Monday, January 30, 2012

Random Thoughts on Milk

Milk has been on my mind more than you would normally expect a beverage of such bland taste to be.  Here's why:

1. Enoh spilled his milk the other day...and didn't cry. I gained some confidence as a parent when I realized that he is already following the advice of at least one famous proverb. 

2. A friend came over to take care of Ian while I took Enoh to preschool and Petra was away. Being Croatian, she decided to warm up the milk in the microwave before pouring it on his corn flakes. Being American, I was repulsed. Being a toddler who eats just about everything, Ian didn't seem to mind. 

3. After looking at the stats they keep here at blogger, I realized that the most popular post I have written in my 3.5 years of blogging is the one on acerpohobia. And you know what is even more bizarre than the majority of my traffic coming from a few thoughts about a phobia most people don't know exists? The fact that they are doing so because I spelled it wrong! So thank you to all of you who have visited the culture shock weblog simply because my post is the first one listed on the incorrectly spelled google search for the fear of sour milk. Yes, my blog beat out the news alert that a Cravendale poll named "acerphobia" "the most common phobia in the UK". Apparently acerophobia trumped the fear of "big hairy spiders". It's Acer-O-phobia, Cravendale. Get it right. (And watch your traffic go down.)

This has been random thoughts on milk.  Join us next time.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

What Does a Butterfly Say?

(Photo by: Jeremy Bohall
"Ribbit...ribbit...ribbit!...Daddy, what does a butterfly say?"

Enoh was engaged in the processes of learning and teaching. Prompted by the animals on Emily's walker, he tried to teach her the sounds he knew while asking me about the ones he didn't know.

"I'm not sure what a butterfly says, Enoh" I told him.  Undeterred, he quickly relayed the information to his favorite pupil. "We don't know what a butterfly says, Emily," he explained sympathetically.

As a teacher, there were a few things I was reminded of as I watched him:

1. I teach best when I have recently learned something I am excited about.

2. There is probably no one who benefits more from a lesson I prepare than myself. So why not prepare the best I can? Then, there's a good chance the excitement and hard work will rub off on a student.

3. In one way or another, shouldn't we always be a part of both of these processes? Shouldn't we always be learning? Shouldn't we always take joy in passing on that knowledge?

Funny what children can teach you.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dear Ian,


It's the only number you know how to say. And you use it to count everything. "Two, two, two...two." Today is your second birthday. Last year saw your hair grow curly. You took your first steps. You learned to eat by yourself. You began following your brother wherever he goes. You learned how to put puzzles together.

You also continued smiling. Never lose that smile, Ian. It makes everyone else smile too...too...too.

Ian Rahim - "God is gracious and compassionate." You are a gift to us.

Happy Birthday Ian.  Volimo te do neba visoko!

(Photo by: Jeremy Bohall)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Glass is _________________.

(Photo by: Jeremy Bohall)

"It's a given that culture powerfully influences thoughts, emotions and behaviors...We see things through a cultural lens that tints, magnifies, shrinks and otherwise shapes our perceptions." 

- Dean Barnlund from Communication in a Global Village

Arranging these glasses randomly on our guest's place-settings has created a few colorful conversations since Petra bought them a few years ago. 

Is it possible to generalize the mindset of a particular culture? If so, what glass would you put next to an American plate? A Croatian?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Would you, could you, with a cow?

For some reason, my boys take greater delight in eating their fruit when they each have a cow watching them.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It Happened One Night

  • There is a picture in this post that may be shocking.
  • A name has been changed. 
A few days ago, over lunch:
Petra: Jeremy, today Velimir Mrkić is going to come around 5:00 with some pork.  He's donating it to the youth for the New Year's party. 
Jeremy: Ok, what do I need to do?
Petra: I don't know. He just said he wanted to bring the meat here before taking it to the church.
Jeremy: Ok.

No Gospodin Mrk

No Gospodin Mrk

Petra attempts calling Mr. Mrk - no answer

We have a Skype call scheduled with my relatives in America

7:45, in the middle of our Skype call:
Mr. Mrk is at the door with a bloody baby pig.  And a friend.

After ending our conversation, running to get my keys, the keys to the church and preparing to get the car started,Velimir tells me that I can ride with him.  And he has the keys to the church.

The question of what my job was continued to run through my head.

After opening the church, Velimir takes the pig to the freezer and dumps it in next to the ice-cream. 

Velimir's friend (to me): All you have to do tomorrow is salt the pig.

Me: Ummm, I'm sorry, I have no idea how to salt a pig.

Velimir: Ok, I'll do it then.

Me: Ok.