Monday, July 18, 2011

I think we spent half of the day inside of taxis maneuvering around and through Beirut traffic! No wonder most people who can flee the city and go to their mountain villages do so. It took us over an hour to get from the seminary to the Beirut Baptist School which normally is about 20-30 minute drive. I spent all day with the director of special ed services going over the last five months since I was here last. We did everything from how to conduct parent conferences to evaluation forms for students. As is always the case in any school in any part of the world, there are your nay sayers, so we spent a lot of time working on policy and procedures to help negate the loop holes that negative thinkers might want to take advantage of to prove that special education is not appropriate. It's funny how people change their minds as soon as they have a family member who has special needs! The director shared a story with me today about one of the vice principals in the school whose daughter has been struggling in kg and first grade. She was diagnosed with dyslexia this last year. Previously, this teacher was one of the most outspoken people against special education, but now she can't stop singing the sp ed department's praises.
Tim and Jeremy were in a math class all morning. Jeremy said that he was able to follow the instruction, even though it was in Arabic. I guess that math is a universal language. . . . how would I know??!! While they were waiting for me to finish up, they walked around the neighborhood, my old "hood," and Tim had a good time showing Jeremy some of his old haunts. They stopped at a sandwich cafe and bought some shwarma (gyros) for lunch and brought me some as well. I hate to have to peel off all that wonderful bread, being gluten free and all, but Jeremy is always obliging when it comes to eating the extra food. He even had kibbe naya (raw spicy meat dish) last night at one of Brent's relative's homes.
Tonight we are to have supper, an outdoor gathering, at Juliana's home. She is the director of the learning center, and we have become good friends. Her husband works as an accountant for several NGOs (Non Govermental Organizations) in the Middle East. World Vision is one of his contracts. We are meeting so many interesting people from varying backgrounds who have chosen to move back to Lebanon and raise their families here. This young generation of believers is very encouraging to me.
I will be trying to match up the different sp ed teachers, counselors, and therapists with state side partners, as in e mail partners to have some question and answer exchanges back and forth. If you are interested in this, please let me know. I already have some of you in mind, so don't be surprised when I send out your names and you get e mails from Lebanon!!!!!


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