Saturday, September 17, 2011

Reunions!

Reunited!
Rob & Belle have now been here for ONE WEEK.   Their journey was delayed by weather (for 24 hours) and this first week together has been a whirlwind.  Rich arrived and hung up all the curtains so Rob wouldn't have to start with a project right away. Then he and I went out to dinner with my friend Kristi, and we were off to the airport to pick up our very tired travelers.  After arriving home around 3am our time, everyone went to bed, and I woke Belle up the next morning to take a placement test at her school.  Rob was able to rest for most of the day, but the jet lag is a kicker to overcome, and starting on Sunday, Belle & I had school all week and Rob drove her and my friend Cammie's children to school each day.  We said goodbye to Rich on Sunday, with Rob driving him to the airport in Dubai. On Monday, Rob experienced his first Abu Dhabi accident, which was NOT a good time, although everyone, including the car, was fine.  On Wednesday, Belle and I went to a fun little event at a local hotel, where we received lots of swag and had yummy food.  Then Thursday, we all went out to dinner at the rugby club.  Yesterday, we did a marathon grocery shopping trip after putting together our first wardrobe (have I mentioned we have no closets or storage outside of the kitchen!) and today, we might visit Jebel Hafeet, the mountain in Al Ain with hot springs.

Dinner with Rich & AD friends
I've been very lucky in most of my teaching career in finding great people to car pool with (Liz & Kim, I miss you!), and a move across the world did not end this streak.  The first bit of luck was finding out Cammie, a fabulous lady I met online because we both had little girls of the same age, and I were at the same school. Then, as we sat in the auditorium waiting for our letters to introduce ourselves to our new principal, this dynamic and amazing lady, Ashaunda, asked to join Cammie and me. Truly, it was fortuitous because everyday, we support one another as we process our work day, and make the hour long commute seem a little shorter. We see a lot of desert and some camels, every day, but we also find ways to laugh at things that might make us sad or angry. I love my car pool. 

Our school is in a small community that sort of reminds me of Lisbon, the school I graduated from. It is a K-12 girls' school, with boys attending for KG1 & KG2.  When I was given my teaching assignment, Grade 10 & 11 Art, I almost cried. If you've seen me draw, you know why.  Ashaunda was told 11 & 12 Science. Thank goodness she was brave enough to speak up, because that helped clarify that yes, we were teaching English, but there are two strands, science and art. The science strand is similar to CP & Honors from home, while the art strand is more like general level.  So, no art for me, yay!  Because of the size of our school, I only have one class of each (grade 10 & grade 11), but I meet with them twice a day. The girls wear blue jumpers over white shirts (the standard older girl uniform for the UAE in public schools), and all wear sheilas (a head scarf over their hair).  I'm starting to learn their names, although I don't think I've quite gotten the pronunciation down.  I've learned that our first semester themes are: Emirati Family & Culture (grade 10) and Healthy Lifestyles (grade 11). Currently both groups are working on writing assignments.

Belle has started school at Manor Hall, a private school, and also wears a uniform, a grey and red plaid loose short (looks like a skirt) and white shirt with school patch.  She loves that the lobby of her school has a chandelier and that it has a pool.  The building is physically quite attractive and in addition to her regular classes, she will also be taking French and Arabic as part of their curriculum. She has made friends already with Cammie's daughter, and they sit together in class. So, yay, for mommy plotting! :)

3 comments:

Mrs. Beaudin's classroom said...

Sounds great! I am happy for you. I hope Rob can get into life there as well.

Ruta said...

It sounds like you are really getting settled in!

Cynthia said...

I am glad that things are moving along. Thanks for keeping us updated.. Miss you Hi to all