Great Books for Social Workers

I recently wrote this blog post about great movies for social workers.  Now that I have access to more libraries, I’m working on the book version.  I am only just getting started with this list, so any recommendations of what to read next would be appreciated!

When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi

The author of this book, a former neurosurgeon, describes the shock of being diagnosed with terminal cancer.  He wrote the book in the last year of his life, reflecting on his career and how the diagnosis changed his values and reason for living. This book is not for the faint of heart – Kalanithi spares no details, either of the surgeries he performed, or of what cancer did to him.  However, he writes very little about his family or the emotional side of things, so I found it less sad than I thought it would be.  I learned about this book because the author was married to the sister of a blogger I like, so you can read more about his wife’s experience at

Evicted, by Matthew Desmond

This book is about poor renters in Milwaukee, and how their lives are affected by their landlords.  The author is a sociologist who spent about a year living in Milwaukee and following several families.  He describes their hopeless situations and how the families fall into deeper poverty with each eviction, which seem to come right after another.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave

This is a fictional account of the lives of several Londoners during World War II.  Cleave does an excellent job of describing trauma and loss; his descriptions of the psychological aspect of living through constant bombing made me feel like the characters were real.  I almost cried several times during the story!

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’m still working on the list.  Any suggestions?!

The Future of this Blog

I’ve been keeping this blog for about three years now, though with some major gaps between posts.  I’ve been thinking about what I want it to be and how long I’ll continue it for.  I’d really like to be able to be more consistent in the coming months and years for several reasons.
When I was trying to decide what to do my masters in, which programs to chose, and which specialization was right for me, I found it very helpful to read other peoples’ blogs.  It gave me an unbiased view of what social work careers are like.
I hope that what I write about my experiences can be useful to others in the same way that reading blogs has been useful to me.  For example, I want people who will never visit Morocco to be able to learn a little bit about what it’s like to live here.  In the future, I hope that what I write about my masters can be relevant to those who are considering social work, who already are social workers, or who just want to learn something new.
And finally, I love writing posts and getting comments.  I enjoy reading what others have to say about each topic, and I like putting my thoughts into short posts.
For the moment, I intend to post at least once a week.  I’ll post on life in Morocco, and then on the process of moving to the U.S.  I hope you enjoy reading, and I’d love to hear what you think!

I ❤ my readers!

Liebster Award

I was recently nominated for the Liebster award, which is for up-and-coming blogs.  Hopefully it is a sign of great blogging-related things to come!


Here are my answers to the interview questions given by my nominator, belsbor, who is both a farmer and an aspiring blogger.  Belsbor blogs at  Thanks for the nomination!

(Instructions for my nominees are below.)

1. What does blogging do for you?

It gives me a chance to reflect on life as an expat (and life in general) and to share my thoughts with others.  It also gives me the perfect way to express myself; I’m very quiet, so I prefer writing to talking!

2. What blogger(s) feed your soul? How-or-Why?

Fellow expat bloggers who are going through similar successes and failures.  And food blogs…maybe that feeds my stomach, though.

3. What is your favorite subject (category) to blog about?

Expat life.  There’s always something interesting to report on!  Expat related topics can range from where to buy foreign products to the meaning of life.

4. What post of yours means the most to you? How-or-Why?

MKs and Committed Knitters (  I think it brings together the seemingly different but actually very similar worlds of knitters and missionaries.  Also, I really enjoyed modeling my mom’s sweaters.

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Sweaters AND mittens.

5. What about you will be most instrumental in God’s eternal plan for you, whatever that may be?

Maybe my ability to observe.  My favorite thing about blogging is that I can watch what is going on around me, think about it and form an opinion, turn it into something with my own twist in a blog post, and then share it with the world.  So I’d like to think that the plan is that I’ll become a famous expat blogger.  I wonder if I’d even get to quit my day job….

6. What are you most passionate about in ministry and/or life in general?

Right now, pomegranates.  Really, they’re a metaphor for everything: hard to choose the right one from the outside, takes a long time to free all of the seeds without getting any of the bad stuff, finally delicious.  And of course, writing, traveling, reading, cooking, and learning languages.

7. If your writing were discovered a hundred years from now, what would people learn about you, today’s world, and your interests?

Hopefully, they’d discover that Morocco has developed a lot, Arab-American relations have improved, and that Eleanor Dorothy became fluent in French at a young age while establishing herself in the world of expat blogging.

8. Talk about meeting your favorite Bible character (not Jesus).

I’d like to ask Abraham how he felt when thought he was going to have to kill his son.

9. Describe your writing process for something that moves you deeply.

Usually I’ll think about my next entry for a few days, and then start typing it at night, with a cup of tea.  I generally have several drafts before I am ready to publish.

10. Describe your perfect day out — with who, what, where, why — etc.

It depends on where I am!  In Morocco, I love walking around the market in Rabat, because there are so many different vendors and so much to look at.  In Chicago, I love biking down the lakefront path and stopping for lunch  or at a museum downtown.

I try not to get lost on days out.

I try not to get lost on days out.

Here are my nominees for the award. They will use the following instructions and answer the questions below.


The Lonely Ghost Light:

Longhorns and Camels:

Beatrice Onyango:

  • Accept the award by posting the logo on your site, thanking and linking back to your nominator.
  • Answer the set of questions asked of you by your nominator.
  • Select (nominate) 3-6 blogs you wish to recognize (with 200 WordPress followers or less), notifying them by commenting on their site.
  • Interview your nominees with a set of 10 questions.

1. What does blogging do for you?

2. What blogger(s) feed your soul? Why?

3. What is your favorite subject (category) to blog about?

4. What post of yours means the most to you? Why?

5. Why did you first start your blog and why?

6. What do you hope your blog will someday become?  Who do you want to reach?

7. What are you most passionate about?

8. If your writing were discovered a hundred years from now, what would people learn about you, today’s world, and your interests?

9. Who do you most want to read your blog?  Your mom?  The president?

10. Describe your writing process.


Stay tuned for my next blog post – it involves Christmas and cake!