So at school the start of celebrating National day was on! We spent a good four hours inside our gym. Imagine four hours of three-five year olds having to sit still and be quiet? Yeah that really didn’t happen. The kids only lasted for about an hour at the most which I thought was quite a feat. The gym was decorated in all red, green, white, and black. There were pictures of sheiks everywhere and the UAE flags all over the place. Students were dressed up with U.A.E spirit and have the U.A.E spirit running in their blood. They are only three, four, and five year olds, but know their flag color and how to put the colors in the correct order. There was an array of activities in the gym and Mothers surrounding the gym in their Abayas. Children danced to traditional Arabic music, Mothers competed on who could read the Kuran the best, and they had a competition with LTs on who could shout “I love the U.A.E.!” the loudest….I lost. We took a tour of our school yards on a bus and most of the children were freaking out. Since they were getting on a bus they thought that it was time to go home and that they were being sent home on the wrong bus. Again, I couldn’t do anything to ease their pain with my words, so I just showed comfort and knowledge of their concerns the best I could. When the day was finally over, we were all exhausted and ready to go home. I was anxious to start preparing for my Thanksgiving dinner later on in the evening.
|A view of the room before we sat and ate our Thanksgiving dinner|
|My Thanksgiving Dinner Table|
|Pictures before dinner. My friend |
from the U.K.
Later on in the evening it was time to celebrate Thanksgiving here in the UAE. It definitely was an amazing experience! Thanksgiving dinner was held, was at our group sponsors home. They did a splendid job of coordinating everything and opening up their home for the dinner. It was a feast for sure and with a little more than fifty in attendance. For many it was their first American Thanksgiving and for many others of us, it was our first in the UAE with friends from all over the world. As I entered the home, I stood there in awe of seeing all my friends dressed up and how amazing the home looked all put together for dinner. There were even placed cards set at the table with your name on it so you knew where you would sit. At my table four of us were from the US (two from Texas) and the rest were from all over the world. We had Canadian, South African, British, and Venezuelan….where else in the world would I get to say that I had an International Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone was filled with happiness and joy to see one another on a special occasion. Everyone sat around, ate dinner, and chatted with friends. Later desert was served and games were played. I didn’t make it home until two a.m. Abu Dhabi time. Which turned out perfect since back in Texas it was four in the afternoon and I was able to chat with my family.
|Thanksgving with friends from around the world!|
Friday and Saturday:
The weekend I just spent time hanging out with friends playing some soccer at a park, celebrating a birthday, and even enjoying a second Thanksgiving dinner.
|The drizzled rain on the cement at work|
The day started with dark clouds and finally "some rain"! It may not have been much, but most I have seen in three and a hlaf months of living here in Abu Dhabi. I just had to caputre the moment. Then it was back to work and tough to settle down the kids with the upcoming National day celebrations. It’s like a major holiday in the states, where the kids know that a holiday is coming up and their adrenaline is all off the fun and excitement that is coming up in the next couple of days. Well, I can now say the same for the Emirati children here in the Middle East. I only had fourteen children show up out of my twenty-five students, which also may the day quite interesting. The children did pull through and learned for the most part and par took on working in the classroom.
|View from the outside of work and the clouds with the drizzle|
|Making the flag with the students today.|
Today was called “Open Day” for the continuous National Day celebration. Again Mother’s filled the gym in their Abayas and the classrooms. The children were served traditional food from the region, games, and little girls were given henna on their hands. The students came to school dressed up in either all red, black, white, and green. Then the students were sent outside to make a big U.A.E. flag. As they stood there the students were asked to name the three Sheiks, and to no surprise anymore they were able to name all three of them off without hesitation.