Yeahhhhhh! This is my 100th post! Woot woot! First of all I just want to say thank you to everyone that reads and comments on this blog. I know that I have said this before but I really didn’t expect this blog to become what it has. When I first started on this journey last year, I realized that there were not that many blogs out there that depicted the Abu Dhabi teaching experience, especially from a black female perspective. The blogs that did exist were not kept up to date and when I started reading them I was often disappointed that the author didn't continue to write. That is how Black Girl In Abu Dhabi was formed. I vowed to keep this blog as up to date as possible and give readers an insight into what it would be like to teach and live in the Middle East. I am ecstatic with the direction the blog has taken. I have had the opportunity to meet many readers and I am excited for the next year and what it will bring.
In this post I am going to recap my year out in these UAE streets.
I arrived in the UAE bright eyed and bushy tailed after spending a few hours in Paris and realizing my dream of seeing the Eiffel Tower.
After staying in Abu Dhabi for about 9 days I was moved to Al Ain (about an hour and a half from Abu Dhabi) during my time in Abu Dhabi I went to the beach, partied and was introduced to the UAE life.
I started school. I am not going to lie I wasn't thrilled that my school was located 100 km south of Al Ain. I was also not thrilled that I felt unwelcome and unwanted at my school. I was in for a bit of a culture shock when I was introduced to education in the UAE, constant schedule changes, lack of discipline and a certain nonchalantness about education in general was unexpected, but I guess that is what we are here for to help “modernize” the UAE’s education system.
I received my apartment and I admit that I was not thrilled with the accommodations, nevertheless I have learned to love my space. I have made it my own and I must admit that the idea of moving now seems foreign to me.
I made it to Dubai for the first time. I was awed by the architecture and amazed by the “larger than life” feeling that the city gave me.
I went to a FIFA U-17 World Cup game here in Al Ain, as well as viewed the first horror movie filmed in the UAE at the Abu Dhabi film festival.
During Eid, since I still did not have my passport back, I went back to Abu Dhabi and spent the week there. I went to the beach, shopped and pretty much lived the life.
Watched some F1 and saw Jay Z in concert in Abu Dhabi.
Experienced my first National Day in the UAE and realized that the Emirates have the most national pride of any country that I have seen.
I took my students to Abu Dhabi on a Science field trip and realized that school’s here do not take attendance on trips.
I also started planning my Christmas vacation which involved 4 counties in 21 days.
Celebrated National Days in Dubai: partied, ate out and had an amazing time.
Learned about fog in the UAE. Instead of snow days, we have fog days.One day it took up to three hours to get to school because the fog is so thick. Some schools even delay their start time to avoid the fog. There have been numerous accidents because of the fog and even death. When you are driving and you run into fog all you can do is pull over on the side of the highway and wait for the fog to subside.
Participated in the Color Run in Dubai.
Came back from the vacation of a life time! Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Went to a Full Moon party, visited Halong Bay, explored Ankor Wat. Honestly one of the best vacations I have ever been on. I must admit that four countries in 21 days was way too much, I will not be doing that again, but it was a travel learning experience and one that I loved (even the 13 hour bus ride). There were days when we didn't know what country we were in or what money we were using. It was kind of funny actually.
People I know started to leave, like I have said in past posts teaching in the UAE is not for everyone. Unfortunately one of my good friends left and I miss him dearly, nevertheless his reasons were more than valid.
Went to my first yacht party. My friend who was having a baby had a nice party on a yacht in Dubai.
Spent Valentine’s Day in Abu Dhabi at the swanky St-Regis hotel thanks to my friend whose husband is in Afghanistan and wanted to show his love from far away.
Went to a student’s house and got to see how the Emirates live. The food was great and I am so happy that I went.
Took our students on a field trip to an amusement park. We had a great time and the kids loved that I went on the rides with them. Once again not a class list or permission slip ion sight…
Went to a Soca Boat Party in Dubai. Who would have thought that there would be such a great West Indian community in the Middle East. I am so impressed with the number of Soca and Reggae parties here in the UAE and I am convinced that they play more music from the West Indies in the clubs here than they do at home.
My friends from Canada came to visit and I could not have been happier to show them around the Middle East. I got to visit the Grand Mosque as well as go to Oman.
Enjoyed what the UAE had to offer during my staycation during Spring Break.
Headed to the Kingdom of Bahrain for a fun filled weekend. Also made it to Qatar during the long weekend in May. Attended the formal event Night Of Elegence herein Al Ain.
Partied on the notorious Maya Island in Abu Dhabi
Wow! When I write it out like this I have had a fantastic 10 months in this crazy place that I now call home.
I wish everyone that is heading home a safe trip and enjoy your time with your family and friends at home because in a few months we will be back in this crazy place!