Registering a foreign birth in Lebanon

No, we aren’t having another baby (much to the chagrin of 4/5 Hutchersons!) My husband keeps ridiculously detailed notes on pretty much everything. Our contingency plan is a sight to behold, and you should see the list he has of what we need to renew our residency every year, considering it changes every six months…

When a global pandemic is the least of your concern

Lebanon was in crisis long before COVID-19 hit. The Revolution started in October as a response to a deteriorating economic situation that has only gotten worse. While the new government seems to have done an excellent job with their coronavirus response – shutting down schools when we only had a handful of cases at the…

Harry Potter quiz night

This past fall, the youth at our church started a weekly quiz night as a way to build relationships with other students in our community. It always sounded like so much fun, but my kids were too young, and I was too old to participate, until they chose the theme “Are You Smarter than a…

Parenting through crisis

So many families all over the world have entered into a new and scary experience as we all hunker down in varying degrees of lockdown. For those of us who live and work overseas, especially in areas where political, social, and economic unrest are common, this is not completely new territory. Granted, the worldwipe scope…

How to help when you are stuck inside

We’ve all seen the Fred Rogers quote about looking for the helpers in the midst of crises, and it often is tragedy that seems to bring out the best in our communities. In many ways, this current crisis is no different, and there are plenty of individual and communal acts of sacrifice and service that…

When even the air is out to get you

I went to the store the other day. It was the first time I’d been out of the house for weeks. While going to the grocery store is still allowed under Lebanon’s “general mobilization” rules, I’d been sick since lockdown started, so Caleb has been doing the shopping. We are incredibly blessed that this lockdown…

The privilege of movement

Lebanon has never been an easy place for us to live. We’ve been here long enough that we’ve passed through some really difficult times – suicide bombings, the garbage crisis, threat of war. This year has been an absolute doozy. 149 days (and counting!) of Revolution. Economic collapse. And now corona. Schools have been closed…

My little conspiracy theorist

“I don’t think they are doctors. I think they must just be normal people who bought the jackets. And now they are walking in Hamra like, ‘I’m a doctor and I’m smoking.’” My 5 year old Beiruti’s theory on why so many doctors smoke It’s been years since I’ve seen Shrek (because my kids hated…

Butler service

When Lebanese move to the West – specifically Northern Europe, Canada or the US – one of the biggest struggles is moving into such individualistic societies. Living far from family is of course a huge part of that. Living in stand alone homes in suburban neighborhoods is another culprit that adds to the feelings of…

To cut or not to cut?

I don’t remember much about the first day of Isla’s life. I remember passing out shortly after she was born and waking up alone in what felt like a storage closet. The rest of that day is a blur of memories as the drugs slowly left my system. But I do remember very clearly the…