Up for the challenge!
I spent 7 years teaching abroad in the same country, city, and school. My blog begins before the move and documents the preparation, introduction to a new city, the ups and downs of my experiences, and the (coming soon) end of my time here. Admittedly, posts decline as the years pass but I will continue to update until I complete my resignation process. When I return home, I will begin a new blog to document repatriation and all that comes with it!
So this man is going on and on about how nice his flight was. "That was the best flight ever". He was so relaxed and happy. Even today he is STILL talking about it. I know I prayed for favor for him but if he doesnt stop talking about his seating arrangements I may just STRANGLE HIM! lol
Turns out,he was 'plucked' out of line for an upgrade.No questions asked,just a gift. . .Merry Christmas!
This is where he sat/LAYED for the duration of his trip:
For a split second I wanted to knock his bobbling head off his neck! All I wanted to know is, "why, if you are Lulus, cant I return this item to your store if I got it from another Lulus in the same city? Down the street even???"
I quickly contained myself and didnt want to get mad over a simple matter even though it was THE DUMBEST THING EVERRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
a cashier explained that they have different inventory so they could only take things from their store. Fine if thats your policy and you cant do anything more than that really. Why the manager couldnt say that is beyond me and I told him that as well before I left the store.
The old me would have been HOT mad!
Oh Walmart and Target, where art thou? lol
not really, ha ha ha
I realize that I have holes in my entries. Things happen and then something else comes along and I forget what I was going to write about.
Take the wedding, for instance. THAT is something that shouldve been written about soon after it happened as it was a major event.
First let me say that I was stressed about it because I didnt know what to wear and I didnt want to stand out as an outsider at all. I went to store after store looking for a dress that I liked and would/could wear again. Never would I have thought Id be wearing a red dress-to a wedding or any other event.
Turns out the dress was a success in that department. Everyone I know liked it.
When we first arrived, we walked into a HUGE room with many round tables set up for seating and you sit where you wanted to. There were maybe 50 tables to seat about 8 each in the room.There are two perfume girls holding incense and you can waft it in your direction before taking your seat. We were beckoned over by one of the …
I woke up this morning to a message from NBAD. Who says we are lowly servants they could care less about? We got paid early because of the Christmas holiday which means it HAD to be acknowledged and a respected part of our culture for someone to give the go ahead.
And while most of my comments are either positive or neutral, I do realize that some have issues. I do think that the KG teaching life is a lot easier on the brain (and body) and allows me to stay in a (mostly) happy place.
Me and my happy place will be preparing for Mr. D to come over Saturday. We are going to spend a few days in Dubai to see the sights. The mall, of course. Also the Global Village. IDK what else but Ill see when we get there. Prior to that, we will spend Christmas day seeing the 11 million dollar Christmas tree, going to the corniche ride bikes. Maybe have lunch at Yafoolis, and a dinner date somewhere if hes up for it. I know when I came in, I didnt have much jet lag to speak of. Sleeping the entire fligh…
I realize that I posted 4 times the other day and wondered if that was any indication of the quality of my life. But none of them were ramblings, imho,so that makes it good,right?
yesterday I thought id catch up on my sleep only to be called (literally) to come to Yafooli's. We sat and talked and ended up riding to the marina and also going to the veggie souk, which I found out is best to go to at 11pm or later. Its when the shipments come in and you get the best fruit or veggies.
They probably thought I was a servant girl walking behind this tall,lanky Emirate man through the souk. In actuality, he was my tour guide and also bought my fruit and veggies for me as Id left my wallet. Hed told me the previous day about how its not an issue to pay for someone elses food or other items if they dont have money. Its not thought of again and they do it for one another without a second thought. Go ahead and say it, "but theyre rich,blah blah blah". I know plenty of people at home…
1.The word 'pig' is not a dirty word. Muslims dont freak out at the mention of it or sight of it. Maybe its just me but thats the impression I had. In fact, they giggle at us for being so self conscious about it.
2.The climate here is changing and probably has much to do with the demographics (which you can look up). Many of the things we were afraid about dont get a second look. And for you lefties-noone is paying attention to what hand you eat with in public. At someones house, you could simply let them know you are left-handed if you feel uptight about it.
