeni National Museum, which is close to our house. It costs 100 rials for a local to go in (50 cents), or 300 rials for a foreigner.A mini-bus stop across the street.
A tower attached to the National Museum.
Tahrir Square, with horse rides. They're doing the horse rides all-week-long as it is Eid al-Adha, but there are horse rides here every weekend. Stephanie plans to kidnap a horse and head off into the mountains!
It's 5:15 P.M. on a Sunday here. There was just a HUGE downpour, which pretty much soaked everyting we had drying out on the clothesline. Thank God it's vacation week as we can make another try with the laundry tomorrow!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Update

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! We thought we'd give you all a tour of "Bayt Sabri" (the House of Sabri) today. Our apartment is in the 6 story building, located on the mezzanine. Looking out our bedroom window, we can see our neighbors across the way (they have kids you can hear most days playing inside).
The apartment might be small by American standards, but is quite large by Yemeni standards...
We have a kitchenette where Stephanie plans to make meatballs and chili. I've already made macaroni and cheese and tuna casserole. Most times, we eat out. It's actually cheaper in Yemen to do this as opposed to going to grocery stores (where the well-to-do Yemenis shop and things are more expensive). The opposite of how things are in the US. That's Stephanie peeking around the corner.
You might call this a living room, but in Yemen it is know as a "mafraj," where family and friends get together and chew qat. We don't use this part of the apartment as much as we might.
Outside bayt Sabri is a garden area where we have breakfast and lunch during the week. Usually eggs, bread and cereal in the morning, and chicken or lamb with rice in the afternoon.
Some views from our courtyard...
More of the courtyard...
You can see the Parliament Building from our courtyard as well -- we really are in the center of Sana'a!
This is a closer shot of Parliament, Yemeni flags adorn the building.
That's it for the moment. We hope you've enjoyed the tour of our neighborhood. Stephanie and I wish our families and friends a great Thanksgiving. It's sunny and in the high 70s here!

For my Favorite Florist...

This is an adopted kitten that has been staying in our building!! Maybe a Yemeni girlfriend for Pete?!
Here are some pictures of all the different flowers that are on the grounds where we work. Some of them I know, some of them my favorite florist will have to tell me the names of! I hope she likes them!
~ hibiscus ~
~ marigolds ~
~ my favorite ones...some kind of daisy? ~
~ Dan's favorite, wonder what they're called... ~
~ hidden hibiscus ~
~ marigold alley ~
~ these are my second favorite, but i'm not sure what they are ~
~ the campus building with some trees ~
~ really pretty purple and yellow flowers ~
~ a weird cactus like plant ~

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Yemeni News in English

If any of you are interested in following the local news in Yemen, there are three English-language newspapers you may want to check out: The Yemen Times, which is the oldest English-language weekly in Yemen, The Yemen Post, which is only 3 years old and updates continuously, and The Yemen Observer, which oftentimes toes the government line on sensitive stories. Happy reading!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Excursion

Stephanie and I had two missions today -- to have chicken sandwiches at KFC, and to get close to the Presidents Mosque. It was about an hour walk to the KFC. What a madhouse! Everybody was screaming like the trading pit on Wall Street with their little pieces of paper - pushing and shoving to get their buckets (okay, there were no buckets) of Kentucky Fried Chicken. I'm certain that almost everybody who came after us were served first, which only made me more determined to get better at Arabic: without the ability to cajole and scream at the server, we could only sit there and wait respectfully, calmly. It was Stephanie's first experience of KFC chicken, in Sana'a!

After KFC, it was a short walk to the mosque. Photos follow:

After checking out the mosque, we headed home down one of Sana'a's main drags: Haddah Street. Stephanie was interested in possibly getting a couple pet fish in the future, but was more interested in the Yemeni use of the English prepostion "for." Everything is for, such as the "Paris for French" bakery, the "Al-Hamza for Exchange," or -- and this was Stephanie's favorite to date -- "Penguins for Ice Cream" ice cream shop...
The following is another camera-video. This time of the Saleh Mosque. If you crank up the volume, you can hear the call to prayer which we caught as we were just getting ready to turn around and head home.

video