Showing posts from 2011

What we wish guys knew.

After conversations with friends (both guys and girls), I have begun to notice some things. Some were explicitly told to me and some were simply implied. Nonetheless, they are issues, shall we say, that arise in guy-girl relationships.

This doesn't have to mean romantic relationships, either. It mostly is, but not always.

I don't claim to be any expert about this; I have practically no experience in an actual romantic relationship. But, I'm quite the observer. And I've seen so many things go wrong in relationships, simple things, because people failed to see the warnings. Or chose to ignore them.

So here it is, a shortened list of "Things we wish guys knew." If you have any suggestions for the list, email me and I'll take them into consideration. And maybe add them to the list.

This first one is more a personal pet peeve. It involves guys who are your friends.

I, personally, see nothing wrong with guys and girls being friends. In fact, it seems …

The night of uncooked rice

*I want to say, if you found this page because your dog ate rice, click here to get to that portion of the post. Later, come back and enjoy :)
The great pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too. ~Samuel Butler, Notebooks, 1912

Over the years, my home was also the home to many dogs and cats, several goldfish, a bird, and a guinea pig. (I'm a sucker for a furry face).

I’m no stranger to animal loss or sickness. That doesn't keep me from getting broken up every time I see a sick animal or from fighting the urge to take stray cat, dog, anything home with me.

For first time in my life, though, I am basically caring for another living being entirely on my own. I’m not alone in the sense that I have absolutely no help; my parents are awesome about helping with Luna and love being dog-sitters. (I joke they like to see her more than they do me)

But, ultimately, she is fully my dog. …


I want to walk around and look at these old immortal hills before I go, for here I was born and have lived all my days. ~ Jesse Stuart

As some of you may know, I've begun working at WDVX, a radio station in Knoxville, as an intern. My job, mostly, consists of starting a new "public affairs" program, which is meant to be educational and informational.

WDVX is a non-commercial station, which is why it is very important for them to have such a show. A large part of the purpose of stations such as this, is so they can be an asset to the community.

But that's only part of the point of this piece.

The mushy post.

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. ~St. Augustine

Last week, I experienced my third graduation.

The first was high school, second was college, and third was graduating from the GLS program. Granted, there was much less pomp and circumstance in this one than in the last one. But we still got a nifty certificate.

This will be my last blog entry from Cyprus. Today is the fourth of July and we leave tomorrow night for the airport (to fly out at 3 am).

There are a lot of mixed emotions from the group. Some of us are sad about leaving and others wish we’d left sooner. And I think we all hate not being home for the holiday.

While I have missed my family, my friends, my dog (yes, I said my dog), and life in general back home, I have also had one of the best times of my life.

Having traveled before, I knew some of the difficulties and adjustments that would have to be made. Conversion to euros and the metric system, being aware of the change in road rules (i.e., they…

Eat ‘til you die.

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity. ~Voltaire
The ultimate focus of the documentary our group has been filming was on the food of Cyprus, specifically the meze.

A meze is a massive meal. Think of a feast, a Thanksgiving meal and a cookout, then throw in all the food from the freezer and you have the idea of a meze.

By some accounts, it started as a means of feeding visitors by bringing out all of the local foods (usually equaling to 20 or more plates) for them to taste.

Many Cypriots enjoy a meze at least once a week. It’s best done in a large crowd, as it gives you a chance to spread the food around.

Since being in Cyprus, I’ve been able to enjoy three mezes. The first was at a more modern restaurant. This is where I was able to try things like octopus and fried celery leaves and all of the food was pretty fantastic. 

The second meze was our group meze. It was more traditional Cyprus food and was so very goo…

A small world and the butcher shop.

Do vegetarians eat animal crackers? ~Author Unknown

Growing up on a farm teaches a person where things like hamburgers truly originate. I understand that the cattle raised there are not really meant to be pets. It’s a fact of life that one comes to accept when you grow up in a rural area.

Armed with this knowledge (or perhaps because of it), I prefer to keep the thought of those cows in the fields separate from the beef I'm purchasing for my next meal. Apparently Cypriots do not share this idea.

