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The past few days

We had a pretty late night Wednesday night. We spent all of Wednesday working on lesson plans until it was time to go to the “gear shop.” Ram drove us to Ras al-Khaimah (in the UAE on the Western coast) to the gear shop. The “gear shop” was really bunches of boxes stacked to the ceiling in a wealthy couple’s large house. We were there to pick up a large order of gear for our camp. Of course, this was a great excuse to have a look around ourselves. We just started exploring and digging through boxes. Paddling gear in one room, climbing in another, packs in another. It was like Christmas walking around opening boxes to find out what goodies were in them. Jesi bought an outfit and Micah and I bought climbing shoes. I was told I wouldn’t need them so I didn’t bring mine from home. As it turns out, there is TONS of climbing, and I desperately need shoes. I bought a pair of Red Chilis that are pretty sweet. They fit much better than my shoes at home. Hopefully there will be some action shots of them soon.

In Ras al-Khaimah we stopped at this pretty impressive mall for fast food. Pretty much everyone in the mall was a local. I had fun people watching. The lines were long and slow, so we all just stuck to something easy- McDonalds and Hardees. During the long drive back, we learned that the caterer’s were preparing food to be sampled at the camp. We were already late when they called, and still an hour away.

At camp, there was an impressive spread of food with dishes influenced by culinary traditions from around the world. The new traditional seating area was complete and welcoming. One of the other attendees took some awesome photos, which I hope to get my hands on soon. Unfortunately we couldn’t relax because we still needed to head to the internet cafĂ©. I think the night ended somewhere around 1am last night.

Thursday morning we woke up without electricity and Ram had the car. We really needed to work on programming (with computers) and we needed to send emails, but could do neither of those things. So in an attempt to save the day, we walked to the plantation to do some risk assessment and planning. While we were there, we hiked up one of the small hills nearby. There are half-fallen stacked stone structures everywhere here. You can hardly walk anywhere without stumbling into one. There were at least six or seven on that single hill alone. The top of the hill provided views of the ocean, our plantation, and the resort to one direction, the mountains and our neighborhood to the other. In those little buildings, there are pottery shards everywhere. Someone spread a selection of them on a flat rock for others to see and admire.

Jesi and Micah at the top

The mountains to the West

Jesi and Micah looking out over the Gulf

Really awesome pottery shards

A partially standing stacked stone hut

Looking out over the Gulf. Our plantation is in the foreground and the Golden Tulip Resort is the other large object in the distance by the water.

Now, Friday, I am sitting in the local internet cafe in Dibba (the one in UAE) after stuffing my face with amazing Lebanese food. Saffron rice and lamb, with an optional tomato-y sauce and dhal. It was so good I wish I took a photo of it. The girl who works at the internet cafe is blasting Enrique Iglesia. We are listening to "Bailamos". Its a bit odd listening to Latino music in the Middle East.