Good Grief in the Gulf

One of the very first people who befriended me here in Ajman is named E. Her English isn’t great, or perhaps I should say my Arabic is awful, so we don’t understand each other very well. But yet know each well somehow. Last Thursday afternoon she came to wish me a good weekend — using the…

Arabian Nights, and Days

I’ve been going to one end of a pool — or overseas location — and coming back again for my whole life. Perhaps my existence should be characterized as a series of laps instead of years. — Nancy Stearns Bercaw, DRYLAND Sixteen nights from now, I will wake up to a brand new Arabian day…

For Munzatsi, with love

Thirty years ago, I left my post as a Peace Corps Volunteer at Munzatsi Secondary School in Maragoli, Kenya. I didn’t think I’d ever look back, let alone go back. As a young American woman and new teacher in rural Africa, I struggled with being far, far away from what I knew about life. I was fresh…