Saturday, November 12, 2011

...settling in

I've been here for three months now and am finally starting to feel, not at home exactly, but more settled. It's a good feeling. The Eid al Adha holiday last week helped--we had five consecutive days off from school so I was able to visit Katherine and Jo in Abu Dhabi, do a bit of shopping, and talk, talk talk. It was good to catch up with them, as always.

On Monday I went to one of my student's homes for Eid.  Several girls were there and it was fun to see them in their colorful holiday clothes.  Maitha asked me if I'd like her to decorate my hands with henna.  Of course I said yes!  It was a wonderful day--lots of eating, talking, and laughing.

I spent the rest of the break in total slothdom--I needed the rest, both physically and mentally.  I had brought all my schoolwork home and had great intentions of digging in...but didn't even look at it until Tuesday night.  There were very few students at school on Wednesday, and even fewer on Thursday so we got to go home at 1:30 each day.  It didn't matter that I wasn't as prepared as I had intended.
Yesterday morning I woke up, looked around, and realized that there was nothing pressing I needed to do.  I was rested, so the idea of spending another day just sitting around didn't appeal to me.  The sun was shining, and I knew I'd never sit at the desk and work. (I do need to take some time today to prepare for the week, but the task doesn't seem as daunting as it did a couple of weeks ago.) After putting my laundry out on the patio to dry, I jumped in the car and headed out to explore.  The sand dunes on the way out to the famous Moreeb Dunes are beautiful.

 I took way too many pictures that look much the same, but I couldn't help it--I'd come up over a hill and gasp at the scene below me.  There was a little camel farm around one corner, so I stopped to take pictures.  The caretaker saw me and invited me to come closer.  He and his coworker were friendly and hospitable. They offered me camel milk, which I've been wanting to try. It was sweet and mild--similar to cows milk.  They invited me to come back anytime, and I will take them up on it.  (Nate and Katie, this is one of our destinations in December!)

Thanks to a banker friend back home my money transfer issues have now been resolved. He looked at my receipt and gave me some good information which I was able to share with the teller at the Exchange. It only took four days for the money to arrive--a huge improvement over 1-2 weeks!  {Thanks, Dale!}  Since that is now working, I'm going to give up the quest for online banking.  It has taken too much time and energy, and isn't worth the battle.  I'll just go into the bank from time to time to ask for a statement.  Not perfect, but good enough.
I bought an inexpensive sewing machine last week in AD and made some pillow covers for my living room.  It's starting to feel cozier in here.  :-)


Arlene said...

I love the pictures. Who knew that sand could have so many colors?

Trenquilla said...

I love your blog. My husband and I are applying to work in the UAE and really hope it works out. Your pics and experiences make me smile. Thanks.

Doozyanner said...

Arlene, I will take you here when you visit. It's truly breathtaking.

Trenquilla, thanks! I thought only my sister ^ ever read my blog, so it's nice to hear from someone new. It's very different here, and difficult in many ways, but it's good. Good luck with your paperwork and interviews!