Good question, what's the answer?
For those of you who know the answer, please fill me in because I have NO clue =)
The first few days here I was enjoying spending time with my family, the following week or two I was enjoying resting and reading and relaxing. Now I am just pulling my hair out because I can't stand staying home and doing nothing anymore!
I am going to start volunteering to waste some time. I am considering taking my old job at UNRWA again as they have a position available. But, I am still not sure. It is a good job and will give me access to Jerusalem. However, I will be leaving the house at 6:00 am each day and will be gone most of the day. I would rather get a part-time job so I can spend some time with my mother and not be as crazy busy as I was before I left on my mission.
I will start teaching primary in March so that should keep me somewhat busy. Meanwhile, I am trying to find some service projects or something else to do.
I am looking into the possibility of going to the US this summer. I am not sure I will be able to get a visa yet. This depends on whether or not I have a job that can prove I will be returning to Palestine.
I have just started seriously working on my book and if any of you know any contacts who could help, please let me know. It is a book about my life story, but it needs serious edits to remove some private things before it can be read by the public.
While working on my book I happened to look online and check on some family history. I found out that my family originally came from Wadi Musa (Near Petra) in the 1800's. Interestingly enough, everyone believes the name Qumsiyeh comes because my great-great... grandmother had a short neck and was called Qunsiyeh (meaning the person with a short neck). They named the family after her because there were debates about her husband's name. Anyway, I don't know how true this history is, but I have heard it from others as well.
Below are a couple of pictures from a family trip we took to Jericho. We had a BBQ together and spent some time with each other. We picked Hweireh with my mom. It is a plant that grows in the spring and winter and we mix it with yogurt and eat it. We went around the hills and picked some up to take home.
It was a really nice trip and the food was great (thank you Suhair--she paid for and prepared everything). My sister Suhair is the one sitting with little Talya on her lap.
Almost all the kids rode the camel. It is a 30 second camel ride that costs 5 NIS (1.5 dollars for each person). Sounds cheap, but honestly, this guy made so much money as we sat there and watched. He must have made 100 dollars in less than an hour. He also would make the camel run to minimize the time you are on it. I really almost fell it was so scary...and he wanted Faris (4 years old) to ride by himself! crazy camel guy! He would have fallen for sure.
I almost decided that going into the camel business is the best thing to do. We'd work the camel for 3 months during the summer and then make so much money we won't have to work the rest of the year! We were looking into where to keep the camel and what to feed him, but we decided against it since he would probably not even fit in my back yard.
My nephew, Ashraf, graduated last month and my sister Samar threw a party for him at the Tent restaurant.
The second picture is of Ashraf and Samar.
My niece and I were talking about children and raising them in a society that has very little values left. It is not that people did not do wrong things in the past, but today they do wrong things and don't know or admit they have done something wrong. I was very impressed when my niece Lina share with me an experience she had with her son. Her son found a toy and brought it home. She asked him where the toy came from and he admitted that he found it at school. My niece had him take the toy back and it turned out that the toy belongs to one of his friends who was looking for it. My niece told her son that he should not take things that he finds on the ground and told him that she would buy him the same toy if he wanted one, but he should return what he finds to it's owners. She found out where his friend bought the toy and bought her son the same toy. How many parents these days care to do something like that? I wish everyone can teach their children good values in a world of conflicting ideas and values. Parenting takes a lot of effort, but when we help change one child we change a generation. My respect and admiration goes to mothers everywhere. You are amazing! Never ever forget that. Never underestimate the power that is within your reach as you teach and nourish God's children.