3.Muslims respect your culture if you respect theirs. Ive heard quite a few of them talk about Christmas, whether it be to wish someone else a Merry Christmas or in simple conversation. I even got a Christmas gift from a colleague as a way of saying she recognizes our differences and respects them. Its a nice Christmas bow with a bell and its hanging on my door knob.
Pretty much the first thought I had today before opening my eyes. I tried to stay awake to talk to my friend who got stuck in Dubai because of airport closures, then boarded her plane to London for a connection only to turn around mid flight to return bc the airport closed. I secretly wanted her to stay but glad that she finally got a flight to Texas and then home, to Canada.
My other friend is stuck in London til Wednesday and longing for the Bahamas. I SO hope she makes it. One of our friends here is going to try his HARDEST to make it to her-even if he has to fly to France and take the train-which is what they told him he may be able to do when he called. Those are some of the people you meet here. And weve only been here for two months!
Guys, if you are reading this-Im very happy to have met each and every one of you ;P.
So this morning my phone goes off and I know its early. So early that I was still in a very good sleep. Upon checking my phone I see that its a message from enj…
at Yafooli's. Almost every time I go it turns into an all night affair where I am invited to eat and/or drink something. I meet someone new, talk about the culture here or where I am from among other things. We laugh,joke, and talk. My old friend with Alzhiemers usually shows up and gives us more laughs. I dont know half of what he says but hes like an old grandfather. Sometimes he remembers me. At other times he does not. Either way, its cool and I enjoy the company of everyone I meet there.
Sometimes I wonder what preconceived notions people come here with, and if those notions are the reason why they dont like it or only have negative things to say. I skimmed a post that was almost painful to read and wondered what Utopia this person moved from and why they left it.
May I reiterate that no place is perfect.
And may I also say (if I havent already), that to compare service workers here to slave…
There are four of us. Two have gone home for the break. One is in Al Ain and Im in AD. It feels like today will be a long one. I see why people would hate it here if they didnt have any friends to do things with and if they have gotten tired of going to the mall and thats not hard to do.
Im sure Ill talk to the guys here at some point. . .maybe. R,F,A. One of them at least. I hope that we can get together for NYE. Theres a masquerade party that is sure to be fun and I havent had a good NYE since my sister yelled through the streets "OOOBAMAAAAAAA-BIIIIDEEEEEEEEENNN"
rotfl. Yes,girl. I went there. If if you never respond to this then I know you arent reading!!!
anywho. The house is almost in order. Ive only been in the apartment a month and it is a process. I STILL have to get curtains put up in the LR and I need a couple more shelves for things. This is why I havent posted an update on the place. Today I finally emptied the suitcases fully and placed t…
Yes, the title is a little misleading but I usually go with the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, in some instances, the exact opposite is true.
School is out. Today I was able to sleep in, for what good its worth. Today I will be cleaning my house. No husband to help. No maid either. I made the mess, after all, and I keep telling myself. "you dont need to buy more spoons! You just need to wash dishes more often!!!"
Ill get it at some point.
So here is a small list of things I got from Madinet Zayed. A large shopping mart of sorts that holds many clothing shops-mostly abayas,purse stations, makeup stations, smoke shops,food court,clothing department store,a furniture store,a gold souk, health stores (herb and gnc),fabric stores,etc. Im sure Im missing something.
the coop is also there. A lovely alternative to Lulus for some things. They tend to be cheaper on some things but not nearly as large. Here is my receipt:
high fiber bread 5.75
ketchup heinz 11.40
1. I came home, ate a 'snack', and went to sleep to wake around 6. I HAVE A WEDDING TO PREPARE FOR!! We were told to get there around 930. Yes, I have to be at school tomorrow at 730. It will be an INTERESTING day. Oh, and night, of course! This happened much sooner than I expected.
2.Around 90 new teachers are coming. Im pleased that the group is small. I suspect that they will be ok definitely. Our group was half that size and both groups are but a small portion of the massive summer groups. I hope this is a trend that sticks and their experience and transition will, undoubtedly, be much smoother. Congrats to those coming. When packing, leave expectations at home. They are heavy and will bog you down!!
