Long time no see! My fault, I know. We left the Middle East’s no-post zone at the end of January and have been settled in one place with excellent connectivity since the beginning of March. But the thing is, I just haven’t felt like blogging. After the intensity of our sudden departure and the subsequent fabulous-but-exhausting vagabond tour of three continents, I didn’t have much enthusiasm left over for writing about it. Now after a few weeks of cocooning (think Internet Scrabble and Downton Abbey) and with the tulips in the cemetery starting to bloom, I’m starting to feel the urge to write again. I am afraid the long silence may have cost me my loyal readership (all five of you) but perhaps I can entice you back with promises of tales from new and exotic locales.
We were in Damascus, Syria from August 2011 until January 31, 2012. During that time I was unable to post: while blogs are not specifically outlawed, WordPress and Blogger are both blocked by the Syrian government. There are ways to get around blocked sites using an out-of-country proxy, but it didn’t take me long to decide the risk wasn’t worth it. I’m sure you are aware that a person can get in serious trouble in Syria for saying the wrong thing, and it’s not always easy to know what the wrong thing is. I did however keep a private journal the entire time I was there, and I wrote up a series of blog entries with the vague plan of posting them from outside the country. But although we did take a few trips out to Lebanon and Central Europe, knowing we’d have to get back into Syria again had me questioning the wisdom of posting at all. So I didn’t.
We left Damascus unwillingly, but for the last time, on January 31. The American embassy essentially evicted us from the school premises for our own safety (they own the property). DCS teachers scattered to the four corners of the earth like dandelion seeds. We three bummed around Europe for a while as Andreas and I searched online for new international teaching posts. We landed here in Sarajevo because we were tired of living out of our (numerous and heavy) suitcases, and a little internet research led us to believe that Bosnia was a good deal with fast internet. Luck has shined on us since our arrival in the form of new jobs, new school, and a fantastic apartment in a great location.
When we arrived here, the city was just beginning to emerge from a record-breaking winter snowfall. Now we wait with great anticipation for the rain to stop and warm weather to arrive. Alekka started classes at Sarajevo’s international school a few weeks ago. Andreas has been filling in for a departing teacher since spring break and I have had a couple of subbing gigs. Andreas and I also teach on-line classes for students still in Damascus.
Now that we are settled in with the aforementioned excellent Internet connection, I am getting back on the blogging bandwagon. I figure I’ll just pick up where we are right now, but I’ll also post entries from my Syria journal as time allows. I hope that by the end of summer, I’ll have filled in the gap between past and present. And you, dear readers, will get the inside scoop.