Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Camping"... and other updates

I had a really good teaching day with my "boys" yesterday. When I told a fellow newbie about my luck, he said, "Oh ya, I had one of those a couple weeks ago. And never again. Don't get used to it." And knowing how my students like to keep me on my toes, I certainly wasn't expecting a repeat. So today was a very pleasant surprise. I introduced our second two-hour block with the topic "camping." I know it's a popular past time here amongst the young men, so I figured it would get them talking. And it did. Twenty minutes into the lesson and I had to work hard to rope them back in to the focus of the class.

As we talked, I shared a bit about what camping in Canada is like. "It's different," I said, "because we don't have desert." "What do you have?" they asked. "Well, forests. Trees. Lots of really big, green trees. And green grass. And water. Lots of lakes and rivers. We often like to camp next to the water." They nodded, but I could see they didn't really understand.

I had them complete a checklist of items they would and would not bring camping with them. The checklist including such silly items as TVs and DVDs. So I was very surprised to find out that almost all of them think these are camping necessities. They described their midnight desert TV-viewing habits, including the satellites they sometimes rig up. I stared at them, dumbfounded. Finally I said, "You know, in Canada, when we camp, we usually want to just be in nature, connect with nature, you know?" One student said loudly, "But Miss, we don't have any nature." I burst out laughing. The look on his face and the expression in his voice were priceless. But the next student's comment was the best (completed with his body language): "Go left, desert. Go right, desert. Qatar finish." It was a good moment.

Look at the focus!
Speaking of camping, I meant to include this picture in our last post. In preparation for our own desert day trips, I bought Kaiya this little tent. (She's been obsessed with Cars and Lightning McQueen since she watched the movie at Hannah & Wren's house.) She loves the tent. It has become her special crafting zone. It's packed full of all her goodies: paper, old crafts from daycare, glitter glue, markers, crayons, scissors... And she sits and concentrates. We all love the tent.

And in other news... We get our Pathfinder tomorrow!!!! We are so excited that we don't know what to do with ourselves this weekend. There are so many things to see and do... once you have a little freedom. Here are a couple of little outings we're considering for Friday:

Jeff and I both get weekly emails at work with all kinds of activities listed. Of course, there is a very good chance that we will simply hop intp our hot new car and just DRIVE. I seriously can't wait!

And the bathtub... yes, Jeff cracked through it at the end of his shower on Saturday. Amazingly, Kamal has been quick to act on this one. Almost apologetic even. It was supposed to be replaced today. Knowing how things work in this country, I was not at all surprised to receive his phonecall while at the college today: "I'm sorry ma'am, but while the driver was bringing the new bathtub to the villa today, it broke in the truck. We'll try to get another bathtub and do it tomorrow." Sigh... And no, we still don't have our stove top. That's been a month and a half. He apologized openly for that one, assuring me that he is pressuring LG for an answer. Whatever. We have a "temporary" stove for now, so it's not a problem. There's just a big hole in the counter where our stovetop should be.

Tomorrow's Thursday, and another week is done. I can't believe how fast the weeks are flying by here. Soon it will be Eid, and then soon after that, Christmas!! We look forward to seeing Canadian friends and family again. Take care, everyone!


Suzanne said...

I can't imagine camping in a desert. That's crazy!
The tent is wonderful though and I'm glad Kaiya is getting a good dose of crafts, always a plus for everyone. My vote for the outing is just driving! Second choice would be the Islam in Qatar one. It sounds really interesting. Enjoy!

James said...

Camping in the desert sounds a bit like camping in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

But can you see stars when you get away from the city lights? That would be cool.