Must be all slept out, because it's not even 7am and I've been laying awake for the last couple hours. Reading 'Three Cups of Tea' by Greg Mortenson (highly recommend), trying to sleep, reading some more. Decided to get up and write.
Last night I met the 2 Arab poets I will be working with, Nujoom and Kareem (both from Dubai), along with one of the instructors, Basil (originally from NY). Also, 2 officials from the University. My host is not feeling well and with all our schedules being different, he was having a lousy time of trying to figure out pick-ups/drop-offs.
We were able to get through today and maybe tomorrow, then sent him home.
I am a little nervous about speaking tonight. Along with Nujoom and Kareem, we have 2 hours to fill. The audience will be mostly faculty and students. We're asked to introduce ourselves and talk a little about what we plan to teach for the next couple weeks, who we are as writers and where we've come from.
It all sounds like it should be easy, yes? Still, I worry I will maybe make cultural references that might be misunderstood or not understood at all. I worry I'll say something inadvertantly disrepectful. I worry I'll trip. Patricia Smith has a poem she wrote and in it are the lines, "Do they love me? Do they love me? Do they love me?" Maybe that is why I cannot sleep.
Sunday evening, 9:26pm
Well, back from the lecture and I did not trip, though am not completely sure I didn't say something that was misunderstood. I think it went well though, with a full room and lots of questions after. Our host was pleased and we want to keep him happy!
I also worked with a class of theater students this afternoon. Kind of got thrown into it and it was many times better than I'd expected. Everyone spoke English and the few times I said something they did not understand, someone asked.
More later, I think I can sleep. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz