hope

Updates

Hi dear dear friends from around the world, how are you all doing? I’m sorry I am no longer religiously blogging… Do you miss me? (hehe). I miss you, that’s for sure! Things have changed in my world. In short, I am now working as a full-time preschool teacher, soon to be starting my postgraduate diploma in Early Childhood Teaching. This means, I am busy busy (like the rest of you) working, and soon also studying (eek!). It is literally mind-blowing to look back and see how God has confirmed me in every step of my life leading to this very opportunity. I am so lucky. There is a Sufi poem which goes: ““God long ago drew a circle in the sand exactly around the spot where you are standing right now,” -this could not be more true for me (or you, for that matter). I have always adored spending time with young children, and if I may say so, I think they also like being around me. Sometimes I feel sad thinking that by going down this path I will be giving up on my writing but then I remind myself that everything in our universe is interconnected and that this too shall lead onto something. All in all, I am incredibly thankful. Of course, nervous – the job is definitely not easy, but grateful for the opportunity to grow both in my career and as a person. As for my love life (wink wink) things are going smoothly. You know, S is another reason why I’m not regularly blogging. I used to be this maniac (sometime I still am) who wanted to do absolutely everything and I had to keep reminding myself: Anisa, you can do anything but you can’t do everything! Being around S is changing me. He is an incredibly relaxed being.  I’m not going to lie, at first this drove me a little crazy – I needed him/us/me to always be doing something! Overtime though, I have come to appreciate his way of doing things. Like my brother-in-law once said, true, life is short but life can be very long also. In other words, it’s okay to unwind once (or twice) awhile (yes, this means you too!) xx
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This is funny. So, I always prefer homemade muesli (for every meal if I could actually). But here is S forcing some of his famous scrambled eggs on me. The picture above is last week and the picture below, from my time in Nashville 6 months ago. image-3-png-10
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Major touristing at Christchurch Museum.
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After a warm coffee at Sign of The Kiwi Cafe, we are not cold, we swear!
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Waiting for the food…
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My number one supporters in every single decision I have ever made. You know what I think is good parenting? Trusting. Mum and dad, I love you both with my entire being. Processed with VSCO with c3 preset
An Indian friend of ours once said Corianders is the best Indian restaurant in Christchurch, and we agree!Processed with VSCO with c2 presetBetter than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher.
~Japanese Proverb (Sunrise at work)

I Am Growing Flowers…

in the darkest parts of my heart, for if light ever enters, it would know where to start. ~Noor Unnahar
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On Sunday evening, S and I went to The Tannery to watch one my favourite musicians, whom I first stumbled upon busking in Queenstown some 5 years ago (he busking not me) at live music venue, Blue Smoke. Of course, Graeme James was absolutely phenomenal – people like him make me wish I was at least slightly musical. On the contrary, S and I were not in top form.

You see, since his arrival, things have been pretty difficult. Getting used to one another’s presence after six months of separation takes work. Funnily enough, and I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing this, Lifa (my Israeli brother with the beautiful Japanese wife) contacted me with a very resonating message a couple days ago:  “Are you guys still madly in love?” he asked, followed by: “When Aki came to meet me in Israel she suddenly wasn’t sure anymore…I would blame it on me coming late to pick her up from the airport but you know…doubts started and all. Eventually we passed that but what I’m saying is that surprises can happen.”

In my case, there have been no doubts, none whatsoever at all. Just disappointments. Allow me to explain: for 6 entire months I had looked forward to his arrival. So much so, that I had booked and cancelled 3 different cafe’s for our first place to go to after the airport (I couldn’t decide which would impress him the most). Next, I’d planned our weekends, and week nights, and basically, every minute of which I was not at work. We’d missed out on so much, now that he was finally here, I wanted us to do it all! But as the old yiddish proverb goes: “man plans and god laughs.” At first S was extremely jet-lagged, then poor guy fell sick due to climate change, then I became sick (both physically and emotionally) due to overly attached girlfriend shenanigans (haha). And, it’s also winter, which means everything is just that much harder to begin with. So, with my grand schemes down the drain, and my expectations unmet, I found myself rather disappointed.

And this is where we chose love. Realising that if we wanted to be more than picture-perfect happy, we needed to put in the effort. So, as kindly as we could, we communicated our feelings, and as selflessly as we could, we acknowledged one another’s. It was an arduous process. It is an arduous process. I can’t say I’ll ever master it. But what I can say is that it was the rain (and shine) which made our relationship blossom. For the sincere way S offered me solace, made me fall in love with his beautiful soul all over again. In the words of Abdu’l-Bahá: “where there is love, nothing is too much trouble and there is always time.”
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A Kindly Tongue Is The Lodestone Of The Hearts Of Men.

…It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding… ~Bahá’u’lláhImage (11)
Ham, cheese, and slaw buns with steamed corn, corn chips, and cookies for a picnic at beautiful Ashley Gorge – can’t believe I’d never been here before. So so beautiful. Definitely taking oosh. Image-1 (4)
“When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love.” ~’Abdu’l-Bahá Image (12)
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Some of the tutors, participants, and wannabe chefs.
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The day I made nachos, I got a lot of moans and groans on first glance from the boys for it being vegetarian. However, once they’d tasted it, they kept coming back for more (yay!).Image (2)Really super weird handling raw chicken but I think I did good. Oven curry (is that a thing? Or am I just super clever?) with chicken drumsticks (duh), carrot, kumara, and red potato.
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Beautiful NZ.

“Where There Is Love Nothing Is Too Much Trouble And There Is Always Time.” ~Abdu’l-Bahá

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“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

“This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.”

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked.
“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you will find your treasure.”

“You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”

~Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

A Gratitude List

…look around you. All of this is for you. Take it and have gratitude. Give it and feel love. -Zooey Deschanel

I dedicate this list to you. I’m sorry for the whinging and the grumbles. I really am happy and grateful…it’s just so easy to be open with you.

1.Working limbs to walk, run, cycle and explore.
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2.Unexpected friends. Like Laura from Belgium who I met through blogging. who came and stayed with me in Japan and who just happens to be blogging about it NOW.

3.My auntie Pouneh – of course for having me here but also for her many entertaining stories, cycling advice and organic salads!
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4.Coffee. I mean come on. Ican’teven without it.
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5.Art. Art and creative people. Literature, music, Sundance! Thank you for making me feel all sorts of feels.

6.My mama, who keeps messaging me to be careful not to get a cold? And that I’m her little girl and very pretty. Oh my heart. My world. Thank you.
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7.Getting paid to travel. Okay so it’s not much (hint hint Savvy Tokyo) but it’s seriously a dream come true. I did it. I blogged for 730 days in a row, annoyed the hell out of you all and eventually landed myself a teeny tiny writing role. Have you read my latest work? You can HERE, HERE and HERE. Cheers and kampai to (fingers-crossed/touch-wood) many more.

Why Is Patience So Important?

Because it makes us pay attention.― Paulo Coelho

I have always struggled with patience. I blame my mother (hehe) because she is very similar. Turns out all I had to do for my toilet-water-wet phone to recover was to wait. I am sorry for the melodramatics. Here are the last photos from Santiago, Spain:
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Bucket feng shui. image3image4
(See last post and imagine)
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Ecological milk. image5image1
Poor Xoel (Maria and Danny’s son). This man invited me to join him and I passed on the burden to Xoel (hehe).image
Pilgrim’s shoe.
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The infamous sandals are back!
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What an absolutely stunning little city. I can’t wait to return. Santiago <3
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Thinspiration.
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Not exactly sure what is happening here…but Santiago sure does inspire.
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Man and friend.
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The Pain Of Parting Is Nothing To The Joy Of Meeting Again

This post should really be split between several posts because it’s so  heartful – is that a word?

From top to bottom: my goodbye party last night, a few of my thoughtful thoughtful gifts…one of which…drum roll please… IS THE RETURN OF MY BENTO! I know! I can’t believe it either. I am SO overjoyed. And last, snaps of some of my loved ones including  a picture story of my new friend gifting me his (second) best watermelon  (I remembered my camera this time).
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Dear Future Lover

Inspired by the ever so wonderful literature of Zelda Fitzgerald.

I don’t suppose I really know you very well- but I know you dream of me often and that the scent of your cologne dancing around your collar bone is my favorite smell and that your one in a trillion smile makes all my worries go away or else, the way you touch my hand, as if it were sacred, as if I were, as if I am.

I know that your eyes are secret islands gradually revealing their treasures day by day, and that your walk is gravitational, in the sense that I yearn to walk with you for as long as I can, and that our lips are the two jigsaw puzzles still clinging together in the pool of fragmented pieces.

What I don’t know is where you are at this very moment and when and how we will meet next. But darling, those are insignificant, compared to the whole, compared to the way my head fits your shoulder as if our bodies were carved by the same sculptor designed to match one another and as if our hearts were planted by the same gardener specialising in companionship – each one of us supporting the other to reach the sunlight first.

A New Admirer

Can you guess the story from the pictures? Well, I’ll tell you anyway. I woke up at 5am because I go to sleep early (read about it here). I had a beautifully presented breakfast (read about it here). I went for a walk and bumped into my new friend (read about him here). He was waiting for me. He took me to his garden. He gave me eggplants, okra, tomatoes and cucumber. He said “good morning” and “you are a girl” and “you are a boy” and “Christchurch”. He was very pleased with his English. I was too. Then he drove me home. He wouldn’t take no for an answer. So if I put on weight from not completing my daily exercises we all know who to blame. I love him.
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