Monday, August 29, 2011

Life is Good

Tamra, myself, and Mackenzie ice skating
at Marina Mall
As the mayhem of September approaches (moving into a new apartment in a new city and beginning my first year teaching) I am spending this week relaxing by the pool, going out to eat, having tea at Dome, beers at the BC, and doing lots and LOTS of laughing with the amazing group of people that I have met here and will soon be moving away from as I venture out to Al Ain. Though I will see them often, I sure am going to miss seeing them everyday! Eid Mubarak!
                                                    <3 Love and miss you all!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Sandlot

  Salam! Well it's definitely been a while since my last post! Unforunately I've been having some "technical problems" but here I am, back in action. I don't even know where to begin about the past couple weeks without making this one of those "never ending stories" post (which my family definitely knows I'm capable of).
Me at the Mosque weating a Burka
The Pillars and Abdallah
   Two exciting events over these weeks have been touring the Grand Mosque and going on our Desert Safari. The Grand Mosque was AMAZING! In addition to it's obvious beauty, I was so interested in all the facts our tour guide, Abdallah, shared with us. For example, the Mosque has the worlds largest carpet that weighs something like 32,000 tons! Also, all throughout the Mosque are white pillars with flowers that are all made out of real semi precious stones.
   The desert safari was a blast!! We rode camels, sand surfed, and went dune bashing....I could not believe how crazy the dune bashing was (I actually almost threw up a little haha) and our driver, Sultan, definitely made sure we were as scared for our lives as could be. Afterwards they had a delicous iftar meal and hookah. I really could not have asked for a better night with better people.
The Group
Tom, Robert, Richard, Jackie, Janice, Tamra, Mackenzie, Myself
    Even with all these great experiences we've had these past couple weeks, I equally have such a blast just sitting around laughing with the amazing group of people I have met while here. Mackenzie and Tamra from Seattle, Jackie and Robert from Tuscon, Tom from St. Louis, Richard from England and myself (or "The Group" as we simply refer to ourselves) have more fun together doing nothing than anyone I know. I am SO grateful to have found these people and can't imagine going through this adventure without them!
   Well there is lots lots LOTS more to share! Want to tell you all about Ramadan and the way of life out here is the good ole UAE and the never ending housing process, but I will save that for another post...inshallah as they say here in AD.

<3 Love and Miss you all! Skype with ya soon!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"I am learning all the time. The tombstone will be my diploma." ~Eartha Kitt

  Just had our first dinner out in Abu Dhabi at this DELICIOUS Lebanese restaurant called Lebanese Flower.  We got so much great food and it was very inexpensive. I learned that it's considered very improper to eat with your left hand, especially in restaurants or other areas that aren't filled with as many westeners. I also learned to carry tissues in my purse because toilet paper isn't also available in public restrooms! All restrooms have a hose (what has now been coined the "butt gun") haning next to the toilet, this is different than the bidet, but many have only the hose and no toilet paper. Lesson learned. Also learned at the grocery store you need to have your produce weighed with a sticker on it, similar to what we have to do at the deli, BEFORE you go to the register to pay. Another lesson learned. I am trying to use the two Arabic words that I know as much as I can haha, hopefully my vocabulary will grow to more than two words. La= No, Shakran= Thank you. I got very excited at the airport because two men were speaking Arabic to eachother and one said "La la la" and I knew that he was not singing, but was saying "no, no, no."


   I made it, I made it, I made it!! After a 9 month process and over 25 hours of traveling I am FINALLY in Abu Dhabi and could not be happier!!

Mackenzie, Tamra, and me at the airport in Abu Dhabi. This is at about 1:00 am and after over 25 hours of traveling! Love these girls :-)
     Everything with the trip went very smoothly. The airline for the 12 hour trip was great. I got dinner, breakfast, watched a movie, watched tv, and played some games on the touch screen that was infront of me. I also was able to sleep off and on for about 6 hours so that definitely helped pass the time. When we got to Abu Dhabi, ADEC was right there waiting for us with our visas. We went straight to get our eyes scanned, passports stamped, luggage collected then was out of there in no time. My hotel in BEAUTIFUL! They greated us all at the door with all kinds a juices in wine glasses. I also have a bidet and a phone in my bathroom haha.  I've met some great people so far, in particular two girls from Seattle named Tamera and Mackenzie and a guy from St. Louis named Tom. I think the three of us will be spending a lot of time together while living in the hotel. We have had Saturday to ourselves then orientation starts Sunday so today we went to the mall and sat by the pool. The mall was about a $3 cab ride away and has many stores like the ones in the U.S. plus a Carrefour, which is similar to a Wal-Mart.
    It is HOOOTTTTT here! The second we walked out of the airport at 1:30 this morning, my glasses fogged up and I instantly felt damp and sticky. At that time it was about 90 degrees and now it's a little over 100. My hotel is right on the water though so we had a nice breeze while sitting by the pool.
  Strange thing...the last time there was a full moon I was in the U.S. and a fellow LT said to me that the next time I saw a full moon I would be on the other side of the world and our very first night here it was a full moon! It made me really excited haha
   Well I feel like I am forgetting a lot more stuff, but that's all for now. More to come!
    Love and miss everyone <3

Thursday, August 11, 2011


The countdown is over, after 9 months the day is finally here. ABU DHABI HERE I COME! Can't believe it's really here and I'm really doing this, I think I'm too much in disbelief to even be nervous. So greatly for the amazing friends and family that I have in the U.S. that I spent this past weekend with and miss them already, but I'm also ready for this whilrwind of an adventure to begin. Next time I post it will be from Abu Dhabi...wish me luck and see ya next August :-)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

And the count down begins...

YAAAAAYYYYYYY!!!!! I FINALLY know that I am OFFICIALLY leaving Thursday, August 11th at 3:15 pm :-D I will be flying Boston to Chicago, 5 hour layover, Chicago to Jordan, 2 hour layover, then Jordan to Abu Dhabi and arriving in Abu Dhabi, I think, sometime after Midnight Friday morning. So far I know there is one teacher flying out of Boston with me, but I am trying to find out if there are others that will be joining us when we fly out of Chicago. SOOOOO happy! This also means that I will be around for both going away parties. Phew! I'm already packed so all I need to do is let Verizon and Bank of America know my exact date, get suscreen, and dramamine then I am good to go! Crazy thinking about how long my list was just a couple weeks ago. The first group of New Englanders are flying out today so I can't wait to hear from them and get some tips about the first days in Abu Dhabi. Keep you all posted!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Still waiting on my e-ticket but I got my Visa today! It's progess at least...Still assuming August 11th but the waiting game continues.