Summer’s here

The weather turned hot this week – we’ve already been over 100 degrees for several days in a row. I woke up this morning to the welcome sound of rain and thunder, although it probably means it will just be steamy all day. Our lunch gang had to move inside to eat this past week, so I guess we’ll have to forego the patio dining for a few months.

Last Sunday I went horseback riding! I drove out of town about 20 minutes to get to a stable run by a Canadian woman. I had a lesson in the ring until I got so hot I couldn’t take it anymore (at 9AM!). It was loads of fun! She has a nice facility and the horses are well cared for. The only downside is that she only teaches and rides English. It’s completely different from riding Western – a lot more work! I miss a big comfy saddle. I want to go back for a trail ride if the weather allows.

It was interesting driving back from riding. I had to drive through a small town, and I was reminded of how very far away I am from home! I followed a guy riding a motorcycle with a big chicken coup strapped to the back; goats and a sheppard¬†on the side of the road; women all wrapped up in abayas doing their shopping. It’s just a completely different world.

When I got back into town, John and I went for massages, then Scott and Laura came over for more board game action. While the guys played, Laura showed me plans and furniture for their pretty new townhouse in DC. Later that night, we met Jim, Kellee, Carolyn and Konstantin for dinner at the Polo Lounge. It was quite pleasant sitting outside once the sun went down, and lots of fun to visit with them.

Tuesday – after a very stressful day at work – John and I had dinner with Howie, Petit and another friend for Thai food. Very enjoyable.

Friday night we went to a dinner party at the home of our German friends, Barbara and Franz. They are such good hosts and always have interesting guests. I talked a lot to another German woman who has worked in Kabul, Sudan, Yemen and now Pakistan. The young girl to my right was born  in Pakistan but moved to Germany when she was five. Her family just sent her back to Pakistan for an arranged marriage (although she is happy with it) Рwe talked at length about the differences and difficulties of adjusting from being a university-educated woman in Germany to being a housewife and mother in Pakistan. Very interesting.

Saturday I worked for a while. In the evening, we went to Jim and Kellee’s house for a yummy dinner with them, Carolyn and another friend. Jim made chili, Kellee made enchiladas and I brought an iron skillet of cornbread – very delicious! We sure will miss them when they leave next month.

My relaxation this week took the form of kittens! We have a terrible problem with stray cats at the Embassy. I finally saw the litter of five kittens from one momma cat, and got to play with them for a while after work on Thursday – excellent therapy for me! They are at that cute stage where they just want to play and they are just little furballs. They are terribly shy and skittish but I played with them with a string for a long time and they finally let me pet them. Mom just watched a bit, then went to sleep. Friday, I found another litter of two from another mom – they are only about a week old – just tiny things. There’s a group of us who feed them and try to provide some medical care (I’m not as involved as some of the others). John and I had one kitty spayed, and now she follows me around like a puppy, wanting food. Anyone, I’m glad to have some kindred souls who want to try to help them, but it’s like sticking your finger in the dyke.

 

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