Between Iraq and a Hard Place – Episode 39

Hannah and Colleen talk about the beautiful extravagance of Kurdish hospitality and walk you through what it’s like to go on a visit to a Kurdish or Middle Eastern home. Hospitality is a key cultural value and is both generous and overwhelming in Northern Iraq and sometimes even when we visit our Middle Eastern friends in the U.S.!

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Here’s a rough transcript of the podcast on Hospitality!

Hannah: Welcome to “Between Iraq and a Hard Place.” I’m Hannah.

Colleen: And I’m Colleen.

Hannah: And we’re going to tell you about our life in Iraq.

Colleen: It’s gonna be fun.

Hannah: I hope so!

Colleen: Kurds and Middle Easterners have a reputation for being hospitable. And it is a well-deserved reputation.

Hannah: Oh absolutely for sure.

Colleen: I don’t think I’ve ever met more welcoming people, like sincerely eager to have you in their home, in their space.

Hannah: Yeah, I mean I feel like in America southerners have that reputation of being like very hospitable and welcoming.

Colleen: It doesn’t hold a candle.

Hannah: No. Not even close.

Colleen: When people told me that about the south and then I moved here I was like, I don’t understand what people are talking about.

Hannah: Right. Well because you lived in Kurdistan where it’s a different caliber.

Colleen: Well honestly, I also lived in the northwest. And I feel like people there are just as friendly with the exception of like waving at strangers which is something that the people in the South do.

Hannah: Yes, but this is not a podcast about how awesome the South is because it is awesome.

Colleen: It’s not an awesome feature! It was just awkward.

Hannah: Awesome. Anyway, one of my first days in country. Probably my first day in the country, actually. One of our neighbors came over to say hello to us, which was already kind of weird. And she was like, It’s my son’s birthday you should come over, because it’s his birthday come celebrate with us. And my roommate and I were like, OK sure. And then didn’t go because we thought it was one of those like I’m inviting you but I don’t really want you to show up. And she showed up to our house the next day and was like, Why didn’t you come? Where were you? Are you sick? What’s wrong? And we were both kind of like, Uuhhh, I don’t know how to explain to you that we didn’t think you really meant it. And we had to arrange to come over to her house. Like I think I actually went over there. We were like. Give us 20 minutes. We’ll be right there. And I was just aggressive hospitality I think I don’t know how else to put it.

Colleen: Yeah. I mean there’s definitely a pushy-ness to it that doesn’t just include the invitation.

Hannah: Right.

Colleen: It includes like the entire time that you are there, including not letting you leave.

Hannah: Right. Oh yeah. It’s a fight to be able to leave. It was always, I feel like I don’t have this problem in America of being like, Well I got to go! See ya! And then people like literally grabbing on to me and being like, No, you have to stay.

Colleen: We haven’t done this that or the other thing. We have not eaten dessert. You have drunk enough tea or fed you enough food or: It’s early! And you’re like, Hey it’s 10:30.

Hannah: Right. Which is early for them. Yeah. Again a different neighbor. We would go over to to their house from time to time to visit, you know is the neighborly thing to do. And any time would be like we need to go home like we have work to do we have papers to grade. She would always be like, You don’t need to grade their papers. They don’t care. It’s fine. Stay here. Bring your papers bring your work here and work here and I was like, We’re not going to get anything done if we come over here because your TV is on like eighty five. It’s so loud. But it was always it was also always like nice to feel wanted in that way.

Colleen: Absolutely! Yeah.

Hannah: It’s like I’ve been having a bad day. I need to feel better about myself. I’ll go v isit the neighbor.

Colleen: So maybe we should go back to the beginning of a normal visit.

Hannah: Sure.

Colleen: When you first arrive at your neighbor or student’s family or friend’s family’s home you knock on the door or the gate. Someone comes out to greet you. You do handshaking or kissing cheek cheek and then you get up to the door. Take off your shoes.

Hannah: Yep, everybody takes off their shoes. I learned pretty quickly that if you’re going to go visiting it’s better to have shoes that are easy to take on and off.

Colleen: Slip ons!

Hannah: We’re not sponsored by Chaco’s but it’s why I lived in Chaco’s while I was there because they’re the easy shoes to get on and off.

Colleen: At least in the summer.

Hannah: In the summer for sure. Some houses that I went to you would take your shoes off and they would have slippers there for you, like actual slippers in the winter or like nice kind of like slip on flip flop plastic shoes in the summer. Which sometimes was nice but also sometimes was a little bit like other people’s sweaty feet have been in these. It’s kind of gross. And then once you get in the house, depending on like how often you’ve come to visit, but let’s say it’s a first time visit. They’re going to put you in the formal living room.

