Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blasts from the past and new beginnings...

I have been completely neglecting this blog for about a year now. So much has been going on, so much has happened that I just could not find the time to type it all out. I guess I’ll get back on track by telling a story…

Twenty years ago, a bunch of kids from around the globe decided to attend a summer language school in Ljubljana, known as Poletna šola slovenskega jezika. Most of us were second generation Slovenians born abroad, or half-breeds like myself (though I prefer the term hybrid). There were some cases of people learning Slovenian because they had a significant other from Slovenia, a couple of people who just happened to like learning Slavic languages.

So anyways, it was 1988 and I was 14 going on 15--the youngest person attending the school. To be honest, in my case it was an excuse to be allowed to go to Europe on my own without having to stay with relatives. A bit sneaky on my part, but I am not sorry I did it. It was an experience like no other. I made friends from all over North America, South America, all over Europe, Australia and even Jordan. I kept in touch with a lot of them as pen-pals. I knew after spending the summer there, that I wanted to live in Ljubljana.

I decided to go back to the school in 1989. There were more students that year, from even more countries. My friend from Jordan has returned that summer as well. As two teenagers, we got on each others nerves. We probably never thought that we would be reunited almost 20 years later, fall in love and end up as husband and wife.

Back in the late 80s:

and Omar and I 20 years later, right after our wedding:

As another sign of good karma, we were reunited with another classmate a couple of days before our wedding. Milena attended the school with us in '88. She just happened to be in Slovenia for the Christmas holidays and took us out to dinner as an early wedding gift. Here's an old pic from back then...My we've aged gracefully:

left to right: Irena Fele (from Brussels), Milena and I (what was I thinking with that hair?!!)

And Milena and I 20 years later:

So much has happened in these 2 decades. I left Montreal in 1996 to follow my dream of living in Ljubljana, found a nice teaching job and side-career as a translator, bought myself a nice flight right next to the Ljubljanica River and ended up staying there for 12 years.

As of July, I am now in Amman, Jordan to be with Omar. Starting a new chapter in my life is not easy, as I surely never thought I would end up here.... but here I am. I hope the next 20 years are as great as the last ones were!


Qabbani said...


welcome back

Betqa said...

Thanks :)

Smoki said...

i was googling my name out of a blue, found a link to my blog trial on some german search engine, clicked on it just for fun and then saw your comment! how weird is that :) i never even visited my blog till today. I had an idea to blog my cooking and post movies of crazy gori(hindi for a 'white girl') cooking indian dishes. ofcourse i would wear sari while cooking :)
hah! so glad i came across your blog.
hope you blog how you're spending time in Jordan. i check again soon ;)

Anonymous said...

Do you still have news from Irena Fele ?
I was in school with her when we were young from 5 years to 12 years

Betqa said...

Noreddine: No... Unfortunately, I haven't heard from Irena since 1990 or 1991... If you manage to get her contacts, let me know...

wenjonggal said...

How amazing that you knew your husband from a school trip 20 years ago! And wonderful you got to meet up with an old friend. Interesting that as teens you and your guy got on eachother's nerves... maybe it takes some friction to produce sparks later! :D