Second summer

Second summer

There’s a saying in Arabic that between October and November comes the second summer.  I don’t know if we can call it “second” summer this year, because the weather has basically been amazing for the past two months.  The sun is out, the breeze off the sea is cool and we leave our windows and doors open basically 24/7.

In true Lebanese fashion, however, it is still considered “winter.”  Ice cream is no longer available on every corner and the kids are sweating buckets in their undershirts and long sleeved shirts.

It’s perfect beach weather, but the beaches have all closed down until next summer.  Swimming is now only for the men who gather every day to hang out on the rocks, tanning, sleeping and smoking arghile.  Every once in a while their wives and daughters join them for lunch and a smoke, but they stay completely covered and don’t get in the water.

DSC_1066It’s funny to see Christmas decorations up in the stores when we just want to sit outside and barbecue and play… but the rains will be here soon enough and we’ll be wishing for the golden days of Beirut’s second summer.

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Ode to the generator

Ode to the generator

It’s hot in Beirut.  Like, 90 degrees today.  I know, oh dear friends in Arizona, that it is much hotter where you are.

BUT, before you tell me that you “walked on the moon” (if you didn’t catch that reference, run to your nearest Blockbuster (are they still in business?) and find a Brian Reagan DVD.  You will laugh your head off, promise.) Then…

…turn off your AC – actually, turn off your electricity completely.  Then walk everywhere you need to go, and remember, there aren’t trees to give you shade.  Just concrete.  Oh yeah, and it’s humid too.  Weather.com tells me 75% humidity.  We are just a few minutes away from the sea, after all.  Apparently if you add those two together it feels like 102 degrees today.  It’s hot.

When we left the house this morning at 7:30 am, the electricity was off.  Got home and have had 4 whole minutes of city power this afternoon.  And I know 4 minutes is more than many people outside of the city are getting.

I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful we are to have a generator in our building.  When city power goes off, our trusty natour turns on the generator.  It’s loud, it’s stinky, it’s burning diesel like crazy, it’s expensive, BUT it allows us to use one appliance.  Which means the hot water heater is turned off (don’t really need it with such hot weather anyways), no laundry is getting done, I’m not drying my hair, and we are all huddling in one room under the one AC unit we can use.  It poses a slight problem during nap time…. who gets the AC?  Isla, who’s core body temperature is 4 degrees higher than the average person?  Or Ruby, who sleeps much better when she’s swaddled?

It doesn’t matter which one of the girls wins the naptime AC lottery (today it’s Isla), Caleb and I are left sweating it out, literally, in another part of the house… counting down the minutes til the girls get up and we can all hang out together in one room again, thanking God that we have a generator to cool down one bedroom at least!!!

Oh, I just realized I meant to write this post as a poem.  I’ll blame it on the part of my brain that is most likely melting as we speak.  :)

Spring storms

Spring storms

I’m so thankful that dish towels were the only thing hanging on the line to dry when this sandstorm blew through!  Yuck!

Wish we could have gotten a picture of the brown cloud moving across the morning sun… it was so eerie and strange looking!  Thankfully we don’t get sand storms often in Beirut… just a few times each spring.

Christmas Week – Winter weather!

Christmas Week – Winter weather!

Last year the rains didn’t start until Christmas Eve; this year they are here a bit earlier.  It’s been like this for the past few weeks now.  It will pour and pour and pour for a few days and then stop for a few, and then rain and rain again.  It will most likely continue like this for a few more months.  After a long, hot summer, it’s nice to have a bit of wintry weather!

posted by: nicolette

November summer

November summer

The weather in Beirut has been absolutely wonderful!  When we first got here at the end of August it was hot and super humid.  After a few weeks it cooled down a little and has been gorgeous.  We had one week of big rain storms, but other than that it has been warm and sunny.  There’s a saying here that between October and November is a second summer and it’s come true!  It’s in the 70’s right now.  I’m wearing short sleeves and sitting in the apartment with all the windows and doors open.  We’ve heard it will get cold and icky in December, but for now we’re enjoying the Mediterannean weather! :)

posted by: nicolette

fog and phone calls, just another day

fog and phone calls, just another day

Growing up working outside all the time, you’re life becomes determined by the weather. It’s been raining here for the last three days, after a bunch of rain last weekend. This is more rain than we’ve had all year. And that makes for some bad landscaping weather. This morning, we woke up to cloudless, cold skies that made it really foggy almost until lunch time. I’ve heard that fog is supposed to be depressing, but it was a fun day. Everything was soaked, including us. It was cold, but we survived. We also got to go home early because it was just too wet.

From fog to phone calls, I came home and transitioned from landscaping to “support-development”…made a bunch of phone calls, lined up hosts for a dessert get-together in January, and worked on lining up some more details for a survey trip in March. Sometimes, it seems discongruous. But, I’m thankful for days like today, too. Nicolette and I are able to keep working at pretty flexible jobs that let us prepare towards this goal of serving the Church full time. Depressing fog that turns the road into a maze of slow-drivers became a fun day of getting in touch with old friends.

posted by: caleb