Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Welcome to Middlebury

We're in Middlebury at last, and so far it feels a bit like we've landed in a little piece of heaven. I know that we'll find some annoying things about life here eventually, probably sooner than we'd like, but it's nice to be enjoying ourselves so immensely in the meantime.

Vermont is gorgeous, and that is coming from someone who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, which is also no slacker when it comes to verdancy. And the weather, people, the weather! Yes, I know it will get humid and hotter, but at the moment it's that ideal 75 degrees, sunny, with a light breeze. Tomorrow, we're expecting an afternoon thunderstorm.

Here is where we are living:

Considering that I was fully prepared to be living in a single dorm room with a communal kitchen and shared, down-the-hall bathroom, our two bedrooms and private bathroom in this house are a dream come true. (Another Arabic faculty member lives upstairs.)

The Middlebury campus is beautiful, and to poor grass-deprived Miriam it is a kids' wonderland of sorts.

The cafeteria, where we all get our three meals a day, is like something out of the Food Network. It deserves its own post, so that's all I'll say for now.

The only downside I can really think of right now is that a few of the Arabic faculty left their families, or at least younger children, at home this summer. So there aren't going to be as many little Arab playmates for Miriam as I had hoped there would be.

The students arrive today and everyone takes the language pledge sometime this weekend. Soon it will be all Arabic, at least in public. I'm hoping that once Miriam gets over her jet lag and grandparents/cousins/aunts/uncles-induced temporary spoiling, she'll be more amenable to the idea of speaking Arabic.

As it is, the first day we arrived I said something to her in Arabic and she looked at me and said, "Mama, don't say that."



"Inconvenience" doesn't quite describe it