Modern Day Pilgrims

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Visitors, Part 2

My parents and brother came out for a week and a half earlier this month. We all had a nice time, and I think it was a neat experience for my parents and brother to visit the Middle East and truly go "overseas" for the first time. Everyone seemed to love the Souq (the outdoor shopping area), because we went there four times while they were here! My parents also loved all the ruins in Bahrain, with some dating back to as early as 3,000 B.C. I think Matt would say his favorite part was the chicken shawarma's! Matt has already said he'd like to come back, and I'm glad he had a nice enough time to be able to say that. Here's some pictures from their visit:

My bro and I at an old home in Muharraq, Bahrain that was used for a Sheikh.

Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, Jim Lovell, and a couple others came to the Navy Base while my parents and brother were here, so we got to go and hear them share their stories. It was truly amazing, and in all honesty, it was a highlight of my life that I will never forget.

Some spices, lentils, beans, etc. that were available for sale at the Souq.

A man selling fabric at the Souq. Silk is in abundance here and there are some really beautiful prints.

We went to the Formula 1 race, and before the race started, a gulf air plane flew right over this tower. It was pretty cool. I've never seen such a huge plane fly so low!

All the cars going around turn 1 at the start of the race and there weren't any accidents! It's amazing how much skill they have.

Matt and I at The Bahrain Fort.

Matt at the King's Royal Camel Farm with a camel that was only a week old.

At the Bahrain National Museum, they have a map of Bahrain on the floor of the museum. Here I am pointing at our house.

Matt holding Charlotte at the Bahrain National Museum.

Natural pearls at the Bahrain National Museum. Pearl diving is one of Bahrain's main sources of income, along with oil and banking. They hold their natural pearls in such high esteem that it is illegal to sell cultured pearls on the island.

My dad making some pottery at the A'ali Pottery Village.

My Mom making some pottery at the A'ali Pottery Village

Charlotte at the A'ali Pottery Village.

A man who works at the A'ali Pottery Village. When we were there, he was making the clay.

My dad trying on traditional arab dress for men at the Souq.

My Dad got a custom made suit while he was here. He asked for deep pockets so that he can put his camera lenses in there, along with a few other modifications. The possibilities are endless since they are custom made. I think my dad was quite happy with the results.

Chris also got a custom made suit the week my parents were here. Doesn't he look sharp?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

5 months

I'm getting all caught up on blogging today. It doesn't hurt that I've been sick the past 3 days because of something I ate Thursday night. I don't feel like doing much around the house so I've been trying to get caught up on things I can do stationary. Charlotte turned 5 months old yesterday. It's hard to believe she's getting so big. She's still in 9 month clothing but I have a feeling 12 months isn't far behind. Here's a few more updates on her progress: Charlotte can now roll onto her stomach with no problem whatsoever. She hasn't quite figured out how to go from her tummy to back, though. Food-wise, Charlotte has now tried rice cereal, sweet potato, butternut squash, banana, and avocado. I'm not so sure she likes avocado. She kept making a gross face whenever I put it in her mouth, but she never spit it out and she always opened her mouth for more. Maybe she's just trying to get used to the new flavor. She's still a great napper and sleeper, and she always has another smile in her no matter how tired she is. When Grandma Peltier was here last week, she taught Charlotte "up". When she's on her back, you can now grab her teeny hands and say, "Up." Charlotte will then stiffen her back and start to come up (with help of course). Chris then took it a step further, and if you say "up" once she's sitting on her bottom, she'll use one of her feet to help her stand (again, with help). I was really touched to see that she can now "understand" us, but that also brought in the reality that a different kind of "parenting" will be right around the corner. Compared to discipline and instruction, changing diapers and feeding her every 3 hours seems easy. I think it's time I brush up on the parenting books I read while I was preggo!

Happy 5 months, Charlotte! I can't wait for my dad to get here on Tuesday so that he can take some better pics of Chuck. Here's some pictures I took of her this afternoon:

Trying to eat the prop. This kid will put anything in her mouth! Haha.

Visitors, Part 1

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, Chris and I were about to get a lot of visitors. Last week, Chris's parents were in town. This Tuesday, my parents and brother arrive. The week with my in-laws went great. I know they loved seeing Charlotte and I hope they enjoyed all the "touristy" things we did with them. Since Chris and I hadn't had a chance to be "tourists" yet, we enjoyed finally being able to do so. We took them to some ruins of an old fort, a wildlife preserve, the souq (an outdoor shopping area), the Bahrain museum, and the king's Royal Camel Farm. Of course, we also went the the malls since they're quite extravagant here. Here's a few pics from the week:

Shortly after my inlaws arrived, we were invited to a luncheon. I met the lady on the far right, Lynn, a couple of weeks ago through the American Women's Association. She's British but is married to a Bahraini and has lived here for over 25 years. As a result, she acts a lot more Bahraini than she does British. Bahraini's love to talk about their families. It is not uncommon for them to give you photo albums to look through or to go on and on about their kids. At Lynn's, we were doing a lot of listening. If you're invited over to a Bahraini's home for a meal, there will be lots of food and it's polite to get seconds and even try a little bit of everything. Lynn probably asked us five times if we wanted to get seconds! It reminded me of my Grandma Wolfe. She was all about seconds, too. I remember going over to my grandparents one Saturday to spend the day with them. My grandma served sloppy joes for lunch and I was full after one. I remember that she was so offended I only had one, and when my parents came to get me later that day, she told my dad, "I don't know what's wrong with Mandy, but she would only eat one sloppy joe!" Anyway, going over to Lynn's was definitely a "cultural experience" for all of us. :-) Also pictured is Lynn's daughter, her son-in-law, and her two grandchildren. Lynn's grandson is the same age as Charlotte.

Chris, Charlotte, and my in-laws in front of the Bahrain fort.

Mom and Dad Peltier at the Bahrain fort.

Chris, Charlotte, and my in-laws in front of the tree of life. The tree of life is literally in the middle of nowhere and is completely surrounded by desert. It has lived for thousands of years without any known source of water. It is speculated that the Garden of Eden was in Bahrain and perhaps it's phenomena like this that has created such speculation. At the museum, I learned that scientists think Bahrain was once lush and that desertification has occurred more recently.

Grandma Peltier with Charlotte at the Wildlife Preserve.

A swan at the Wildlife Preserve.

Some little duckies at the Wildlife Preserve.

Some birds drinking from the tour bus at the Wildlife Preserve. None of the bigger birds (with the exception of ostriches) at the Wildlife Preserve were caged in. That was really neat since you could get really close to the birds. I had never gotten so close to a flamingo before, and since they're one of my favorite animals, I thought that was pretty cool. But it was also nerve racking in a way. A lot of the kids were chasing the birds and their parents didn't seem to care even though there were signs saying not to.

A camel at the king's Royal Camel Farm. I've asked a few people, and no one knows for sure why the king has a camel farm. Oh well. It was cool to walk around nonetheless.

Some younger camels at the Royal Camel Farm.