3.hmmm. What was three?shoooot!!!!!!! I dont know BUT I sent for my husbands visa yesterday and it has been marked URGENT. Im happy for the break we had. Missing each other is sometimes a good thing. When he comes, I will be a tour guide-a great one I hope. . .There is still l…
Today was interesting. Possibly even all week. The kids are still on vaca in their minds as the previous week was a free week where they did activities till 10 and then had free day till noon.
We release at 1210.
After that, there was a long weekend. So when we leave the room or make a transition, they all go to get their bags because they think its time to go home. On top of that, they are very active and some of their behaviors bleed onto the others whereas it could POSSIBLY be a much more calm group.
Our school has student teachers. . .and Im wondering why as we JUST got the remaining two teachers so that the E and A teachers could be in the same room with each other, the way its supposed to be. I am one of those teachers so I havent had the time to build rapport (for what thats worth with two different languages) or to set and establish routines. That takes time even when everyone speaks the same language. I started school I think the last day in Oct. Immediately, I started asses…
Its funny how seeing and experiencing different things makes you think of your loved ones!
Huge malls: Barbara
scarves and fasion: Sheena
hanging outside at restaurants talking to people with good food: Vip and Jeannie
laughing and having crazy fun times: Dottie ;p
I know I have a few entries to post but its been so busy and even though I vow to continue posting, I understand how the time slips away. Well, actually I dont but do one thing after school and before you know it its time for bed. That is if you want to get 8 hours of sleep before work the next day. . .and I get off at 145! But you can add to that a 45 min commute.
Yes, there are some commutes BUT living in the city gives many the same experience. That and at home its nothing for people to drive that far to get to work. Ive heard of people going further. . .you go where the money is!
On top of that, if I may get on my soap box for a moment. . .the alternative could very well be no job to travel to…
This is the pageview for this month. Also, there is a Russian website that apparently links because I get traffic frome there.
If youre reading,please leave a note-maybe lemme know where youre from. . .and if you want to,you can tell me one good thing,lol.
United States 274
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This entire week of school was dedicated to National Day. We had a "free day" each day after 10 where there were presentations (for lack of a better word) in the gym. The children dressed in their flag colors and the boys wore kanduras. They were so cute in them! We also did not teach this week as the Arabic teachers were teaching about National Day as well as some other things.
After work, we ate together and I found out that one of the teachers is getting married so I may be invited to a wedding in 2 weeks. We/they talked about marriage and I listened about the varying perspectives on arranged marriage versus a "love marriage". The way they viewed it seemed probably as odd as arranged marriages seem to us. They also laughed about how much we work and they told us not to think about work once school was out and to enjoy our break.
I am enjoying the break but Ill be working this weekend definitely.
In regards to work. I came in when so many things were going on and…
Imagine youve had a rough day at work. Youre driving home from a long day and for whatever reason it takes you forever to get home. By the time you are able to finally sit down and relax, you can tell that your body is tense and your muscles are tight.
Now imagine an animal being strung up for slaughter. Hes been kept in a closed room with little to no wiggle room, in a highly stressful environment, and probably hears his/her "friends" being killed in a nearby room. NEEEEXT!!
Now the animal is being strung up and the throat is slit, only not as to kill. They want his/her heart to pump out all the blood because its faster this way. In the meantime, the animal is wailing around and dying a horendous death.
Where did this entry come from and why the heck am I talking about this in my AD blog? Weeeell, I thought about it today and in previous days after repeatedly tasting meat that was unbelievably tender. Like, melt in your mouth tender. Like, OMG, what did you do to this chick…
because today I got a call asking if I wanted Etisalat to come today.
ummm. OF COURSE!!!
I figured it would be at least a week before hearing anything. She said the computers were down. I noticed a distinct difference in her demeanor after she read my visa before copying it. When she turned around she gave me a smile and asked what I taught. I kindly thanked her at the end and left.
FYI. . .I no longer look like the Michelin man!!! I am happy about that. Now that I am back to my "regular" self, its time to move in the opposite direction and shed a few lbs. not only are the clothes here cute and smaller, but I need to make sure things stay in place ;P.
