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Onto trimester three…


It’s been a busy two weeks.  Joe landed on Easter, and we had a week of catching up and seeing some sites.  In his short time here he got to play in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, and Dubai.  Saying goodbye was really hard (although my friends and time on the beach made it easier).  A week is not enough time, but I’ll be home for the summer in three months, and then before you know it he’ll be retired and living here with me.  I think he’s ready for the expat life  — his liver maybe not so much.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again I so love my friends.  We manage to really do this living thing well together.  Joe’s first two days here we holed up in Al Ain, but then we joined Suzanne and Craig in Abu Dhabi where we showed Joe a taste of the city night life.  Then we all took off to Muscat for a few days, where we took advantage of our resort’s pool, beach and club room.  We had good intentions to visit the city.  I hear the souk and opera house are must sees, but alas we only waved at them from our taxi.  It’s all good; it’s only a 45 minute flight from Abu Dhabi, so we can visit again and actually do the tourist thing.  This time was all about laughing and loving life.

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Here’s what Suzanne had to write about it.

After Muscat, we headed off to Dubai to catch up with Jordan, Shannan and friends of theirs (who are now also friends of ours).  We splurged on a nice hotel on The Walk and whooped it up, although for Joe and me it was bittersweet since it was also our last night together.

City Lights and Laughter

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This past week was professional development, which worked out for Nasirah (my department chair whom I adore) and me because we pretty much planned out the whole trimester.  It’s good going in knowing we have our resources ready, and by the looks of it we may have only around 6 weeks of teaching because our exams have been moved up.  I’m not complaining, but my poor girls are going to be slammed with studying.   It’s okay, they’re tough, they can handle it.  I can’t believe my time with them is almost finished. The school year has gone by as fast as my breaks.

Last night some of my friends — same old crew, so really they’re more like sisters/cousins — came over for dinner, and tonight I’ll go over to Shannan’s for a cookout at her place, so basically I have a few more days of kicking back before the mad dash to the final exam line begins.  While I’m missing my people back home, I’m still totally content and grateful to be over here.  It’s weird to be so at peace when the world around me is losing its shit.  I’ll keep hoping the rest of the world will catch up with our little corner and learn to relax, love life and be productive in a good way.

Cruising and camping


So, this is what I did this weekend. A dhow cruise somewhere in Oman.

I swear I’m not on some mad race to fill up my passport with border stamps.  Living here just gives us such easy, inexpensive access to so many places I could never afford if I were still living in the states.  At home we’d go up north on a camping trip somewhere in the Arizona mountains (which is as wonderful an experience!), over here it’s a camping trip on a beach somewhere in Oman.  And yeah, I know I should know the name of the place I slept, but I didn’t plan this little trip — my friends did, and I just tagged along.

For my UAE friends I highly recommend the dhow/camping trip, but I wouldn’t do it now.  It’s getting toasty — wait until next year during the cooler months.  That said, we still managed to have a fantastic time.


Anchor’s up, time to set sail.  whoop! whoop!


you board your dhow by walking from one boat to the next, which adds to the fun.


And we’re off


A dhow grave yard?

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scenes from inside the boat

Basically, it’s a bunch of carpets and pillows for you to lounge (and/or nap) on.  There were only around 15 people on our boat, so we had plenty of room, and it was fun getting to know each other.  The captain, and I guess his mate (a young man who loves making sound effects and smiled so much we called him Capt Smiley), make sure you’re well hydrated with water and sodas and well fed with fresh fruit, grilled fish, chicken, rice and other goodies.  They also make sure to steer into coves where tiny fishing villages thrive and dolphins play.

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If you look between the two boats you will see some dolphins. DSC07155

I swear a dolphin jumped right there in front of us …. right there, but I was too into the dolphin to press the shutter.


I did, however, catch some dolphin tail

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Is there anything more magical than a boy on a boat looking for dolphins?  This kid and his sister were adorable.  Their mother was Italian, father British — both are teachers — and it was fun listening the family go back and forth between English and Italian.  We also had a good time playing with the children, as did their parents (notice same boy catching a ride on dad’s back).


Capt Smiley dove into the water to bring up a sea urchin for us to see.  this little critter crawled around on deck until he was thrown back into the water.DSC07206DSC07202

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We also got to see a lot of birds,  tropical fish and baby jellyfish (sorry don’t have a waterproof camera).  For the record, baby jellyfish sting too, but they only got us a few times and they were tiny stings.


Oh look we also spotted humans!

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And a lot of centuries-baked rock, which didn’t stop us from jumping off the dhow into the amazing teal water.

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hehehe dolphin butts…



Beware of your friends!

After a day of swimming, boating, napping on deck, we traded in our dhow for a rickety speed boat, which dashed us around a few rocky bends to camp.


The green tents are the facilities, which were kept quite clean.  We had a blast playing Cards Against Humanity, feasting on dinner, night swimming in the crystal-clear water, which was now black (except for when you woke the plankton, and then you were surrounded by minuscule underwater fireflies), and smoking shisha by our camp fire.


Capt Smiley also kept an eye on camp while we slept.DSC07253

I cannot tell you how happy Shannan was when M (an Omani heart throb — oh how we’ll miss him coming up to our table to politely let us know of the next activity) said she could light our fire.


She was also pretty pleased with the puppy flashlight.  Me thinks she’s addicted to light.

I fell asleep with sand and salt in my hair and the sound of the sea caressing our beach.

I awoke to this.


That’s M making us coffee … oh and the sunrise is quite nice too


Of course we have a ton more pics, but I have to get some things done for work, and, well, some pics are meant just for us and not the blog.

I thank all the gods and powers that be for the amazing times I get to experience.  I am so touched I get to spend my time meeting so many wonderful people in so many wonderful places.

One of the positives which can also be a negative to all of this fun, is we become more connected to the world.  I have not yet traveled to Nepal (but Joe and I will go there one day), but my Sri Lanka traveling buddy (and neighbor wine daughter) is there now.  She loves everything about that area and went to spend the weekend with friends.  She and her friends are okay, but my heart goes out to all of them.  The more I get to travel, the smaller this world becomes, and the more relatives I gain.

Love and healing wishes to a people I haven’t yet met.  I am so sorry this has happened to you.




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