One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Henna Hands, Pocahontas, and Scorpions

Aside from the additional income housing our myriad foreign students has brought us, the best thing about having them stay in our home is getting to know their cultures and outlooks, and exposing our children to new faces, languages, and peoples (and slurping and smacking and gun-toting and mystery hair on our bathroom floor ...).

Take Majda, for instance. She agreed to an arranged marriage and didn't meet her groom until the day of the wedding - which was the Saturday before she arrived at our house. She has only spent 4 days in her husband's presence! Now that is a cultural difference.

In these photos you will see her hands, first palms down and then palms up. It is custom in Oman (and I imagine in many Arab cultures) to paint henna tattoos on the hands and feet of the bride. Since these tattoos begin to wear off within less than a week of being applied, you can see how quickly she left Oman after her wedding (they are still intact, if you need me to spell it out for you:) ).

Isn't the detail amazing? The cousin who did this for her used only the tube out of which she squeezed the henna. Majda was more than happy to let me take some pictures.

Our girls really enjoy the students, even though they only spend a few weeks with us (which can be its own blessing sometimes - "sleeping at the library" and having guns pointed at my face take their toll). Our girls have really taken to our most recent batch of students, Majda, and two students from Japan.

The other day Genna walked up to Chikako (one of the Japanese girls) who was sitting on the couch. Genna asked, "Are you Majda?" Chikako looked at her confusedly. Genna then asked, with an overly-patient tone, "Are you Majda, or are you Pocahontas?" See what happens when cultures and Disney collide? We almost had an international incident!

The funniest incident so far with these students involved Majda. It was her second day here and she was in the bathroom. After a few minutes she shrieked and called out to Annie, "There is a scorpion in the toilet! There is a scorpion in the toilet!" Annie walked into the bathroom, not knowing what to expect, and rather than finding a scorpion, she found a daddy-long-legs in the shower. Getting your words right is important! Though, it did leave me wondering what she was using our shower for ...


Anonymous said...

Good thing that it was Andrea that was home to dispose of the arachnid and not you sir. What a story she would have had about the American and the spider that caused fainting
Guy Fawkes

Raging Wombat said...

Too true, Mr. Fawkes!