Walking to the cab drop daily helps. So does walking through the malls, to the malls, through back roads, to the bank, to eat, to get X,Y,Z done. . .you get it.
I made bread pudding today. IT TURNED OUT WELL GRANNY!
I gave some to the owners at YAFOOLIs. Please forgive typo in last entry. I hope they like it. My friend, the ol…
Im in the apartment and have yet to get internet. It should be coming soon and the "internet cafe's" internet is down so that leaves me to do lots of other things besides getting stuck on the computer. I do enjoy blogging about the experience and there are probably many things Ive forgotten that I really did want to write about.
yes, Amy,its just like kids say goodbye.family, I miss you guys too. . .but I dont miss the States (yet),lol.
So many people do . . .some enjoy this place but miss home and other probably wish theyd never come. Or at least thats the impression they give. IDK, I dont get into that. I just smile to myself when people talk about the differences. Like the water here is desalinated. okayyyyy. . .it comes from the sea. Some places it tastes normal and in other places it does not. For example, in my apartment its horrible so I have a water machine thingy (high tech language,I know,lol) and I have bottles delivered with a phone…
There are some things that, while you are doing them, make you think:"I would never do this in my country". Like the other day when I couldnt take it anymore and went to get water to drink bc its nasty in my apt (and,yes,Ive had the water in other places and it was fine). Anyway, it wasnt late but it was dark. The corner store is literally a minute outside my door. On the way back I walked to see if the internet cafe was open. An older man asked if I was looking for the pharmacy. I wasnt. He motioned and asked me to sit after he asked me where I was from and I told him.
He was extremely nice and the first 5 mins consisted of a conversation in my head about how things like this work here. He talked about how proud they are to have us here and that Americans are treated with a different kind of respect. He talked about how nowhere else will you see so many Nationalities in a matter of minutes no matter where you are. He talked about work and leisure and told me about his resta…
So pretty much everything is closed today. We are off from work and everyone seems extremely happy about it. Knowing how much the service workers here actually work, I am happy they are off from work and able to. . .just sit around or whatever it is they enjoy doing. Some of them are playing baseball outside and Im sure they are enjoying it.
The other day was HILARIOUS. The guy delivering my bedroom furniture was so irritated with me. His accent was thick and Im assuming he spoke Hindi as he was from India. After MANY conversations and both sides not understanding the other, He was like, "OOOH MY GOHD, JEESUUHS!!". I wanted to laugh but saved it til I was off the phone. They FINALLY made it and put the things together pretty easily.
My other things will have to wait since I have no card with which to pay for them. I moved some things over and I have to move some other things over tomorrow. I also have to go to lulus AGAIN to get some kitchen and bathroom items.
I was torn as to whether to even post pics of the grande Mosque as everyone else has but people who read me may or may not read the others and these are through my eyes albeit difficult while being pushed through because I couldnt take off my boot and shoes arent allowed in. It actually made me think of Old Testament rituals and how the practice isnt extreme as some may think. It used to be that way for holy ground in the Bible. Thats another topic altogether. Today we are here for pictures!!!! This place is vast! doesnt give it justice inlays of mother of pearl flowers on each column. a clock for each time they are to pray. The first one (our 12) is to wake them up for the first prayer made of glass, this flower is between each set of four posts ceiling of the overflow room teachers taking pics
I really like this pic just because of composition
Not sure how to make it with the information that will follow but I will not allow it to alter my day, or night as the time would have it.
Today started out good. Well, initially I woke up witha jerk thinking Id over slept but didnt. I got ready and then went to clean up while I waited on the couch to arrive. I made sure not to forget the TP ;P.
Of course, it wasnt on time and they couldnt find it and I now know that giving the bank as a landmark confuses them because there are green buildings behind the bank that I knew nothing about. No problem there. Later in the day I figure Id get a movie to watch as I wait for the delivery of my fridge and stove. NO SUCH LUCK. . .
My wallet was back at the house-or so I thought so I walked back to get it.
