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Taking Dubai: Week 1 Round-Up

Well, you probably figured out that my intentions to blog each day during my Dubai adventure didn't pan out. Our days are filled until late night and the internet is unreliable.

But, I have the time today for a round-up of the first week!

The only word I can think of to describe this place is AMAZING. From the people, the culture(s), business environment, the architecture, to the food... everything is different, yet amazing. I have to remind myself often that I'm really here and that I am experiencing the UAE both as a professional and a vacationer.

The first three days were the most difficult in terms of adjusting. It took some time to get familiar with navigating the city, the time difference (eight hours ahead here), the customs, and the food. I'm not sure any of us really know what day it is right off even now. And, when I message the hubby and parents I expect an immediate response even though I know it's 2 a.m. back home.

So, to catch up and keep myself on track, here's what we've been up to.

Thursday we had an easy day of resting. That evening we headed to Dubai Mall and chose the perfect restaurant for an amazing view of the water show.

Friday we woke up early and headed to the Palm Islands and toured Atlantis. Here are a few pics of the view from the metro.
Heading into the city.
The view of Jumeirah Beach.

Saturday was the BEST day thus far! We departed in the afternoon for a desert safari.
The sand was so cool... I didn't expect that!
Chloe (student) and I on Miguel, the camel
This one had a biting problem...
Students, Dylan & Marcus. We represent well.
Watching the sun set with Hillary and Logan.
The following day it was straight to work! The students met their PR client. The view from the company's office is stunning.
You can see the ocean peeking through!
Monday was probably the second best day thus far. Why you ask? Because I basked in the sun on Jumeirah Beach. The Persian Gulf, or Arabian Gulf as the locals refer to it, was the most beautiful, blue color and was so warm. I felt like a Persian goddess (not really, but I wish).

And the last two days the students have visited PR firms and worked on their class project. Tomorrow we dine at our client's home! We are all so excited to get "fancied up." Here's to hoping I can share more daily!

Taking Dubai: Day 1

Water, cold compress, and reflection. We just concluded our first full day in the UAE.

Yesterday's 14 hour flight didn't seem too bad. I walked the plane often to keep as healthy as possible. When I arrived at my hotel and looked at my feet, I didn't know what to think. They were so swollen... Overcome with exhaustion, a stiff back, and swollen feet, I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. I'm still experiencing swelling, so my ankles and feet are wrapped in cold compresses. Here's hoping for improvement!

After a nice start to our time in Dubai, I am once again ready to rest my head for the night! Class discussions begin tomorrow and so does intense exploration! Today, we hit up two malls just to get acquainted with the culture. Oh my, the shopping! I did well though, resisting temptation. I don't want to spend all my dough in one day. Plus, I am looking for those one-of-a-kind, locally made pieces.

Most people wonder about the weather/temperature. Yes, it's hot! But, surprisingly not overwhelming.

Here's a snapshot into the beginning of our adventure:

Departing the local airport.

Lunch at Ravi
Our view


Stay tuned for day 2!

Reality 101

Have you ever said to yourself, or maybe even to someone else, "Things will slow down next week." Well, I said that for about two months straight but that slower week just didn't come... But, here's the good news: I wouldn't change ANYTHING! I love the days of my office filled with students whether it be for advising or counseling and evenings and early mornings devoted to grading and student group meetings. No matter how tired I may think I am, adrenaline kicks in and I make it through!

But, I must admit, I put all my energy into those final weeks of classes. It was nice waking up today knowing that I have more time to devote to other important things in my life: faith, my husband, my parents, friends, my "baby," and of course, the house. Then, reality struck again. In exactly one week I will board a plane for a 3-week study-abroad course in Dubai! So, this "more time" thing will be short-lived. And now my mind is consumed with thoughts about this adventure!

Enough talk about what I've been doing work-wise. Here's a little of the fun stuff.

This past weekend I headed home for Mother's Day. Here's a peak!

This was the first time I saw the house in its final stages. Doesn't it just scream "Little House on the Prairie?"

My mom is AMAZING! She is strong-willed, intelligent, devoted to her husband and children, supportive, and leads by example. Us kiddos gave her a gift certificate for a family photo session (which we haven't done since my brother and I were children) and I got her a little something extra. My mom loves this saying from "The Help."

Speaking of Mother's Day, I may not technically be a mom yet, but my husband treated me to a new pair of prescription sunglasses (Coach at that!) for being such a good mommy to our "baby" (Esme the Maltipoo).

I also had some spare time to stop by and send off one of my favorite bloggers! Originally from Arkansas, her and her husband have been in the Tri-Cities the past year while he finishes medical school. Emily has been working at one of my favorite boutiques in the area. Emily's blog is fabulous and so is she! Check it out: The Sweetest Thing. I wish her and her husband well as they head back home to Arkansas!

Follow along with me on my journey to Dubai! I'll post weekly, if not more!

For now, I leave you with this: "Faith is the capacity to endure uncertainty."