As most of you know, I left for the United Arab Emirates on February first. I flew from Raleigh to DC and then from DC to Dubai. North Carolina was cold, with a couple inches of snow and ice on the ground. I have lots of photos to upload, but I'm having problems with the internet here. Flikr, Google Chat and Skype are all banned. The blogspot up-loader won't load the photos. So far it looks like I can't upload any photos. This is extremely frustrating. I know there must be a way.
When I landed in Dubai, it was quite warm and humid. I flew United Airlines the whole way. I got really lucky and had a window seat on both flights. On the long flight, no one was seated next to me, so I could lay down and sleep. I was picked up at the airport by a hotel employee and taken to the Holiday Inn Express. Everyone thought I was a guy (the porter and the front desk) until I arrived because David had given them my nickname (Ali) instead of my full name. I stayed at the hotel for two nights. My second day they took me to a mall where I could people watch and get some food to eat and do some shopping. Wednesday morning I was picked up to go to the Dubai Women's College to meet up with Jesi, Mikah and Mike. We led local school kids through a full day program of indoor climbing, an indoor jacob's ladder, low ropes challenges and then initiatives. The program went over very well and the schools will be hiring David's company to do programs with even more kids in the future.
Then we drove 2 hours away from Dubai to our house. I thought we would be just outside of Dubai, but We drove through the dessert and I saw lots of camels! ( are actually in Oman. Dibba, Oman. We have a little house that's right next to a mountain and a short bike ride to a town with a nice beach and some shops. Our neighbors have donkeys and goats. This morning, we saw a goat high up in a tree eating leaves! The mountains are very strange looking and rocky. We took a long bike ride today to see the plantation where we'll be doing lots of programs, the beach and the small town. All the locals here are extremely polite and helpful. If I ever need help, I just ask. Men here treat us very well and with the exception of the airport, I don't get stayed at rudely. There is a large bouldering field, lots of sport routes, mountain biking and kayaking to do. The people I'm here with are ready to leave the internet cafe so I guess I'll sign off for now. Hopefully I'll be back in a couple of days and able to update you guys with a bit more detail. I plan to write it in microsoft word first so I can just copy and paste it here.
Look for another post in a couple of days!
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