Colleen: Yes, the parlor.

Hannah: With very shiny sparkly beautiful untouched furniture sometimes with plastic covers on it. That is deeply uncomfortable to sit on.

Colleen: A chandelier! Yeah, but I mean it’s Western furniture in that sense that it’s up off the floor and there’s a coffee table and tables and lamps and that kind of thing.

Hannah: Really nice carpets usually in there.

Colleen: Beautiful carpet!

Hannah: And it’s really yeah it’s some of the most uncomfortable furniture I’ve ever sat on in my life, but it looks really nice I guess, and so…

Colleen: And it’s not where they hang out.

Hannah: Right. So it’s like this is an honor. We’re going to put you in that fancy room

Colleen: Though one major bonus of that room is that sometimes that room does not have a television.

Hannah: Oh that is true.

Colleen: So it’s quieter.

Hannah: Yes, yes. Because it is very, considered very polite to turn on the TV for your guests if you have one. Not sure if it’s polite or like a status symbol or just like a habit. I’m not sure.

Colleen: I’m not sure I ever associated the turning on of the television to my arrival. Usually, I feel like the television was always just on and sometimes they would change the channel to MTV or like an American pop or rap music for me

Hannah: Right. Something with it with English.

Colleen: Which is worse, right.

Hannah: Sometimes it was really fun to watch the like weird Turkish or Arab soap operas.

Colleen: Soap operas! Those are so weird!

Hannah: They are so entertaining! And it’s like I don’t need English, I understand what’s going on how you make it very clear!

Colleen: Like the Spanish language videos you watch in Spanish class.

Hannah: Yeah but in Arabic! So a lot of times I would ask like, “No no. Turn it back.” And I would always say like I’m trying to learn! Trying to learn Kurdish. I never was I was just more entertained by the overacting.

Colleen: And preferred not being able to understand the swear words.

Hannah: One hundred percent!

Colleen: But they also seem to appreciate that, as well, I feel like. If you can communicate that.

Hannah: Yes. You are always immediately given some kind of food or snack and water.

Colleen: Or orange soda.

Hannah: Orange soda. Yeah. Sometimes you get you get the option do you want water an orange soda.

Hannah: Sometimes it’s just like, Here’s both.

Colleen: Sometimes juice, orange flavor juice.

Hannah: I feel like I got that less often.

Colleen: I had one lady one of my neighbors actually I spoke with and got to know pretty well, and she somewhere along the way had heard that Americans really like orange soda. And so she used to always bring me orange soda and then after we got to know each other better and like we had a conversation about it, s he was like, “I just thought I was told that Americans really love orange soda.” And I was like, “No really. For the most part American kids drink orange soda. I liked it when I was a kid. Most grown ups don’t really drink orange soda.” And she was like, “Oh!” it was just like, “This is just what I’ve always known.” And I’m curious how that, because obviously we lived in very different regions and it was consistent across both of those regions. I’m really curious how that got started.

Hannah: I will say I prefer orange soda in Kurdistan to any orange soda I’ve had in the US. And I’m not sure if that’s like I have warm feelings associated with the like orange soda equals hospitality or if it’s just better in some way.

Colleen: I’m trying to think and don’t think I’ve actually drunk any orange soda since living in Kurdistan.

Hannah: Somebody had some at their house and I tried some and I was like, “This is not good.” But, yeah it’s weird that way.

Colleen: Now if you manage to show up at a mealtime or are invited for a meal or maybe it’s not meal time but they happen to be cooking so they’re going to give you a meal regardless. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is; there aren’t the standards for when meals are exactly the same way in the US where you roughly know this is always dinner time.

Hannah: Yeah, we made the mistake of being like, if we show up at like 3 or 4, it’s not meal time for them. Three or four is like siesta time, though. And so at least in Erbil it was like we’re all taking naps. We learned pretty quickly. That’s a bad time to show up. Yeah.

Colleen: Because I feel like for most the families I knew in Suly, three or four was meal time because that was when everyone got home from school. Everyone ate then. And then also again at like 9:00 at night.

Hannah: Maybe I just had like old older people as my neighbors who was take naps at that time.