It could be a freshness thing, like subliminal messaging: you see the picture and your brain relates that to fresh food. Whatever the reason, it’s a bit...disturbing for those who aren’t used to seeing these animal images at the market.

The last and segment shot was at a butcher shop. True to form, there were images of cows, pigs and chickens with the menu. These were done in a cartoon-style (which doesn't make it better), clip-art. It was certainly an unpleasant thing for me to behold.


Living on the edge.

It was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. ~Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Cyprus is an island divided. This is easily seen when looking at any map.Despite that, there is little that would reflect this division when wandering around the southern part of the island, the part recognized worldwide as the Republic of Cyprus. Not until you (a) see the massive flag on the side of the mountains in the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) or (b) hit the green line.If you've been reading, you know that the green line is the name given to the barrier that runs the width of the island. To the south is the country of Cyprus and to the north is the TRNC (the name given by and only recognized by the Turks, many of whom have lived in the north since the invasion almost 40 years ago). Between the two regions is an area referred to as the "dead zone" and patrolled by the UN. It's bas…

Smiles from the wedding photos.

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

Thursday I was talent. Or untalent, as I choose to say it.

The other group made their selections on who was going to be on camera when we visited the cheesemaker, Elpida. Aaron and I were the lucky ones. (I hope, for their sakes, there was some usable footage.)

While the process is interesting, time-consuming and rather smelly, that wasn't the aspect of the day that interested me the most. It was the woman who does this weekly and her family.

At one point, I got thirsty (of course!), so Aaron and I followed Constantia (our translator and a GLS coordinator) inside to get water. While in there, I noticed a framed puzzle hanging on the wall. I just had to ask about it. Elpida explained (through Constantia) that her daughter loved working puzzles so much so that she was "obsessed."

"Would you like to see more?" Constantia asked.

Well, of course. So we followed them into th…

'Cut me off another tentacle, please.'

"A meze is a way of eating. It's not a set format or set actual food. A meze is a communal, beautiful way of eating, which is sharing and breaking bread. And the whole idea of a meze is that you sit down and experience many tastes and flavors in one meal." -Roddy Damalis
Saturday night, I had octopus. And it was so good.A group of us had decided to venture out to this place that our professor read about. It was a bit nondescript at first. There was some slight decoration on the top of the building and the sign was vertical and rather blended in with the decor. However, when we entered, we instantly realized that this was unlike your average place.The interior of the restaurant was sort of astounding. There were massive chandeliers, rows of some type of strings (which sounds odd, but looked great), and walls painted a deep red, one of which was full of plates and the other with newspaper and magazine articles. All of this created a beautiful atmosphere.
Roddy Damalis, the c…

Exploring castles and wandering streets.

If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. ~Pearl Buck
Saturday was a day of exploring castles and wandering streets. There were four of us who decided to meander the beautiful streets of Lemesos (Limmesol), instead of focusing on the beach.First, we went to the Lemesos Castle (also known as the Cyprus Medieval Museum). Somewhere on the grounds of this castle, which is undergoing renovations, was a chapel where Richard the Lionheart got married.From the outside, this stone structure doesn't seem all that glamorous. Inside is where all the surprises can be found. It is a museum devoted to medieval life in Cyprus. There were sets of armor, there were coins stretching across centuries, there was pottery and weaponry galore. This castle seemed to have a massive amount of tombstones. Some were knights, some were church leaders, some were families. There were tombstones from all different people. There were some that had been retrieved from mosques, but most were fr…

Storytelling through the language barriers.

"The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. ~Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895" Tuesday was the first meeting with the breadmaker. She was this super sweet, little Cypriot lady. She spoke no English and understood very little. One of the women working with Global Learning Semesters (the company that helped set up our summer abroad) went along as a translator.

Despite this language being a barrier, she still seemed to easily converse with us. It wasn't so much the words that made the difference, it was the actions. She was very expressive in her voice and her movements.

When she was younger, she learned the art of making bread from her mother. This enabled to take over for her mom when she was no longer able to do it.

Although she explained that her children probably would not be going into this field, she revealed that they both knew this skill as well. Sometimes, such …