Author: Theresa

Free things to do in Jerusalem with kids 1

Free Things to do in Jerusalem with Kids

It’s easy to bleed money when we’re traveling. It’s also easy to bleed money living in a city like Jerusalem. Lucky us, there are lots of free things to do in Jerusalem with kids. Explore the Old City The Old City in Jerusalem is beautiful and full of history. Whether you’re exploring the Church of the Holy Supulcre, walking the Via Delorosa, or visiting the Western Wall (aka the Kotel),...

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Palestinian Desserts – Chocolate Covered Dates Stuffed with Pecans

Chocolate covered dates are an easy beginning to my foray into Palestinian desserts.  They’re a special occasion treat, something that I’ve seen mostly in small quantities at iftars or to be sold to tourists at artisan markets.  The dates are delicious and rich, a perfect accompaniment for coffee, but not something to be consumed in large quantities. I’ve had chocolate covered dates several times now, and each time I tell myself...

Celebrating Holidays Abroad 33

Celebrating Holidays Abroad – Reasons to Love It

Holidays are tough.  For everyone.  All over the world.  I’ve been celebrating the winter holidays abroad for a long time (in 10+ years abroad, I’ve spent three Christmases in the States).  Despite that, I’m finding that as this holiday season begins, I’m more homesick than usual.  I’m missing friends and family and pumpkin spice lattes.  Which is not to say that the life of an expat is not pretty damn...

How to Make One Week of Baby Food in Two Hours or Less 42

Making baby food in two hours per week (or less, even as an expat)

I made all of both my daughters’ baby food for stretches of about six months per child.  It sucked at first, but I slowly got into a rhythm that allowed me to make it in large batches.  Look, being a working mother is hard (being a mother is hard, period).  And I can see why folks don’t make their own baby food if they think it’s going to take six to eight...

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America is still great, or, thoughts on elections

I don’t write about politics on here because I can’t.  I work for the American government, and  I serve at the pleasure of the president no matter who he or she might be and no matter what his or her politics might be. I have spent my adult life learning from those who have less than I do.  From teaching basic computer skills as a Peace Corps Volunteer, fighting to get...

Equatorial Guinea 3

Next stop, Equatorial Guinea!

I am damn pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a handshake to be the Management Officer at Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. We’ll leave Jerusalem next April, spend several months in DC, then arrive in Malabo in January 2018. This is a bit insider baseball to those not familiar with the Foreign Service, but very briefly, just because we get jobs as diplomats doesn’t guarantee awesome postings for the rest of our...

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How this Working Mom got Suckered Again, or, Happy Halloween

I swore last year that I wasn’t going to make the kids’ costumes again, and yet somehow, I ended up doing it again this year. At least I had the sense to buy basic items and make only the logos and accessories. The problem is that I find homemade costumes utterly charming, and also, that I am cheap.  I am unwilling to purchase a $50 costume when I can make it for...

Machu Picchu, Peru 17

Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu is a once-in-a-lifetime hike that everyone should do. The bulk of the ruins are easy walks that can be done with toddlers or parents, and there hikes for the more adventuresome as well.  There are a million blgoposts detailing the history of Machu Picchu. Go read them. I’m going to describe our amazing day here . We woke up before dawn to take the train to Agues Calientes,...

Ollantaytambo, Sacred Valley, Peru 18

Inca Ruins, Ollantaytambo

So we’d have enough time to explore the Inca ruins in Ollantaytambo (or Ollanta), we spent several nights there, using it as our base to explore the Sacred Valley.  Ollantaytambo was the site of the Inca’s last resistance against the Spanish, and sits at over 9,000 feet above sea level. Yes. That’s high. But not as high as some of the touristing we did on our way in through the Sacred...

Olive Picking at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem 14

Olive Picking on the Mount of Olives

Saturday morning, we drove to the Mount of Olives and picked olives as Jerusalemites have been doing for thousands of years. The technique of harvesting olives is simple.  Wait until the olives begin to ripen, then rake the lives out of a tree. In our case, at the Lutheran World Federation, the caretakers had spread thick black tarps under the tree to catch the olives as we raked them. After...