Colleen: Yeah. If you go for a meal, then it’s a much bigger production depending on the family that you’re visiting. And again some of the formality of that you could also be taken to a formal dining room with like a table and chairs usually plastic. Not always. I think I knew one family with wooden table and chairs and then be served the meal there at the table but much more commonly I feel like was the more family style meal in the other room.

Hannah: Right. The like actual living room.

Colleen: Yeah. The room that is lived in.

Hannah: Yeah. And that room has dosheks which are just like really thin foam mattresses that are covered in fabric on the floor. And everybody just sits on the floor and they put…

Colleen: … pillows almost.

Hannah: Yeah but big like they’re long…

Colleen: … like mattresses pillows.

Hannah: Right. And they put like plastic picnic tablecloths over the rugs, the carpet, and then they put all the food on that and someone sits near the middle and serves food on two plates and they get passed to you.

Colleen: The goal for all of those dishes and plates is that there need to be a lot of plates and they need to be overflowingly full each. Each one has to be like packed to its fullest amount. And so if it makes it very difficult to serve, especially like the giant pile of rice you have like trying to scoop without like knocking the whole pile off onto the tabletop.

Hannah: Which inevitably happens.

Colleen: No matter who’s serving it.

Hannah: So there are dozens and dozens of tiny little dishes and bigger ones and everything is just heaping with whatever it is they’re serving you that day.

Hannah: And you are expected to eat as much as you can possibly pack in.

Colleen: More! More than you can possibly pack in.

Hannah: True. And they will keep refilling your plate and refilling your plate. And like if you slow down they’ll be like, What? Don’t you like it? Isn’t it good?

Colleen: Why aren’t you eating!

Hannah: Eat eat eat eat! Bokho! Bokho! And there’s there’s just a lot of peer pressure to eat as much like eat more until you feel like you’re going to die.

Colleen: The one way that I felt like I could kind of tell people I was done and wasn’t going to eat more. It only works sometimes was to tell people I was on a diet because that was something that is like understood there. In my head I was on a diet of I would like to not eat until I explode.

Hannah: I got I got a super dramatic about it and be like, Oh I’m so full like, oh I’m going to die if you feed me anymore. And like I feel like if I could make them laugh or be like OK OK OK. I feel like that’s cultural too like you have to be like heavily insistent that like, I do not want any more!

Colleen: Like I loved it. I have eaten so much because I loved it so much that I can’t fit anymore in. And yeah. But you definitely have to whatever your your path is you have to like really emphasize that.

Hannah: Yeah, or be like Where am I going to put it? In my pockets? I pulled that one on somebody once like, here and give it to me I’ll shove it in my pocket. Is this what you want? So yes, humor sometimes works, too.

Colleen: Hi there! While you’re here, obviously learning about Iraq you should head over to our website,, to learn a little bit more. We definitely recommend the blog post: “Iraq is Dangerous, Go Anyway”. It could, you know lead you to move halfway around the world.

Hannah: But that meal is also not the end of the visit by any means.

Colleen: No you can’t just eat and run.

Hannah: Well, and a meal is not complete unless you have tea. A meal without tea is not meal, it’s a snack. Even then sometimes it’s still a snack.

Colleen: You also have to include bread. Bread also is required for a meal.

Hannah: Which is weird because like pizza is not considered a meal. But it’s bread!

Colleen: Pizza is not bread.

Hannah: But it is!

Colleen: But it’s not. It’s not naan.

Hannah: I guess, I guess that’s true. And so tea is a really big, big deal. There’s tea everywhere all the time. It’s like a digestive like element to a meal it’s like oh you have eaten. Now you must have tea so you can digest well.

Hannah: So they’ll clean up all of the plates and dishes and everything and like wipe down the the tablecloth and fold it up as they go in and then bring out the tea. And usually like the oldest woman will sit there and like the younger women will bring her all the tea things and she is given both a pot of like super super strong tea and a pot of boiling hot water. And she’ll sit there and she’ll pour hot water, the boiling water over all the tea cups like it’s like sterilize everything and like sticks her hand and like I don’t know how their hands survive all this boiling water.

Hannah: They are used to it!

Colleen: And then hot water and tea go in the glass. First tea and then the hot water until it’s the right color. And lots and lots of sugar.

Hannah: Yeah. And I saw a couple of people who had sugar cubes but for the most part it was loose sugar.

Colleen: I feel like the sugar cubes are more common in the bazaar and places like that but like sometimes the older men and maybe it’s something older people do but they’ll like dip their sugar cube into the tea in the little saucer and then suck the tea out of the sugar cube and continue to do it that way.

