Intern Journal: Tae Bo, Food and Fun

Here I am, halfway through my time in Nablus, and I cannot believe it is going by so fast!  I have gone from trying to find my bearings to savoring every moment because I know it is going to be over far too soon. Both classes are going well. The sports class for moms has taken an interesting turn. A few classes ago, I brought a Tae Bo DVD along with me, almost as an afterthought. I thought it might be a nice change from our usual aerobics steps. I set up the projector so the entire class could follow along.  All of the moms absolutely love it!  We now spend class going through the DVD, taking time to pause and explain each move, and then do them all in real time.  It really is a great workout for them--considering the amount of cardio, it is quite low impact on their joints.  A few weeks ago, TYO’s health teacher Ahmad met with the mothers after our class to answer some of their many questions.  He spoke to them about the importance of exercise and a balanced diet.  Many of the women have told us they are seeing results from the workouts, and I can’t wait to see their progress by the end of December.

My kid’s art class is now largely focused on projects which will be displayed in an exhibit at the National Children’s Museum in Washington, DC.  The NCM project aims to introduce new cultures to the American audience through a series of four exhibits, and this will be the first from Nablus.  The theme for this exhibit is food, which is a wonderful idea because Palestinian food is truly delicious. Before it is time for me to return home, I hope to learn how to make many of the dishes I have enjoyed here.  Although I’m sure my children love to eat, they are less exuberant about depicting food.  Because of the challenge this presents, I try to redirect their focus from food alone to other important aspects of Palestinian and Arab culture, such as hospitality and holidays.   Most recently, my kids made storyboards which show what might happen when a lost and hungry traveler knocks on their door seeking help.   Suhad, our wonderful psychosocial specialist, suggested that I might be able to break my kids into groups and have them cook a mini feast here at TYO.  Perhaps I will be able to learn some recipes from them!