This weekend I was humbled by a school that I had a chance to look at while visiting a Berber village tucked in the Atlas Mountains. 3 tables with little chairs fit into a room, with a chalkboard nailed up on the wall. Their was no Wifi to use, no Macbook on the teacher desk, not even an Elmo, or one of those old school overhead projectors. I stood in silence (the only portion of the trip where I wasn’t rambling about something insignificant) as our guide talked about the class size which was too big, the technology that was nonexistent, and the teachers who were outnumbered 33 to 2. He said all of this with a positive attitude because the kids in his village were learning. Before these past few years education for children would stop at 12 years old. Now his village can boast about sending teenagers down the mountain during the week to go to high school, these same students come back up the mountain for the weekends to help their families out with daily life.
Makes me think about complaining about my whiteboard marker selection, or what seems to be a temperamental connection between my computer and the 2nd floor copy machine.
Right next to the Borough Market was a great little spot for Payaya and a drink. While sipping on some Pimm’s I felt like I should have had a suite on (like the table of 19 year olds next to me), but enjoyed the setting none the less.
About two weeks ago I played some minifoot with a bunch of guys from school on some old school Metrodome 70’s style turf. My official back from retirement match was going well until a quick start and stop took my toenail clear off my big toe on my right foot. As I got home after the match I took my sock off as slowly as possible and saw a black toenail.
I immediately went into a panicky sweat, figuring I was only days away from going into a hut in Hay Hassani where a guy with a set of pliers would simply cut off my leg game of thrones style to stop the rot from taking over (this of course is how broken toes are dealt with in Morocco).
Even though I did not have a limp after the game I magically gave myself one for the next 2 days upon my self-evaluation. That Monday I saw the school nurse, where I was told my toenail would eventually fall off and a new, weird looking toenail would take over. I was somewhat relieved until I thought about how weird my feet look already (roman toe till I die!).
The nurse also suggested that I file the nail down so I could alleviate some pressure while jogging, so after my first jog I was in the middle of doing that when I popped what seemed to be a hidden fountain of blood that was being stored under my toenail. After the geyser effect finished, and a few toilet paper rolls later my toe looked like nothing had ever happened to it. So basically, screw you made up plier guy…
– Everyone seems to think they can fight in the UFC until they stub their toe to bring their bathroom mirror dreams crashing down to modesty.
– Unrelated but necessary follow-up to the last comment: At least I am an amazing shower singer.
Inside the Basilica of the Fourteen Holy Helpers in Bamberg, Germany lies 2 rooms. Pilgrims come to the church looking for something, whether it is forgiveness, strength, or help for friends and family. Thank you letters surround the walls of one of the rooms, and a book filled with testimonies gave me the chills (even if it had to be translated by my friend Maria). One of the more memorable experiences I have had during my time abroad
The Trinity College Library in Dublin
“Hence is’t, that I am carried towards the West,
This day, when my Soul’s form bends to the East”