Hannah: I think I was also told that some people have sugar cubes and hold them between their teeth and drink the tea. So it goes through the sugar cube. But they didn’t really like put them in the tea and mix them around.

Colleen: Now if you were going to put your sugar in the tea they use regular granulated sugar.

Hannah: And that the tea is served in these little glasses.

Colleen: … called piala, in my area.

Hannah: Istikan, I think is what they call them in Dohuk. And so they’re like tiny little glass faces there’s no handle.

Colleen: People call them tulip glasses.

Hannah: Oh yeah that makes sense and they’re served on a little glass saucer.

Colleen: Sometimes ceramic but usually glass.

Hannah: And you can’t like grab them because it’s got boiling hot tea in it.

Colleen: And they fill it all the way to the edge like with the the water tension kind of holding a bubble of tea over the edge of the surface like they know exactly how much to pour it in ther.

Colleen: Right. It’s almost dangerous. So there are a couple strategies for tea drinking some people pick it up by the dish and like lift it up and sip out of it. That always seemed very precarious to me.

Colleen: It’s a little sensitive.

Hannah: And I think that might be very kind of the old school way. And also like highly skilled tea drinkers.

Colleen: Yeah, I mean I definitely did that.

Hannah: Yeah. Some people take their tea they’re very full tea cups and tip them into the saucers like a little bit.

Colleen: You have to touch them first though!

Hannah: Yeah. But they’re just like enough to get it to splash over. And so then they can pick them up by like you pick it up by like the top top rim of it. With like two fingers so the least surface area possible is touching the boiling hot glass.

Colleen: And if you’ve spilled a little bit like that top edge you will cool off a little bit because it’s no longer touching. And so then you can drink the tea.

Hannah: And I always feel like people slurped it like that. That thing again because it was really hot. And because I was always afraid I was gonna spill it and like burn like on my face off.

Colleen: Yeah, I feel like I got pretty used to just picking it up by the edges and sipping it and like just maybe losing all feeling in those two fingers and just dealing with the pain. I know some people talked about people pouring it into the saucer to then drink it. I don’t think anyone I ever met did that.

Hannah: I feel like that’s an Arab thing. And I feel like Kurds would make fun of you if you did it. Like it’s not very refined, maybe by their standards. You can almost never get tea without some kind of sugar in it. I learned really quickly that like, in order to control the amount of sugar you’re actually drinking, you stir it limited amounts…

Colleen: or not at all!

Hannah: … not at all.

Colleen: That was kind of my method. Don’t stir. Because you also in this cup like all of the sugars at the bottom. Sometimes it’s like half an inch to an inch deep of sugar at the bottom. And you’re served with this really short usually gold color, sometimes silver spoon that’s just for tea and like a little tinkling sounds like as everybody stirs are like supposedly really happy.

Hannah: And yeah it’s like very musical.

Colleen: There’s all sorts of like weird superstitions about like if you get two spoons in your tea by accident like that’s the number of spouses you’ll have. Or how sweet your tea is: like if a girl likes the guy she’ll make his tea extra sweet when she visits or when he visits her family or like I sorts of things like that.

Hannah: I only ever heard that Kurds stir the tea one way and Arabs stir the tea the opposite direction. I don’t know if that’s true or it was funny and that like really expert tea drinkers can like swirl their spoon without any tinkling of the glass so that’s how you can tell how good someone is at tea.

Colleen: Yeah. It’s not just a drink. Like it’s a cultural practice and an art form. \

Hannah: I don’t like tea. So for a really long time I struggled with that because it’s like, if you say oh I don’t really care for tea. People are like Why?

Colleen: What’s wrong with you? Yeah there is something wrong with you if you don’t like tea.

Hannah: And so I learned the only kind of tea that I like is really really hot really really sweet Kurdish tea served to me in a little glass. Like because again because I associated it with that hospitality and that like community feeling of here we all are sipping our tea. I do like it and it is about the only kind of tea I like. They don’t put milk or anything in it it’s just it’s like black tea with cardamom in it.

Colleen: Yeah I love tea with cardamom in it now. It’s not some it’s not a way I ever drank tea in the US, but now I do. I buy it from the Kurdish markets with cardamom in it!

Hannah: And sometimes because I didn’t think that I liked tea and initially I would get offered coffee and that was a mistake.

Colleen: Yeah there are really only two ways you get coffee.

Hannah: Tea drinking cultures are not the places to ask for coffee.

Colleen: Yeah, you either get Turkish coffee which is like strong and like half grounds.

