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About Me
George Mason University / Wesley College
I work in the local elementary school system with early childhood grades/language immersion during the school year and do a semester here and there at a local ESL / Adults school if I'm around in the Summer.
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Hey, I’m Mary!

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I'm a simple girl, who enjoys a high quality, low quantity lifestyle. I adore a good conversation with with friends - old and new. I've traveled quite a bit and lived abroad, and am subsequently tri-lingual, adding French and Spanish to English as languages I can communicate in. I can also choke out some Hongul Mal (Korean) and Turkish if forced. :)

I know how lucky I am to call Washington DC home - I love our beautiful parks with all of their wildlife, the Potomac River, and the trees. Actually, they don't call us "Tree City" for nothing - there are beautiful trees EVERYWHERE in DC. Another fav thing in my city is the free access to the Smithsonian art museums, the national zoo and our many local arts and culture events - especially in Summer. Contrary to popular belief, this is a great city to enjoy on a budget - don't worry, your hostess with the mostess will help!

My own latest adventure was two and a half months traveling in Central America for summer vacation. Everyone I traveled with, I met on (website hidden) - it was fantastic! UPDATE: Now my latest adventure was a month in Istanbul, Turkey with a week's hop over to Germany. Don't even get me started on Istanbul - we can go into that over a glass of Malbec!

As for my favorite travel destinations, I'll mention a few here. I love Spain, Andalucia in general and Sevilla and Malaga specifically. Paris is my second home, my friends are there and for several years I would spend many months a year with them. One of my most unforgettable trips was West Africa, staying with friends in Senegal and Mali. I'm fairly desperate to get back there! In Italy, I adore Roma but Firenze/Chianti has my heart! I also spent a year living in South Korea - I absolutely love the energy of Seoul and the fashionable South Koreans. Japan was a whirlwind - so many streetcorners in the major cities resemble time square (or maybe we resemble them?)! To bring it all down, I love heading to my friend's place on the French Carribean island of St. Martin - paradise! Some of the other places I've spent time in: UK, Holland, Germany, Guam, Bahamas, Turkey, Portugal and their Islands, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. For me, new experiences are everything! :)

As far as books, I go through phases, reading several on the same region or subject until I've had my fill then I move on to something new - my last bunch of books were middle east mostly truth-based fiction and, as I said, right now it's all Turkey, Turkey, Turkey. I'm generally a non-fiction reader with rare exceptions for historical/truth-based fiction. I don't have a television but no worries - I have wifi for you :). UPDATE: I'm now going through Oriana Fallaci's books like water - was there ever a more curious, intelligent and honest journalist?!

Two very amazing free things not to miss in DC are Friday and Sunday evening concerts at the National Gallery of Art and the FREE shows at the Kennedy Center Millenium stage 365 days out of the year. ...So a couple more are: Friday evening Jazz in the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden, outdoor film screenings EVERYWHERE around the city, weekly festivals and weekend events on the National Mall...Oh, I could go on!!

If I had a life motto it might be one of these or one of many others:

In strong winds, bamboo bends but never breaks
Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat