Friday, August 7, 2009

CDA training has started...

The first week of Community Development Advisor (CDA) training went great. I have a very interesting staff who are all from different parts of the world. They are each very unique, with different backgrounds, different religions, different majors and different approaches to the job.  Overall the CDA staff is made up of 18 wonderful students, of which I supervise 4. I am a little bit proud of myself because I know all of their names. I am horrible with names and was convinced it would take me all of training to learn all 18. I knew them all by the end of the second day!!!! (well, one students I kept mixing up two letters Sejari instead of Seraji – but now I have it).

Most new students will move in today and tomorrow, with the rest of the students moving back in over the next week or so. This week is international student orientation, followed by individual campus orientations, then classes!!!! The start of the year is the best part of the year. I am still trying to contemplate what hall activity and programming will look like during the first few weeks of classes, as it will be Ramadan.  I am used to a lot of activity and programs with food during the first few weeks. I have been told that during Ramadan things slow down a lot during the day and students have a lot to do at night, so programming will be challenging.   I think it will just take doing it before I really know what it is like. I am looking forward to it and hope there will be chances for me to interact with students during traditional Ramadan events.

On a completely different note, I need to buy a bathing suit. There has been a pool party every week since I moved here. People just get together for cookouts and hanging out in the pool. It is a great atmosphere and I really enjoy it. At night it is still in the 90s, but it is pleasant to be outside and a lot of fun to hang out with all the different people I am meeting. I decided to invest in a suit and started looking online ---- only to learn that bathing suit websites are blocked for religious reasons (not in the whole country, but in the complex I live in). I have only been able to visit websites that sell modest suits (like the kind the Duggers wear and full coverage Muslim suits).  There are a few I like, but I still want to look for a normal suit. Some people told me about a place in the mall, so I am going to look there probably next weekend.

Again changing topics: I had a comfort “home” moment while shopping today. I was walking up and down the aisles looking for random things and did a double take. There in the middle of the Asian sauce section was Kroger brand light soy sauce. I did not need soy sauce, but I bought it anyway. Who knew Kroger was a international leader in soy sauce? 

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