I spoke to Z (one of the teachers) today; my morning, his evening.
He was so tired from having lost a night's sleep. Yesterday they had visitors. 2 friends of his brother came in the afternoon because they could not get back into their neighborhood. It was surrounded and sealed off by US and Iraqi troops. So Z's family invited them to stay over. Then, in the evening, an Aunt came by with her daughter. Her neighborhood was sealed while she was out shopping. She couldn't get home, so she was invited to stay also.
"Why didn't you get to sleep. Were you up all night talking?"
"No. One of my brother's friends shared my bed. He snored all night. I couldn't get to sleep. If they stay here another night I think I will give him my bed."
"But where will you sleep?"
"Maybe in the kitchen? Ha?"
We laughed at this as the helicopters came overhead. He was in his garden and so the sound was very clear.
"You know today was horrible."
"Why? What happened?"
"This morning the US troops, your troops, parked in front of the house. Then there was the explosion; a side-road bomb in front of my house. My son, U, was really frightened. He is sleeping now, in the house. This is because he is very disturbed."
"Is everyone OK? No one is hurt?"
"Yes. We are OK. Only the glass of the front was broken. You know it broke into tiny pieces. Shattered."
And we went on to talk of next year's plans for the email project between students in Baghdad and New York City. Then I heard other voices; shouting, talking, and vehicle engines. As we talked the troops came into the garden and chased him into the house. Z's neighborhood is now surrounded by US troops.
Sleep and food will be stretched thin for a few days. Let's hope the little son gets calm.