Monday, July 20, 2009

Hey Everyone--Look at ME.

            Recently, an old friend of mine from my Peace Corps days sent me a message through Facebook.  It was a guy I had not thought of very many times since we last saw each other in 1989, but one I liked very much.  His message had a link to some YouTube video photo albums of Yemen and I have watched both videos many times since I got the links last week.

            I also got to wondering where all of the old pictures of my time in Yemen were.  Being a master of organization, Erica knew exactly where to look.  They were in a shoebox in the closet in the craft room.  I truly didn’t even know we still had them   But I was glad we did.  After looking through the pile I was overcome by the urge to digitize and post the pictures here on my blog.  But then I had second thoughts—isn’t it presumptuous to think anyone would even care to see them?

            Combined with sites like YouTube and Google’s Blogger, Facebook allows for any level of self-revelation a person is willing to engage in.  Facebook’s popularity seems like a natural outgrowth for the generation who grew up with Gerry Springer and The Real World.  People seem to have lost the distinction between what is public and what is private, between what is important to share and what is merely self-indulgent.

            I see this instinct toward over-sharing with the status updates of my “friends” on Facebook.  They range from once-in-a-blue-moon updates—(things like “… is in Naples”)-- to almost real-time changes—(“…is pulling into the parking lot at Stop and Shop.”)  There are the intriguing updates (“…is mending light”), and the nowhere-near-intriguing-enough (“…is having an attack of diverticulitis.”)

I tend toward the less frequent, less personally revealing status updates, since I am a somewhat private person.  (And yet, even as I type that last sentence I know on some level I am not a private person at all since I keep a blog and I update my Facebook status at least three or four times a week.)

            Anyway, I think all of this is really just me talking myself into believing it is alright to post some pictures from Yemen simply because I want to. I am FULLY aware that posting these pictures is self-indulgent.  So, ignore all of this and just look at the pictures, if you care to.

Men making a deal in the Hodeidah qat market.

The straw hat section of the local market.

A fishing village on the Tihama--(the Red Sea coastal plain)--not far from my city, Hodeidah.

Some Yemeni men with their not-phallic-at-all daggers, called "jambiya".

Two of my students, (with their jambiyas).

Gas for the truck, water for the camels.

Cactus blossoms in the mountains.

An old man and his mule, waiting to be hired to carry something-anything-anywhere.

Remains of the city of Old Marib--built 2800 years ago and home to the Queen of Sheeba from the Bible.

A young shepherdess high above the amazing terraced mountainsides of Yemen.



  1. What kind of narcissistic jackass are you? HA HA HA! Thanks for sharing. These are lovely. I think it would be great if you posted some reflections on your time there, too. Not that I'd have time to read them since I'm usually busy updating my FB page.

  2. Love the pics. One other thing. There is a RPCV Yemen Facebook page. It is pretty cool. I uploaded some pictures there and you should do the same.