Israel! Again!

Hello Dear Readers!

Another picture post today, as I spent the entirety of my summer volunteering at a nonprofit in Tel Aviv teaching Arabic. This was an interesting lesson for me. You see, I have always been an idealist, thinking that being a certified granola crunching woman of the land was my calling (never mind my air-travel pollution). So when I volunteered to teach at a nonprofit over the summer I thought a few things.

1. Finally! I’ll be able to make a difference!

2. Nonprofits are what I want to do for a living.

3. I can totally live on a pauper’s salary.

So, to no one’s surprise but my own, only 1 out of 3 of these thoughts was actually true. (#1, if you’re unsure). It turns out that the girl who flies around first class as much as possible isn’t exactly…stoked about working in a non-air conditioned office in 114 degree weather and 100% humidity.

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Pictured: My glorious office

Not that I’m complaining. I mean, I am. But it was a valuable experience, teaching, and I learned a great many things. I love helping people, that’s true.

But maybe I would prefer to help people somewhere cold. In the winter. With warm pajamas. Enjoy!

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I know it doesn’t look like I should be complaining, but It. Was. So. Hot.
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In Netanya, the beach full of Russians.
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Harrison gave me endless shit for hauling these rollerblades through Vietnam so I could rollerblade down the Tel Aviv boardwalk. I showed him by skating exactly once all summer long.
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I even got a nephew!
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Me attempting to take Hebrew classes. !נו
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At Machne Yehuda shuk.

-Carissa and Brit “Basically Snow White”

Hello From Cairo!

Hello Dear Readers!

I’m writing to you from the middle of downtown Cairo, where I’ll be living for the next six weeks!

I know I mentioned this before, so none of you should be surprised. I’m studying here in order to improve my Arabic, and so far it’s been great! And by great I mean really really hard but also effective. Granted, I’ve only been here for three days so far, so we’ll see what lies ahead.

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The view from my balcony

Apologies for the lack of pictures thus far. The inside of a classroom isn’t all that exciting.

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Ooooh, Tahrir Square

See you soon!

-Carissa “نور” Rawson

Going Native: Having the Time of My Life

Hello All!

It’s been a few days, hasn’t it? You can always tell when things are getting adventurous because my blog posts decline accordingly. After all, who can write when they’re exhausted from tramping around all day?

Luckily, I have some spare time now to write, and boy do I have stories to share. I suppose the biggest news is that I’ve decided to stay my full time in Jordan, rather than leaving and going to Germany for a few days.

I’ve told you guys in the past that a lot of the reason I decided to go to Jordan was to improve my Arabic. I also told you that I was having a lot of trouble communicating because the Arabic I learned is not even comprehensible to the average citizen. Imagine trying to speak King James’ English to someone from the backwaters of Louisiana. It doesn’t work out well.

Well, I mentioned a few posts ago that David and I met a really nice Uber driver, who could not only understand us, but was really nice and even loved Americans. He ended up taking David to the airport, and even offered to drive me to and from the Dead Sea. (I mean, did you guys see that suite??) I’ll tell you guys later about our awesome trip to Jerash and Ajloun, where Alaa (that’s his name) showed us around, but long story short we also got to meet his family and have coffee at their house.

So I invited Alaa and his family to hang out at the Dead Sea with me (after all, what’s luxury if you can’t share in it?). We had a total blast, and I was even invited to Alaa’s son’s birthday.


If you guys ever wanted to learn a language, try sitting in a room full of people shouting during a birthday party. It’s…educational. And fun! I’ve been hanging out with them ever since, and have been having an absolutely wonderful time.

I’ll have detailed posts for you guys about the birthday party, and my trip to Aqaba, and my forthcoming trips all around the rest of Jordan with my new awesome friends.

People always talk about meeting others as being the most satisfying part of their trips. I had hoped to make tons of friends while traveling, but for the most part hadn’t managed yet, possibly due to language barrier, or maybe because I’m actually kind of shy, but now I have, and they’re right. This is so rewarding, so cool, and so totally what I was hoping for. Talk to you guys soon- going to hang out!

-Carissa “Nour” Rawson