So it mustve gotten left in the cabbie. Only I looked back at the seat when I got out to see if the seat was clear. It could have been on the floor.idk.
My grandfather says I have heavy feet. So much so that it was extremely difficult for me to walk around the house quietly. My sister, on the other hand,seemed to float around as if she were on a cloud. I wont even repeat the nickname he gave me for having heavy feet (and you better not either SHEENA) because its not becoming to me at all,lol.
The point is that Im here and as a resident, I have no plans to tiptoe around anyone. Its sort of mind boggling to think about how much they have and how above you they may be on the totem pole of this thing we call life. But, if you think about it, at the end of the day they are human just like we are and thats that.
I walked around the corniche today and was a bit disappointed in the lack of local music. I saw kandooras of different colors and one guys was silver and he had a hat that sort of matched. He was in a group and I took their picture. I like the way it looks when they wrap the head scarf around their face. I walked back and forth pas…
Man, this place is a mother and child paradise. I think it blows peoples minds how laid back it is here.
If youre not careful, after looking at the cutest babies and baby items and seeing the help you get with motherhood, you might catch yourself thinking you may wanna pop out a lil bambino! lol
No worries-Im cool. No fever or anything,ha ha ha.
Today Im going out to order appliances, would love a mani/pedi but idk. Actually, I think Im just gonna get a mani.And tonite Im going to see Fabolous and going to work on my photography. Yeah, Kanye is gonna be here tonite but I have no desire to see him-cant get down with his craziness, his cocky attitude,etc. Actually, Im not even that into hip hop concerts but its free and on the beach so Im going and I do think Fabo is nice. Underrated.
Ima tell you who I DOOOO wanna see. . .RYAN LESLIE. And I am willing to travel to do so.
My tonsil is hurting but it happens sometimes so I dont know what to think but Im taking precautions all the same.
I am finally a resident of Abu Dhabi. Fairly quick.Definitely painless. Well worth the wait. So glad things have gone the way they have. I really feel blessed.
Today was a free day and lots of partying took place. I have plenty of pics to post. Of this and old pics that Ive uploaded but done nothing with. Ive got to do better,lol.
But I have a week or so to do that. Eid is upon us although Im not as excited as those whove been here awhile because-well, I JUST got here,lol.
I can sponsor now. . .not in a rush though. Let the "missingness" simmer,lol. Paper work will take a little time. We are still on schedule. God definitely has been hearing and answering prayers and Im so thankful!
Been learning Arabic words and theyre helpful for redirection. Soon, InShallah, words will turn to sentences and so on. . .
Clothes are oh so cute but Im not going to get sucked in. After looking at my rooms, I have room for a wall to wall closet. I know I cant and wont buy loads of clothes thou…
Im at home and have been ever since I came from my apartment today. I went to check room sizes after having looked at the same couches on multiple occasions. Im so tired and have been today while en route to school as well as on the way home. Its the Eid holiday but its not a big deal to me as for the people who have been here and who need a break. I HAVENT STARTED REALLY WORKING YET! lol
Today I felt rather ignorant. And though Im not anymore, I wonder if we were offensive to anyone who may have seen us. . .okay, so there was a lamb tied to a tree outside the school and all we heard was "baaa baaaaa". We didnt know if it were tied to the tree or where it came from. We were taping it with our technology and one (funny) teacher was "communicating" with it. Just think of the movie Finding Nemo where she was speaking "whale". It was too funny to hear the lamb/sheep respond!
After a short while of wondering whether it would charge us or wondering where it ca…
Some things are so different and others all the same.
First, I will say that I get this little shocked feeling when people make mention of "getting your hand chopped off if you steal". Some would be shocked to see how civilized this place is.
At the same time, it has so far to go. Im sitting here listening to Arabic music on tv. I have no idea of what they are saying but I love the music nonetheless,lol.
Things that amaze me:
This is a place for mothers and children. I dont have kids and wont any time soon *Inshallan* (ha ha ha) but I cant help but notice the kids items they have here. If I dont have my kid here, I would love to take things home from here as they are so fitting for kids! I can only imagine what their rooms look like in those huge homes we can barely see for large walls.
