Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When that fat old sun in the sky is falling, summer evenin' birds are calling (Pink Floyd)

Some traumatic happenings in Wozza's World this week with the departure of Najma. It's okay - he is fine but ownership has been transfered to a friend's parents. I'll explain.

A decision was looming over Najma (our canary pictured left). The bird man at the souq where we got Najma was willing to buy him back before we left Doha but we preferred to find him (the bird, not the bird man) a better home.

I asked around all my Cognition friends and luckily one of the members of the dream team (Reem, Rami, Andrea, and... me natch) volunteered to take custody. I handed over Najma on Monday during our presenting session at the Marriott Hotel, Najma having successfully made his way past security, to Rami who was giving Najma to his mum.

I am pleased to report that Najma - the best singer and most spoiled bird in Doha - and new parents are doing well.

In other news - I've spent the week marking Action Research assignments...written in Arabic! I can report that this turned into much more of a fun activity than it should have been because I was working with three great translators. Some of the research projects were outstanding in quality given that the participants only had 10 weeks to complete them.

One though will remain in the memory longer than others. The participant's chosen topic centred on researching why students lie. The researcher gave out a questionnaire to the students to ascertain the reasons why they felt compelled to lie, but unfortunately the data was found to be unreliable...because they lied!

We received some emails from Samantha during they week with some news of her road trip around America with Jesse. Here are some edited highlights so far (I promised my dad I'd do this):
Jesse graduated last Friday (it was fantastic, he looked great and the grad
party at his mum's later the same evening was amazing!!) so we moved out on
Saturday and got on the road Sunday morning after saying our goodbyes to Jesse's
Dad and mum. We hit Sacramento first and stayed at Rich's parents' house for the
night, which was lovely cos his mum is an amazing chef and baker...yummy to the
max! The next day we drove up towards Portland and made it just past the Oregon
border and camped for the night, with my other flatmate Peter and his brother
Colin and girlfriend Sarah. The next day we drove the rest of the way to
Portland and stayed at Pete's parent house, Portland is a really cool city and
is covered with trees and would love it. The next day (yesterday)
Jesse and i drove up and crossed the Oregon border into Washington. We took the
scenic ( and very long) way around Olympic National park to get into Seattle.
What should have been an easy 2 1/2 hour drive took from 9am-12am to complete but it was beautiful and even included the town where 'Twilight' was set and filmed. So we arrived at the Seattle ferry around 11.10pm last night and rode it
all the way into Seattle. This morning we toured the Washington University
campus (which looks a lot like Cambridge or Oxford campus life) and had a tastly
sandwich in town. Tomorrow we leave Seattle and head into Idaho (along Glacier
park or something like that) and then onto Montana to see Mt Rushmore and
yellowstone National park...

We have spent the last two days National park hopping in Montana (Glacier
Nat Park and Yellowstone) and here in Wyoming's own Grand Tetons. It has been an amazing drive so far with spectacular views and rare animal encounters.
Some of which include: Bald Eagles, 2x Black bears (a mother and her cub- i saw
the from the car and they we right behind two unsuspecting hikers by a river, so
i shouted "a bear!" and Jesse pulled over so i could warn the people that these
two huge bears were behind them) elk, Bison, White Fox, hundreds of deer (one of
which Jesse narrowly avoided at night on the road), Chipmunks, Osprey and lots
of other cool birds. I'm sure there will be more on this list by the time we
reach New York. Today's aim is South Dakota so Mt Rushmore and Badlands=
One of Jesse's graduation photos stars Fanfa (cute ain't they).

Ka kite ano - love and peace - Wozza

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