Saturday, December 4, 2010


The guy to my left, standing is Ghazi, my translator. He did a lovely job keeping up with me.

Hani, our news trainer was ill last night and today, I got whatever it is and not a good way to finish the first day of training. We quit early and I just stayed in the room...had some hummus and bread for lunch and an apple for dinner. Running at both ends...Hani thought it might be food poisoning.

Went down to breakfast early this morning and had cucumber juice...well, I tried a sip, nothing more. Yuk. Like in Colombia and Honduras, there are bowls of cut up fruit and I am enjoying kiwi, papaya and plums each morning. So much nicer to not have to cut it all yourself.

The reason given for finishing at 1:30 is that the participants wanted to chew Qat and pray. Around 2:30 p.m. there was another call to prayer and I looked out of my room which overlooks the pool area. Three men in suits had taken their shoes off, assumed the prayer position and went through their prayers. I am assuming they had meetings in the hotel. Nice to see that type of devotion.

During lunch, I sat with the five women attendees and one woman, whose face I had not seen at all, had removed her veil to eat. Amazing how much we read people's faces to get queues as to whether they understand or not. Just seeing eyes is almost like she isn't there, though she spoke up and I really enjoyed these very determined, strong women.

After lunch, I went to the gym, thinking my back and stomach aches were just from sitting and doing nothing. I wore long pants and a sweater through the hotel with my shorts and t-shirt underneath. I asked for a locker and the woman asked me to give her my cell phone and money. The lockers are behind the desk and were about 6x6x6 and would never hold my clothing and my backpack. She suggested I just get undressed right there and go into the gym. I did but felt a bit weird and had a nice walk but paid for it later.

Went to bed at 8 p.m. and am up for a bit and praying I can go back to sleep. Photos of Hani training are not uploading...will try again later.

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