Service workers: I recently had my "do not disturb" sign taken from my door. they came to clean my room after I asked them not too. I felt so bad because it was junky,lol. Yes, I k…
We are NOT parked. This is how driving often looks why eat at a FOUR star restaurant when you can eat at a TWO star?! or you can just eat at BUTT SWEET HOME! lmbo want BIG LIPS? seriously. . ."winter" is coming ;P barbie! comes with an ABAYA! Marhaba Christen!!
Its only been a couple of weeks. I will definitely say that coming in a small group, NOT in Ramadan (because things are on a completely different time schedule understandably),and NOT in the extreme heat of August has been the best. We came, got our medicals a day later, and got fingerprints done the next week. We were able to relax and acclimate and things have been good.
No jet lag to speak of. . .still waiting to actually work. I was pleasantly surprised at the reaction of the Arabic teachers and all it took was to speak to them in their language and to convey the fact that I do want to learn about them and not just bring Western ideology and pedagogy to them without respecting and taking into account their feelings.
Regardless of what Im doing here, I never want to come across as that because I am ever cognizant of history and how that has happened time and time again. I think that partnership is very important and in some schools it…
So I was too tired to write about the adventure I had in trying to find our apartment. As there are no street addresses here people give ONLY landmarks and tell you which lights to go through,to,past and which to turn at. Even though Im not one to remember streed signs it can be quite confusing and I now know that having the street signs helps a bit. Whenever I do decide to get a car, I will definitely get a GPS.
Im surprised that the keys didnt burn a hole in my pocket last night and I slept rather well. It helped that the night before I only got a few hours of sleep.
Ok, so After school today, which was the first day,I couldnt wait to get hold of Rachel after Id gotten directions again. We were most pleasantly surrpised to find it. We knew we'd passed and/or seen it as we searched yesterday and it was (as he said) green,lol.
If I could come up with a gripe, it would be that the rooms are a little small and have no wardrobes BUT that isnt an issue at all for me. I am most please…
Things seem to continue to be moving forward rather well. Im going a little backward because there are some things that I have done but havent gotten out of my camera yet. I left my camera back today and the other day, though, so I had to use my phone and it is a bit easier to get them off of it.
The other day we went to the Dhow and I was a little concerned about what kind of boat it would be but I liked-no-loved it. It was very peaceful and I will definitely do it again. Its definitely a fun thing to do with friends or even something you could do as a date.
It takes you up the cornich from the fish market. You can see Marina mall when you get to the other end. 150 dhm for about an hour and 15 mins. Definitely a "do over"!
Ive been doing quite a bit. A far cry from staying in my apartment on the couch, on the computer, doing nothing much.
When someone calls-Im up for it. I figure it would be a waste not to especially after Ive moved around the world. Bust the box wide open right?
Went out last night and several nights prior. Its fun and Ive been enjoying myself. Who needs sleep anyway? Just kidding. I definitely do and this wont continue after I begin work. I was beginning to feel like we were being jerked around. No placements for about three days but my mantra is "expect nothing" so with that I roll with the punches. I "knew" my school anyway so it was really just a wait and see. Ive heard good things about the school so all was well.
Tonite, after I got in I went straight to my email. Aside from looking to see where everyone else was, I checked my own and I am where I was told I would be. Happy times!!!!!!!
Tomorrow we are waking up early to go on a Dhow cruise. Man, Im going to b…
I can no longer "eyeball" something and decide that if I dont like it or cant fit it that Ill just bring it back at a later date. All of the stores I have gone to here are "credit only". This includes stores at the mall.
*insert sad/mad/angry/irritated face* lol. At least the store is one that I like and that I can simply get something else. In addition, a rack of shirts may be the same and only differ by color and the prices will be different based on that. strange indeed.
AND WHILE IM ON THE SUBJECT OF CLOTHES. . .
I love everyone who cooked and fed me yummy food. I really do. . .but yesterday as I scrolled through pics of me on my camera I was perplexed because my face looks like a marshmallow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is me. And I know you didnt force feed me and This will all be gone (hopefully) in a matter of months but it is disturbing all the same. Honestly, I have noone to blame but myself. I have to do better.