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One of the joys of being in a foreign country – discovering all those new birds, that you don’t have in your home country (of course other animals are exciting as well, but birds are much more commonly seen than any other species, except perhaps for insects), being surrounded by unrecognized bird songs feels positively exotic to me. Also the fact that San Diego has hummingbirds (!!) who sometimes come to our garden (we have rented a villa for our family), and that is way beyond exotic for me.

My room has a gigantic window, floor to ceiling, right beside my bed, outside is a tiny stretch of garden, and a small tree with purple flowers right across from me. I sit in my bed, delighting in the grey coolness of the sky outside, and look at the birds and insects (bees, and giant metallic beetles) that find their way into my small piece of sky.

I am on vacation, but have to write two and a half papers during said vacation, so while my family goes out to shop and have fun, I have to stay in the villa and study. Looking out into the garden, seeing all this life going on around me, all these animals I haven’t seen before, soothes my soul a little bit.

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Yesterday we went to San Diego zoo, one of the largest zoos in the world, and one of the zoos most active in preservation and breeding programs. We went with two small children (my nephew, who is one year old, and my five year old niece), so we sped by most of the exhibits, and I didn’t get to just stand and stare at anything to my heart’s content. But I did get something of the gist of the place, and I looked at the keepers, with the geeky khaki shorts they need to wear, and thought how lovely, if I could go back to this zoo someday as a veterinarian.

I find it hard to get into a habit of writing, especially with so many things happening around, but I know I’ll be glad later for documenting some of it, some day in the future, when I shall want to wallow in the memories. Perhaps I’ll write the next post about my library escapades in New York last week.

What I HAVE been good about was updating my instagram! So if you want to check up on me, look me up – www.instagram.com/leorejoanne

And now, my mom and sisters are going to Anthropologie and other exciting shops we simply don’t have in Israel, and I need to go back to reading and writing about the gothic in children’s literature, and the poetics of Charles Dickens in Bleak House. And when I finish both of those (next week), I can start comparing the presentation of hybrids (centaurs/fauns/mermaids etc.) in classical writings (ancient Greece), and in contemporary fiction (Narnia, The Magicians, Harry Potter, etc.). Only thing I can say is – at least I have really interesting subjects.

Have a magical day,

Leore Joanne Green

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