Sunday, August 30, 2009

Med Sea

After a long and crazy week, this evening was the perfect reward for all the hard work...watching the sunset over the Med Sea. Dinner was amazing at the Mantra Bay restaurant. My boss, our country manager and I sat outside on the deck while watching the sun set and the waves crash on the beach. Dinner was AMAZING! The wine was so refreshing and the food just so mmmmm. Shrimp with figs and cheeze - yum! What a relaxing evening - only two more proposals to do and then it's homeward bound!
Sunset over Med Sea in Tel Aviv
Bruce & I at dinner at Mantra Bay on the beach

Thursday, August 27, 2009

So Today I spoke with a President...

Yup, the adventures in Ramallah continue. Things in the office are CRAZY! We have submitted four proposals and have four more to go but even with a looming deadline, my boss, Tony and I were able to break from our business to shake hands with President Carter and explain our work here in the West Bank. Tony turned into a marketing guy and explained who we were and what we were doing in the West Bank and Pres. Carter's response was to go to Gaza and continue our great work. So President Carter, small problem - our government won't let us - minor detail. So for your viewing pleasure...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Working the Beat

Today started as any other day or so I thought. I received my 2nd passport so now I can get a stamp when I enter into Israel - little problem I never realized that my 1st passport had my last name spelled wrong so now I have to get them both fixed - item 1 on my things to do when I return to the states. Then it was off to Ramallah to work. I was anticipating and still am a long day. Around 3pm a press conference was starting to take place in our complex and I was checking out the window while working on spreadsheets. Well wouldn't you know that President Jimmy Carter and Reverend Tutu of South Africa were there. Come to find out the Carter Peace Center is in our building. When the press conference was over and we turned to leave, Richard Branson walked by and said hi. I was like that's Richard Branson - oh my!!!! Now it's back to spreadsheets and negotiations but what a great afternoon treat during Ramadan!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sorry for the Delay

Finally a new post since I have yet to post since I arrived back in Jerusalem. Matt seems to be holding down the fort in DC and has started his new job this week. Yeah! I'm again traveling daily to Ramallah and thankfully have not run into any problems at the checkpoints. The country manager has come up with a plan - our CDM magnetic stickers go on the truck and I remove my sunglasses when approaching the soldiers....sometimes I wink at them:) Just kidding but I tease Bruce, our country manager about it. When we have a little trouble I tell him that I flipped off the soldiers. Ha ha! Right now it is Ramadan. It started yesterday and by default we have all be following it - not on purpose but because we have been too busy to eat! So each night we have an iftar...when you break the fast. Tonight we ate at the hotel and they set up a HUGE buffet worth $30. Now I'm used to the Bonanza buffet and this was much smaller in scale so I decided that I would rather spend $30 on wine then food, even after fasting all day. I had this fabulous fish instead and of course...HUMMUS! Can't go a meal without fabulous olives and hummus. The other highlights of my trip have been to the American Embassy to apply for my 2nd passport, as I don't get my passport stamped when I travel here because I will be traveling to places such as Libya that won't allow me in their country with an Israeli stamp. I should have it sometime this coming week - or at least we hope before I return home! When I first arrived, I went to Herodian with Bruce which was nice but no other travels to write home about - just the hotel and work. I did get to view a french film with english subtitles but the entire time I felt like my high school French teacher was watching me to see if I was reading the subtitles or if I understood the film. I'm proud to say that I understood a lot more than I anticipated and didn't read as much as I thought that I would have. The two films were HORRIBLE - about 1 and a half hours of my life I can never get back, but a fun experience.

My first local friend, Telel

Herodian Mountain, King Herod's Summer Home

Aquaducts at Herodian, which were later used by the Jews to hide from the Romans

CDM team, Bruce our Country Manager and my boss Tony in the "camel tent" at our hotel

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Welcome to Washington DC!

we've arrived - us at dinner on Barracks Row

The Penske truck arrived Thursday night and in the midst of 100 degree weather it was time to unpack. What a long and exciting weekend we had. Jon rode down with Matt and helped unpack the truck and Jennie arrived on Friday to assist with the dogs and help unpack and organize. Jennie was a huge help with the dogs and even was dinner for a billion mosquitos. The mosquitos are worse here then in the Maine woods! Unpacking is coming along but it's hard to go from our fabulous Fitchburg home to our mini hill condo. I discovered that my friend Tessa is only three blocks away - nice surprise and that Eastern Market is a hidden jewel with fabulous fresh produce, meats and on the weekends amazing artists and street vendors. Here are some pics to catch you up on life in DC.

My living room

Fabulous galley kitchen with pocket door
Eastern Market on the weekends
Matt still can't believe that we can see this from the dog park 1 block away

Monday, August 10, 2009

The doggies have arrived in DC!

We descended upon DC on Thursday evening and began unloading the truck into Friday. What a humid weekend to pick for a move. Friday, Saturday and Sunday were spent with some unpacking and some exploring. We've found a fun dog part as well as a fabulous market to frequent. The people in our little community are super friendly and we are looking forward to see what the future brings as we settle into our new life in DC.