Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Interesting. Very Interesting.

     Ever since I arrived in the UAE I wondered how people recognized the women that were completely covered.  Abaya from head to toe and faces completely covered except for their eyes.   How did kids recognize their mom when all they could see were her eyes?  I in visioned a little kid running up to the wrong person after school and feeling super embarrassed.

     Well yesterday I had an epiphany and I got my answer. I was in Carrefour (which is like Walmart) and I saw a woman pushing a stroller. She was covered from head to toe.  All you could see were her eyes.  Although she was dressed like 70% of the women in the store something about her seemed surprisingly familiar.  We caught eyes and I smiled and she waved.  They I knew how I knew her, she was a teacher at my school.  Since we are an all girl school she does not cover her face while she is in the building, yet when she drives and is outside, she does.  I guess I now know how kids know who their mom is when they are out, they just do.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Year Two: Bring It On

      Last Tuesday I arrived back in the UAE.  I have mixed feelings about being back, but all in all I am happy.  I am thankful to no longer be living out of a suitcase and I love having my own space again. Nevertheless, the jetlag is killing me.  I am worried that I will never have normal sleep pattern again.  For example, yesterday I went to sleep from 3:30 pm-9:30 pm and then I was up until midnight and went back to sleep until 2 am and I have been up ever since (it is now 8 am).  Many of the other teachers are in the same boat. I hope it gets better soon because I am starting to feel sick from the lack of sleep.
     I have been keeping things low key since I have been back. I did go out and do some kareoke last Friday in Al Ain and I got to meet some if the new teachers. My low key status has also been due to the fact that I have no car. I should be getting one later today and that will give me more freedom to get around. I rent my car because I know that the rental company will take care of me if I get in an accident and the way people drive around here I am more comfortable with that.

    I am excited that I have a friend from home coming this week for 8 days.   I am slowly packing away my luggage and cleaning my place in preparation for her arrival.  I have booked us a visit to the Burj Khalifah (the tallest building in the world) as well as a desert safari.

   We started school yesterday and we are here for the week with no students.  Everyone was happy to see everyone and all the teachers were really nice and welcoming, maybe this year will be a better year than last in terms of my relationships with my coworkers, I guess that only time will tell. I will be moving up to Grade 7 with my students from last year.  I am happy about this because I will be teaching students that I already know. The down side to this is that it is a completely new Science curriculum for Grade 7, so I will be creating all the work from scratch. We re supposed to get a textbook but that may only come in December.  We got a new Math teacher and she is really nice, we are just waiting for the new English and Science teachers.

     Hope all the new and returning teachers have a wonderful year! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Meeting Celebs At The Airport and Surprised in the Plane

     I was at the airport waiting for my plane to head back to the UAE when a dreadlocked man walked by playing some reggae. I looked closely at him and knew that he looked familiar. It was Luciano! I was 95% sure it was him because he was in Montreal for the Montreal Reggae Festival this past weekend. 
     I walked up to him and asked if he was Luciano. He said yes and I asked for a picture. He told me he was going to Europe to meet his band for the European leg of their tour.  I told him I was on my way to Dubai. He gave me his contact info  and I told him that I would ask around and see if I could get him to perform their.  He was super sweet.

    On the plane I got another surprise. In the Movie category there was a Canadian Movie section. One of my ex-students is an amazing actress and her movie was on the list so I watched it. "Rhymes for Young Ghouls" is a movie about how one Aboriginal teenager uses the ghosts of her mother and brother to help her fight the Indian Agent on the reservation.  I taught Kawannahere Jacobs in grade 9. She is extremely talented and I was so happy to have watched her in this movie. I know that she has been nominated for a few awards for this role. She is definitely a star on the rise. 

Back in the UAE! Cannot wait to see what this year bring. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer Vacation Part Deux

     I leave to head back to the UAE tomorrow. Bitter sweet.  I cannot believe a whole month has passed already. I am happy to say that I have seen most of the people I wanted to see. I must admit, I realized how many people I actually know because I was out to eat almost every day. Straight up detox when I go back.   But I will talk more about this after. First I would love to tell you more about my summer vacay. 
    I went to Toronto to visit my good friend from University, as well as see some of my other friends who live there.   We decided to go to the Taste of Toronto food festival.

   There were so many yummy things. My favorite was the lobster poutine.

My friend's sister had a baby while I was in the UAE. I got to meet him for the first time. He is sooooo cute!

   A few weeks ago I went to NYC with my mother. We had a great time. 

We took a hop-on-hop-off bus through Brooklyn and went to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. It was beautiful, they had a Japanese garden with a pond. 

    We then went to see If/Then on Broadway. Idina Menzel was the star and it was fantastic.

All in all I had a wonderful vacation. 

I am happy to head back to the UAE because I miss having my own space, but I will miss all my friends and family. 

In less than two weeks one of my friends will be coming to visit and I cannot wait to show her around. 

I am also starting grad school so that is extremely exciting. 

Thank you to all the new readers! 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask. 

Have a great week! 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Vacation Part 1

    Hello readers! I know that I have been MIA, I apologise for that but I have been enjoying my summer vacation at home. 

I would like to welcome all the new teachers to the UAE, enjoy this time, try new things, make new friends because soon school will start and that is not going to be so fun. If you have any questions or if you have been placed in Al Ain leave me a comment and we will be in touch. 

    This summer is almost over (one week left) and I must say that I have had a great summer.

   I got to see teachers from my old school and catch up with them. Some of you may remember that the high school that I attended as well as taught at for 7 years closed last June. Thankfully most of my teacher friends have found work. Our school sadly went bankrupt (it was an all girl private school) and has now been bought by another French private elementary school and will open in 2015.

     I also went back to hot yoga and Zumba.  Both are forms or exercise that I love. 

Outdoor Zumba!

    The other thing I missed about Montreal was all the wonderful breakfast spots. My absolute favourite breakfast (besides bake and salt fish but I will talk about that later) is a bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onions, tomato and capers. De-effing- licious!

  I have never been a huge pork fan but I did miss ribs. I had some with sweet potato fries from Baton Rouge one of my favorite restaurants.

Part 2 will talk about my weekend in Toronto. 

Take care.