Hannah: Gritty. It’s very gritty.

Colleen: And for them I’ve had some Turkish coffee that was good just never in a Kurdish Iraqi home.

Hannah: It also has that cardamom kind of flavor to it.

Colleen: Or you get like Nescafe, like a three in one packet or you in just a like a black or I don’t know…

Hannah: …black instant coffee.

Colleen: Instant coffee.

Hannah: Which they want to be the same color as tea sometimes and so they’ll make it very very weak. Again I learned to like the three in one which is coffee non-dairy creamer and sugar all in one little like packet.

Colleen: I never did.

Hannah: I had actually an American friend that quite liked it and so I associate some associated with her and so I enjoy it because of the memories but it’s not something I would ever buy in the US. So yeah. Tea is the way to go, for sure.

Colleen: Oh yeah. It’s so good.

Hannah: And when you drink tea like if you’re just going to someone’s house to visit you will also get served tea and water and usually some form of little snacks like little kulecha cookies which are like date and walnut filled. It’s almost like a pie pastry in different shapes. They also have…

Colleen: a little bowl of nuts and seeds.

Hannah: Pumpkin seeds and pistachios and cashews all kind of mixed together, sunflower seeds. Sometimes I’ll just give you like sunflower seeds in the shell still. They’re supposed to be able to like crunch off the shell and eat the seed inside and spit the shell out I never ate those because I was like, I don’t know how to do this. I’m going to end up with like shell all down in front of me and I am not skilled in this.

Colleen: It takes some practice.

Hannah: Because you can’t you can’t spit the shell out like into a bowl you have to like kind of spit it in your hand.

Colleen: You don’t actually put the whole shell in your mouth.

Hannah: Okay. See! What do I know?

Colleen: You just have to crack it on the edges and then it will split open in half and you can dump a little inside into your mouth and hold onto the shell which is not spitty.

Hannah: Apparently I always did it wrong which is why I stopped doing it. You also will almost always get fruit. And someone told me before I went to Kurdistan that when the fruit comes out it’s a signal that it’s time for you to go home. I asked once I like got to know Kurdish people fairly well like. So is this a real thing? The like, Well you brought out fruit and you want me to leave? And consistently all of them were like, No! We would never do anything to like signal to people that it’s time for them to get out of the house. Like that is unfathomable to them to be like signaling that people should leave.

Colleen: Yeah I think the way that it does work is that often you cannot leave until the fruit has been served. And so you have to intimate and say and usually you like plan this like an hour before you absolutely really need to go and you start saying, well it looks like it’s about time for me to go. I need to go now and then they’ll be like, No no no no no, wait, wait. We haven’t had fruit yet. And so then they’ll like go get the fruit and bring the fruit out and then you need to sit there and chat while everybody slowly and meanderingly eats a piece of fruit or two which after you’ve had all this food is just so much food. It’s like, now you have given me an entire apple. But in some ways, though, that was one of my favorite parts one once I got to it and took took the apple and like learned to like cut it up in fun ways. Because you also get a little knife, a little plate, and so you can either peel your orange like or or cut your apple fancy. I used to cut it with like weird little zigzags and make it so you could see a star in the middle because you got to eat it slowly because you can’t fit anything in you at that point.

Hannah: Yeah yeah. I was never quite sure what to do with bananas. I felt like those were weird fruit. I think mostly as I saw other people eat them as they would cut them in half and peel them and like cut slices off and eat the slices. Which just felt weird to me like too much work. But I guess if you’re trying to like drag out the time, like make space in your tummy for more, that makes sense.

Colleen: It makes sense to eat it slowly.

Hannah: Yeah, fruit was always awkward to me. I don’t know why. Probably because the knives, I was always frustrated by the tiny knives.

Colleen: Tiny dull knives.

Hannah: But then saying goodbye is its own special production of you have to like stand up and start walking towards the door or you can’t ever get out of there. If you keep saying oh I have to go and you don’t actually like begin to leave. They won’t let you go.

Colleen: They’re never going to be like, Well thanks for coming. It was great to have you here like no they’re never going to end the conversation they’re never going to give you the it’s time for it to be done.

Hannah: And so yeah you just have to make it happen, because the conversation will follow you as you leave to put on your shoes.

Colleen: Through the shoes and out the door all the way to the gate, which…

Hannah: But before you can do that you have to say goodbye to everyone who’s there.

Colleen: Oh absolutely. So even people who’ve like wandered off to other rooms like they have to go get them and bring them out. So you can say goodbye to them.

