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Just In From Beirut Lebanon

September 13, 2009

This just in from  colleague Cyndi LaPierre who took my place in Beirut, Lebanon. Family issues prevented me from going. Thanks Cyndi!

“We arrived in Paris an hour early with boarding passes in hand from JFK AND the construction that has always been an obstacle there has been finished up. We were able to walk easily to our departure gate and actually hang around for a bit before boarding for Beirut. A very pleasant surprise. Building is going on everywhere! Right across the street from the school they are building an apartment building, multimillion dollar apartments. It is named California 615. Dinner on Monday evening was with Nayla, Nawal, Raouf and Lina (she will be filling Raouf’s position by the end of September.) We ate at an Italian restaurant called Olio. We dined on salads, pizzas and luscious sorbets. We took home enough pizza for breakfast and beyond…. On Tuesday, we met with Nayla and Nawal at 9:30AM; set up the auditorium; then had lunch with Nayla at Cafe Blanc. It is near Roadster Diner on Rue Hamra. She also took us to a much bigger market that is near our apartment for stocking up on essentials like peanut butter. We were in by 5PM and exhausted…. On Friday, two young teachers from the institute took us out in the evening for the traditional Iftar (the meal for breaking the Ramadan fast in the evening.) It’s the only time of the year that you can walk into a restaurant in Beirut at 7PM and not be the only ones there. In fact the restaurants are all crowded. We had a great time talking with Maya and Fadi, both in their early thirties, bright young teachers….the future of SPEC. On Saturday, Lina and a friend took us back to Byblos for the day. We had lunch at a posh resort nearby: check out the website. Today we are still trying to catch up on sleep. We’ll go out walking later….. Be well, do good work and keep in touch. Cyndi”

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