My time is the UAE is coming to an end, I have just about 30 days remaining. I am doing my best to enjoy the end, but that has become more difficult as it is generally 110-115 degrees every day! Never-the-less I have found some things to keep me occupied. I have been to baby showers, a ball and a great brunch weekend. As well as just catching up with friends.
In late April I joined a group of friends to attend the ANZAC Day Ball hosted here in Al Ain. For those of you who don’t know, ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps. The day is meant to remember not only the first major Australia and New Zealand casualties of WWI, but also the service of all the men and women in the Australian and New Zealand armed forces, it is in this way similar to Veteran’s Day in the United States. So in order to honor those Australians and New Zealanders here in the UAE who have served/are serving, we got together for some nice food, speeches and of course, dancing. It was a fun night with great friends.
A few weeks later we had a baby shower for Rachel (see above pics). Two amazing ladies did most of the planning and preparation and I did my best to help by chauffeuring the mom-to-be to the event. It was hands down the best baby shower I have ever been to. There were some wonderful activities (such as each guest contributing one or two pages to an ABC Book by drawing a picture and writing a word that represents the picture and signing a card for the baby for future birthdays) and the games were very creative. The decorations were perfect, check out this beautiful (and very tasty) cake.
A few weeks ago my friend Natasha and I did a 5K fun run called Glow and Go. The race was held at night and we wore as much neon as we could manage. The race started off like an actual road race, but after a bit went off-road and into the dark. It wound back into the facility at Wadi Adventure where we then had to wade through the white water channels and finished with a jump into the surf pool and a swim back to shore. It was hot out, so I don’t think anyone minded being in the water that much. I know I was sure glad I didn’t really have to run a 5K, because I am not sure I actually could!
The start to June was excellent. Students stopped coming to school, giving me plenty of time to read and plan for next year’s courses! But before they could finish up the year, they had to give “how to presentations.” Most students taught us how to make a recipe, style your hair or do origami. But, one aspiring veterinarian taught us how to trim your cat’s claws. Yes, she brought her cat to school.
And the first weekend of June meant a surprise birthday brunch in Dubai as well as an overnight at the Westin. I am considering this to be my last big extravagance in the UAE and I really wanted to have a great time. Rachel’s husband Dave will be turning 50 next month, but since many of us will be gone and they will have a newborn, she decided to surprise him with an early birthday at the Westin’s Bubbalicious brunch. The brunch is, of course, amazing (I went for the first time last year, read about it here). But really the company was what made it great. I really am going to miss these awesome friends when I leave.