Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Friday Outing: 2nd Chance Rescue

So far, 2014 has been lovely. I've taken to using that word a lot. I don't know if it's the influence of all the British English around me here, but I find it's a pretty fitting adjective these days. The winter weather has been cool, often rainy, and unexpectedly long. And after a difficult fall that had us regularly questioning our proposed 5-year timeline, I am thankful for the simplicity life has taken on. I can't explain it, but I know it all came together January 1st. Suddenly, I stopped thinking about the fact that we are living life in Qatar, and I gently eased into the enjoyment of simply living life. Jeff and I don't work at schools in Qatar; we just work at schools. Schools that have their ups and downs and that carry the same stresses of schools around the world. Kaiya no longer attends an international school in Qatar; she just goes to school like any other six-year old, zestfully enjoying the friendships and activities school life brings. I guess the buck (riyal?) stops with Izzy though. She most definitely was born in Qatar. And that fact will follow her and her passport for the rest of her life, good or bad.

I remember in the fall when I was out with a group of women, and someone told us, "You might be thinking about the pros and cons of raising your child here, but for your child, this is it. This is the childhood they are enjoying, the childhood they will fondly remember." And it's true. I may have my North American ideals of children playing in *green* nature, surrounded by trees, grass, rivers, and fields. But all over the world, children play and imagine and create in varying landscapes, in deserts, yes, even amongst piles of rock and rubble. And when I look at life here through Kaiya's eyes, it is nothing short of amazing, exciting, and fun. This is her childhood, and she is loving it.

***

Last Friday, we tried a new adventure. A friend had told me about a Qatari farm that hosts the dogs and cats of 2nd Chance Rescue. Every Friday, from 2:30pm, the public is welcome to come help walk the dogs while enjoying the beauty and nature of a Qatari farm. Can it get any better? A perfect combination of nature, dogs, walking... and free.

Gorgeous tree-lined path

We walked two dogs in our time there, but I have heard of people walking twenty or more dogs in one afternoon. It is completely up to you. Dog walking was a bit tricky with a very excited 6-year old who wanted the dogs to sit, fetch, and come... all at the same time. But we managed alright. Baby Izzy hung out with photog dad in the backpack, kicking her legs and flapping her arms most of the time.

The second dog we walked

While we see a dog in our future, we don't believe it will happen during our time in Qatar. We travel a lot, and life is very busy with both Jeff and I working.

One of the horses on the farm

The farm is a beautiful place to walk. We saw horses, goats, pigeons, sheep, and of course, a whole lot of dogs. But for me, the trees were the best part. Lovely (there's that word again) green trees.

Fantastic views

2nd Chance Rescue is "open" for dog walking Sundays through Thursdays, 8-11am and Fridays from 2:30. They aim to provide forever homes for their rescue dogs. If you would like more information, including a map to the farm, you can go to their Facebook page 2ndchancerescueqatar.