My friend Kate, who is blessed with a wonderful imagination, sent me birthday greetings that went a little something like this:
I hope you will be properly feted tomorrow: under a tent by an oasis, luxuriating on silk carpets, Jeff hand feeding you dates as the camels sing low in the distance.
In reality, my birthday, including the days immediately before and after, looked something a little more like this:
Perhaps we'll aim for the silk carpets next year, huh?
You can expect fewer blog posts for a little while over here. It's safe to say I'm kind of overwhelmed at this point. I'm trying to get my body used to going to bed by 10pm every night and waking at 5:20, three days a week, and thankfully a little later the other days. Life in Qatar is early life, and my non-morning personality is not digging it.I'm not used to coming home and having a few hours free before dinner, but then only having a couple of hours to myself once Kaiya is in bed. Never mind having to adjust to the work week being Sunday to Thursday.
A few quick updates... We have students now! Jeff says his students are cute, sweet, and well-behaved. Mine are none of the above. I've heard over and over this past week that teaching EFL in the TPP program is more about managing behaviour than actually teaching English. Great. But honestly, I haven't seen enough of my students yet to make that call. I've only had 3 so far. Though I've been told I now have 12. We'll see how that goes. But so far all my boys have complied in handing over their two-three mobile phones at the start of every class. I haven't had to wrestle them out of their hands... yet.
We are getting closer to obtaining our residency here. Jeff went for his "medical" today, and I go for mine tomorrow. (a blood test and a chest x-ray). It's a long day of just sitting around, but it's a day off work. ;)
Residency for us will mean the ability to drive (already know what car we're going to get!), get faster internet, and get alcohol permits. All very good things. We're getting tired of not having a car, and not having the freedom to just hop in that car and go exploring. The drivers are great here, but I'm dying to try driving a roundabout all on my own (and maybe just once!)
Kaiya hasn't started daycare yet, but will go twice this week, Wednesday and Thursday. She was supposed to start Sunday, but Sundays are my longest day, and Kaiya was still kind of sick. In the meantime, Kaiya has been going to our friend Larissa and Darren's villa, where she has been taken care of by their nanny, along with their son.
Our quiet little compound is slowly coming alive. And there are kids, lots of kids! I met a Romanian/American couple across the street a couple days ago, and I'm hoping to meet the Canadians who live next door to them soon. Today Jeff met a mom with a 3-year old son, who is going to stop by with an invitation to his upcoming birthday party. And we actually went to our little park after dinner today, enjoying the cooler weather while Kaiya played with our neighbour's two kids and another boy and girl we met at the park.
I'm going to leave it at that... it's after 9:00pm, you know... practically past my bed time! There are many of you I owe emails to. Please be patient with me, friends. It's all I can do to just go through the motions right now without having my head explode. But soon, soon, we will somehow settle into this new routine, and this crazy life will start to look more normal.