Friday, April 14, 2006

road crossing

this blog is going to be about cheerful things, i promise. but before i do that.

right before i started writing this blog, i glanced at a BBC article headline, US offers Babylon apology I had no idea what to expect, but what i certainly did not expect was an article detailing how the US army has destroyed a site that is home to one of world's seven wonders. Now i know you can argue this any way you can--there had to have been a strategical advantage to digging trenches and putting down gravel on an archaeological site, perhaps no other sand could be imported so it was necessary that sandbags be filled with artifacts from the site, perhaps a helipad built 100 meters away from the site would not have been as effecient, and collapsing roofs by flying helicopters in and out is deffinately one way of preventing looting--the reason the troops were apparently stationed there in 2003.
Some could say that this is just a place of dirt and gravel. So what if it is significant as a source of knowledge about the world's earliest complex civilization. So what if it has been deemed precious and was protected. It's just something that was built more than 2000 years ago ...there are tons of these in Iraq. Nearly 10,000 documented archaeological sites, in fact. They can't all be protected and secured. This is war--people are dying. The troops are gone now apparently. Have been removed when experts complained of irreversable damage.

and yet, i'm angry and near tears. explain that to me.
is it because i was an archaeologist in the past life? is it because i am one of those crazies who goes googly eye at a site of a thousand year old obsidian point? is it because i have been near human remains and think anything associated with them is sacred? is it because i believe that any knowledge of past culture can only be of benefit to us now? is it because i don't for a second believe that any precaution was taken by the US command to alleviate the damage done to the site? all of that. and more. i'm furious right now.
not a good time to write.

yet, i wanted to tell you about a funny thing that happened on the way to school.
a bunch of ducks crossed the road from the beach. they went from the beach side to the road station side. slowly and deliberatly they waddled their way across, paying now attention to cars that stopped for them. there were 6 or 7 of them. male and female.
apparently they belong to one of my students' parents. i have never seen them before.
but it's not unusual for animals to cross the road, yet why the animal crossing sign has a crab on it, beats me. i have never seen a crab cross and what if the little bugger decides to cross at nighttime? is there any chance at all of his survival?
last night i barely escaped hitting a dog that decided to wonder onto the road and stand there, waiting for something, indecisive about its next move. the dogs here are deffinatly suicidal. see this sort of thing all the time.

ok. am a bit more cheery now that i wrote about that.

i am about to have a serious meeting with the JTE. well, i hope it will be serious. we have decided to talk about how to switch things up in the classrooms. to change a bit the way we teach and how things are organized. i'm really glad that he wants to make this move. i hope we use some of the ideas i've been coming up with while bored stiff during lessons.

oh, and i remembered the second amusing incident of the day. i don't know about anyone else on the island, but for lunch today i ate colored, boiled quail eggs. whether it was because of Good Friday/Easter association has been undetermined by my probbing into the matter. i got shrugs and confused stares. someone in the Ogimi kitchen is having fun with this. One was bright pink and the other sun yellow.

I miss Russian Orthodox Easter. We got to eat tons of delicious, baked, sweet bread and play with colored boiled eggs.

Happy Passover, btw, to all those who keep holidays.

the weather's been as indecisive as the dog on the road. but it's consistent in being humid and rainy and windy. it's just the temperature that changes.



keldog22 said...

im sorry about the site too. i know i can`t completely understand how you feel, but i can sympathize with you- and feel a little angry too. i really wish this war would end. too much is being destroyed.

Chris said...

here's a thought: which pisses you off / saddens you more... the destruction of an archeological sight or the continued destruction of the American character which used to mean something.

I reckon they're both pretty frustrating.

Craig Mauelshagen said...

If we are listing terrible things about the iraqi war then I feel the human cost has to be given a mention. Untold numbers of innocent iraqi civilians as well as the men and women of our armed services who have lost the their lives in a dubious cause because of some stupid old men (and maybe women).