Hannah: And shake hands, kiss kiss, all the 20 minutes of like, H ave a wonderful day. I hope your family is well. We’re so glad you came. God be with you. God go with you. May God be with you. God be with you.

Colleen: And you and you and you. But I will say that whole process of like following people like all the way out the door. I didn’t realize how you used to that I had become and how weird that is in America. Until I moved back here. And how. Like I follow people out onto our front yard and they’re all like, Do you do you need something else for me? And I’m like, No, no I’m just saying good bye or like leaving somebodies house and having them just shut the door behind you. It feels so abrupt. So little so strange, like now I’m on my own. You know you didn’t walk me to the street, wave at me as the car wash went away.

Hannah: Yeah. Oh. When we would visit our neighbors our neighbor lady would walk us back to our gate and we’d be like, Ok thanks, I gotta like, I gotta close the door and push you out. Like this visit didn’t also come to my house now.

Colleen: I love love that though.

Hannah: It is. It’s wonderful like again it makes it feel like it’s really, you really want me to be around. It’s not inconveniencing you.

Colleen: You never feel like you’re being kicked out of a space or like you’re unwanted. Like you know that if something were going on and you needed to like stay all night there you could. In fact there are more than one family it was like, Oh it’s too late for you to go home now you should just stay. And I’m like I can’t! Please stay the night. Like if I stay the night I know we’re going to stay up all night talking and you will not let me leave in the morning.

Hannah: And for me if I was at somebody’s house late, like if I was visiting a student or something and ended up being at their house really late. I didn’t ever have a car. And so it was not okay for me to take a taxi that late by myself. And so they would always rouse out like an older brother or you know the older uncle and be like, Well, we’ll take you home. Yeah. And like the student would come with me so that I’m not like alone in this car with this strange man that I don’t know. But it was never like they always want to make sure that you get home safely. I don’t think I ever got offered to like stay the night at someone’s house but I almost always got offered a ride home even if they had to like call up a lot of times it was like the security guy. You know call him up and be like take her home. It’s fine. Yeah. And even then they would walk me to my gate and make sure that I got in my gate and got in my house and the whole thing. Yeah. So if you ever get the chance to hang out with a Middle Eastern family, a Kurdish family they invite you over for dinner or to visit. Know that it’s probably going to take several hours. They are not gonna want you to leave. But also that it will probably be some of the most wonderful hospitality you’ve ever experienced. Go hungry. For sure.

Colleen: Yeah. I feel like I have the same kind of experiences here in the US with all of my Middle Eastern friends that I visit here, whether they’re Kurdish or Arab or Somali or really from any of the countries that you know we have English students and like the hospitality they offer is extraordinary.

Hannah: And is an important value in their culture. And one of the things that I think we’ve both tried to bring into our own home here in the U.S. is you know you don’t want to make people feel like they’re not welcome. Something I think Americans in general lose out on. To some extent yeah.

Colleen: And I think even our pattern in the US tends to be let’s go meet somewhere for coffee. Not. Why don’t you come to my home?

Hannah: Right.

Colleen: And so I actually often, people won’t take me up on it, but almost always if I’m gonna have a meeting with someone I will give the option of I can meet you at a coffee shop that I know of a couple different places or if you’d like, come to my house. And sometimes people will take me up on it and people will remark like, wow like you didn’t know me and you invited me to your house and I’m like, Of course!

Hannah: You’re always welcome. Speaking of which we got to go get our house clean because we’re having a bunch of Kurdish women over.

Colleen: Yeah, cleaning is also important and that’s something I think we will address in the future episode.

Hannah: There are many many levels to that. Holy moly and we’ve got to meet them all. Oh cheek pinching. We didn’t talk about that. You get your cheeks pinched when you go to visit people. I’ve had my collarbone pinched.

Colleen: I mean that must be a Dohuki thing. I never got pinched. Babies got pinched. I never got pinched.

Hannah: Maybe I just have really chubby cheeks!

Colleen: Adorable pinchable cheeks!

Hannah: Maybe!

Colleen: We’d love to hear from you. You can find us Servant Group International on Facebook or Instagram and you should check out our blog and complete transcripts over at

Hannah: And it’s really helpful for us if you share our podcast or leave a review on whatever platform you listen to this podcast on. It helps us know that people are listening and you can let us know what you want to hear next.

Both!: Thanks for listening.

Hannah: Ummm….

Colleen: What’s wrong with you?