Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A year without rain...

Fourth of July is tomorrow and I am homesick. This is the first time in 17 years I will not be celebrating the parade in Woodsville and the first time in Belle's life she won't be chasing the thrown candy in front of the Railyard. There will be no fireworks or sparklers, and no BBQ with family and friends.  I had my salon do my nails in stars and stripes because I needed something patriotic (ignore the puffiness of my foot- it has been hot and stressful). It will do until we can get a US flag for our flat. I miss the USA.

In the last couple weeks, we've been staying busy. School is out for Belle and next week, the school year will end for me. We still have to pick up her report card, but I'm not terribly concerned about her grades.  Last week, all the Cycle 3 English teachers had to mark (grade) the English 12 exams for two consecutive nights. It was a lot of work because so many teachers didn't come, but thanks to some very hard working teachers, we were able to do it in two nights. It made for an exhausting week because I still had to report to school each day and of course, we had company. I think Rich ends up coming every time I have night marking.

We tried to do some touristy things while Rich was here. Rob and Belle took him to the quiz night at the Rugby Club and we all went out to dinner at Zest.  Then for our big trip, we went to the waterpark at Atlantis, Aquaventure. It was our first time out on "the Palm" and it had a Hollywood, unreal feel to it. The apartment complexes and hotels there were all over the top, and the signs to go out on the different fronds were a different experience (they are alphabetized in case you were wondering). 

Our first ride was the "Rapids" which was kind of like the Lazy River at Whale's Tale, except with some cool rushing water areas that propelled you forward and some flat escalators that moved you up over terrain changes. We all enjoyed the shark slide - where you go down a dark enclosed slide that pushes you inside a tunnel through a small aquarium filled with fish, sting rays, and sharks.  Next year, when I'm not incubating, I think I will try the big plunge slide on the front of the pyramid.

The most taxing thing lately is that we are still dealing with housing, as the housing person is now withholding the housing we were promised. We are making it a priority to get accommodations with other families and children around for next year. It has been a hard year for Belle without any other children living nearby and being unable to spend time outdoors outside our flat. Rob has reassured me that this move will be easier because I don't have to do it alone.  We did join the Rugby Club so that at least we have access to a pool and gym, and Belle has become quite the fish. We are so proud of our brave swimmer.

Rob has been busy getting bookings to bring people to the airport and even has pick ups booked for August, as many people will be leaving for the summer, or at least for Ramadan.  He's also been working with another spouse who is moving out of Al Ain to coordinate border runs. He's done two border runs for people already, and will be offering his services to in-coming EMT's and their families in the fall.

For now, we are doing our best to stay cool (it is very hot - and no, the heat is not always dry - also, although the published temperatures will not read above 120, it does get there frequently and above).  We are working hard to find new housing before our lease is up (in less than four weeks!). And trying to get ready for our family's new addition in a couple months.

1 comment:

Ms P said...

Not that this will make you feel any better but the 4th is supposed to be all THUNDERSTORMS here... maybe no parade? :) I am sorry you are feeling homesick. Sometimes an adventure can get tiresome. But then, tomorrow, you will find that your housing concerns are taken care of and Bella will have friends nearby and a new baby will arrive! I just can't believe all the changes and, well, adventures.... You are so brave and it looks like you guys are really living it up. I hope the blues dissipate. Sending large banging popping sounds your way accompanied by bright colored thoughts!