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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Day 45, Monday - Monday

In the mornings, after taking my work things to my desk for the day, I go down to breakfast. In the dining hall there are two televisions, one with English news (CNN) and the other with Arabic news. I tend to watch the English one, partially due to the fact that the sound is really low so I have to read the headlines which are scrolling across the bottom of the screen (no captions). As a result, this morning I noticed that they were talking about the mid-term elections in the US. While I was curious about how the elections were going, it mainly struck me how well informed the rest of the world is on our news and politics and yet we hear very little about the rest of the word.

Now I am not going to go off on a lecture or rant here about how unequally our news sources treat national vs. international news (partly because I tend to find such things irritating), I just think it is important to note that for how large our impact is on the rest of the world - economically, politically, and socially - we really should pay attention to what is going on in other countries, including how they impact us. We live in a very big country with a lot going on, but we are one part of a much bigger world. Just something to think about.

In the evening, I was supposed to go to a movie with the girls, but we didn’t really like any of them, so when Nawal picked me up for dinner she told me that she had made an appointment for me to get henna! I love getting henna here, the women who do it are so talented and it looks so beautiful. So, here I am getting henna (Hameda took the pictures for me):

In case you don’t know much about henna, here is how it works:

1.) Henna is a plant based substance which temporarily stains your skin. There is brown henna (which is what I got) and black henna. You have to be careful with henna as some people’s skin reacts badly to it, but generally the brown henna is okay. Black henna can be dangerous due to the substances used to make it black, so you have to be very careful if you use it.

2.) The most common way to apply henna is with something that looks like a small pastry bag and they pipe it onto your skin, it is kind of the consistency of icing too.

3.) Then you let it dry. Which meant I couldn't use my hands for about an hour and a half. Nawal had to take me up to my room because I wouldn’t have been able to open the door by myself. I could use the tip of my nail to turn on the tv in my room though, and change the channel very carefully.

4.) Around midnight I decided it was dry enough to take off, and spent the next half an hour rubbing the dry henna off my skin. It is kind of like trying to get paint off your hands, if you have ever done that.

5.) When you take it off, at first the henna is a very bright orange, like this:

6.) Over the next few days it will get darker brown before it will start to wear off. Depending on how careful you are, it tends to last about two weeks.

I’ll take more pictures along the way to show you what it looks like.


  1. Hope it comes off before you bake that bread for me ha. Love God bless and Gods speed. GD

  2. Do you get only CNN or do you get FOX also. Guess who. ha.