Abu Dhabi Hobby Lobby: A Mother & Daughter Adventure
 
I can't really describe my feelings right now, definitely in the realm of surreal.  This is really happening.  Months ago, the idea didn't even exist and now here we are three days left and the journey begins.  We are ALMOST packed... have our tickets, my work visa, and all other necessary paperwork in place.  I still fell short on gathering/collecting enough funds to be really prepared while there.  But as always I am very prayerful and am woven in faith... we will be provided with what we need.  In a matter of months we will be on track. 

I have made mention that I was leaving, but really have not made any major announcements.  partly I hate saying goodbye and the other part is I am so thrilled and excited, I want to steer clear of any naysayers, this is just not the time.  It has taken a lot of effort, prayers and determination to get us where we are today.  I am only receptive to all things positive. 

So with that said, I appreciate all of the well wishes and prayers.  We will keep in touch... please do follow our blog.  The times are different, so please be mindful of that when trying to "catch" us online or while waiting for a response.  the date and time is located on the yellow sticky note to your right.  Even though I am so excited to go, I am overwhelmed with emotions.  So much joy and anticipation for all that awaits, yet a sense of grief as I lay this chapter to rest. 
 
 
It is official we are leaving on the 13th!!  I am so psyched.  Waiting and not knowing has been brutal.  So the real countdown begins.  So much to do... So much excitement. 
 
 
No I am no expert, but I do like to research.  So as soon as I knew that I was going to be moving to a country unknown to me, Google and I became best friends.  Every question that I had or thought I had or rumor that I had heard… I began searching for it.  For those who have the same questions, or are simply curious about how we will be living.. come click away.  And if your questions go unanswered, please feel free to ask me, if I don’t know it I will surely do my best to find the answers.    I have listed a few, but keep in mind this is a work in progress.

How will we communicate with others in the world?

Skype (its free and we can video chat computer to computer)
www.skype.com

Magic Jack (for those who want to call on the phone and those without computers
www.magicjack.com

Etisalat (for local phone and internet service)
http://www.etisalat.ae/

What will we watch on tv? (Well we will certainly have cable, although most channels will be local to the country there will be channels that we are familiar with.)  I am NOT a huge tv person.  I just like the noise,  I love my sitcoms, game shows and cooking shows (and my football).  But I still want to stay connected, will prob watch more, just to get a feel for my people.  So we WILL have cable.  (My godson will be happy to hear that…LOL)

Evision (surprised me with the channels, YES I will get the package with BET) 
http://evision.ae/index.jsp?lang=en

Where will we get our hair done? So many places…. Perms., weaves, braids, twists, whatever.  It’s all here.

How will we get around? For work transportation will be provided (so friggin awesome!!! And initially for everything else we will take cabs.  After that I plan to buy a used car.

Tabuk Trade (Ahmad Amer)
http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=591265715&sk=wall

Where am I going to sculpt this soon to be beautiful body? So many places to choose from, but these were the tow that I really like.  Not sure where I will really go,  I hear most of the hotels have plans.  We will see.  I love that some of the gyms are true spas.  I can’t wait to work out and then get my mani and pedi. 

Lifeline Fitness
http://lifelinewellness.com/readmore.asp

Abu Dhabi Country Club
http://www.adhfc.com/

Where will we shop?  

Abu Dhabi Mall
www.abudhabi-mall.com

Al Wahda Mall
http://www.alwahda-mall.com

Mazy Mall
http://www.mazyadmall.com/

Dalma Mall
http://www.dalmamall.ae/

Carrefour (Reminds me of Walmart)
http://www.ic4uae.com/

Lulu’s

http://uae.luluhypermarket.com/

Marina Mall



What will we do on the weekends?

Movies

Beaches

Camel Safaris

Hot Air Ballooning

Jet Skiing

Shopping

Swimming with Dolphins

Zoos

Museums

Desert Camping

How can you keep up with what’s going on in Abu Dhabi?

Time Out Abu Dhabi
http://www.timeoutabudhabi.com

 
 
Our departure day is approaching quickly... and things are falling into place and going as planned.  Anyka's passport arrived today, yes!!!  We have been waiting patiently (actually only took 2 weeks and we didn't expedite), so I guess we were just waiting.  So to celebrate we went and purchased our much needed luggage, so now the packing can begin.  My documents have all been sent off and should arrive sometime next week.  There is nothing left to do but organize and save.  And complete the other hundred things on my list... but all of the dire necessary things are done.  Blessed are we.

I have been meeting so many people who are going over and its making this so real and even more exciting.  I feel like I am going over with friends.  I will post every so often while I am still in the states... but keep following.  Posts will come often once we are sharing our adventure. 

 
 
Ok so getting all the paperwork done and trying to prepare myself mentally and financially is proving to be quite a challenge.  Luckily, I have been able to get a the paperwork done at the state level.  Wooohooo!!!  Still have to apply for the passport.  Time is ticking so I will need to expedite... more money of course, but so necessary.  The next level is to send the documents to DC to the State Dept and then to the UAE Embassy... I am so glad there is a courier service that will be able to take care of this in a timely manner.  I need to make this happen within the next week.  So hopefully the yard sales will be profitable, seeing the funds is the only thing holding me back.  Why does it have to cost so much to stamp some papers???  UGH!!!  Story of my life. 

Anyhow, as I attempt to change the "story" I have been continuing my research of our soon to be home and I am convinced more and more that this is going to be so awesome.  Have been able to meet some locals and a lot of myths have been dispelled.  So I think fitting in is going to be even better than I initially imagined.  I have been keeping track of the weather (you can too, just look to the right)  and I think its going to be tough getting used to the heat... even though I LOVE the sun... I have heard that they are not too keen on ice and anyone who knows me knows that Mama needs her ice.  So I will definitely be packing some ice trays.  But other than that.. its al sounding and feeling good.  Just trying to balance my thoughts (mostly fantasy) with reality.  I know it can't all be peachy... but I am thinking there will be a few peaches.  Until next time...
 
 
Overseas.  The Middle East.  Abu Dhabi.  No matter which reference I use, or how excited I am, I still find myself having to defend my decision to trek to a new land with my daughter. I find that most people who have a passport seems to be more understanding and open to the idea of exploring the world.  If you know me at all, you know that my spirit is braided with risk and spontaneity, I live by faith and believe that universe guides and protects me.  I chose this region to explore because of the beauty of the land, the richness of the culture, the opportunities it provided and the likeness of home.  I am going to United Arab Emirates to do what I love.  Teach!  As I start to move deeper in my career as an educator  I feel a need to incorporate more of the world into my own learning and experiences.  I have embedded concepts from international curriculums into my teaching practice and I promote global education to all of my learners, but now I want to live it.  I want to have first hand account of other cultures and languages, policies and curriculum,.  I chose UAE because it is a beautiful country and has so much rich history and culture, it has hints of western life which will help for somethings to feel familiar, and I have friends and collegues who will be there.As a parent, my ultimate goal is provide Anyka with a healthy, balanced life.  In addition to her health and well being, I wish to provide her with opportunities to be well rounded and develop into an intelligent, experienced, cultured, global leader.  What better gift can I give than international exposure? 


So where are we going?  On an adventure of a lifetime.  No matter the experience, we will never be the same.  Rest assure this is a sound decision.  We will miss everyone while we are gone.  And we hope many of you will visit.  Thankfully for modern technology we will be able to journal our journey, update through Facebook, and Skype for free.  We appreciate all well wishes, prayers and blessings.