Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Waiting for my soul to catch up

Last week I spoke with Lisa Martens who was a part of CPT Iraq at the beginning of the Iraq War when the CPT house and office were still  in Baghdad. I told her about the time it has taken me to re-adjust to being in Winnipeg, of staying cocooned in my house for the first two weeks. I spoke of my discomfort at the opulence of our huge grocery stores and large shopping malls. As I walked through them I felt my heart being squeezed and I desperately wanted to be back in Rizgari Taza again buying vegetables and fruit from the outdoor stands just around the corner. I wanted to be recognized by the salespersons and maybe helped with my Kurdish.

Lisa knew the feeling of being lost in her own home town. I felt she remembered exactly what I was speaking about. Then she told me a story that someone had told her. She said that it takes as long as the time it would take to ride a horse from where you were (Iraq) to where you are going (Winnipeg) for your soul to catch up with your head and body. I don't really know how long it would take to ride a horse even if the ocean was not there. But this was very comforting to me. I was not weak or crazy with the sad, lost feelings I had been having. This was something others had experienced.

Since then I had a facebook dialogue with a couple of other CPTers. They too say that coming home is far, far harder then going out to our CPT work. Maybe it is because we expect to feel comfortable with a place where we have lived for many years and that we think we know how things work there. But we don't anymore and there are a lot of things that we don't like anymore.

So, 3 weeks into being back in Canada I feel mostly OK. I am so happy being here with my husband, Vic and I get to see my youngest daughter occasionally. I have planted my vegetable garden and I think that I have fenced it enough that the rabbits that live under my shed won't feast on the lettuce. But I also relish hearing news from my team and from English news sites in Iraqi Kurdistan. And I am glad to have received the news of my tickets for my next time in Sulaimani.

Two pictures of Vic and I. In a couple of months we will have been married for 33 years.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Disrupted lives- new report and excellent new's report

The current CPT team in Sulaimani,  just released a report about the bombing and shelling of villagers in the Pishdar region of Iraq Kurdistan. Pishdar is the region which includes the village of Sunneh ( where we have been visiting the school ). I was there in November when team mates Marcus and Ramyar began the work on this report. I have watched it morph to  become better and more polished until finally on last Thursday it was released in a press conference at the Cultural Cafe in Sulaimani. You may think that it is too long for you to read, but I suggest at least opening it up and scanning it and talking a look at the photos.

Photos from the press conference held at the Cultural Cafe on Thursday, 30 May in Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan. (Photos taken by Pat Thompson and an unknown journalist).
It was released in two language


Also today I watched a very good newscast about the shelling of villages. .HDNet's "World Report" correspondent Willem Marx travels to the mountainous border of Iraq and Iran, where Kurdish rebels are attacking the Iranian military, and in response Iran is shelling Iraqi territory, killing Kurdish civilians and forcing thousands of villagers from their homes.
It is 1/2 hour long but if you have interest in this it is quite worth it.

I am still quite new to this technology stuff and it appears that I can not put the video here because it is not on You tube. I hope that this works for you.