Friday, November 28, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Today, Talia and Elias were excited to get their name in pancakes for breakfast as something special for Thanksgiving. Since Thankgoving isn't officially observed in the U.A.E., yesterday was a school/work day and special breakfasts weren't easy to squeeze in.
(Not pictured: Benjamin with his- morning pictures aren't his thing. ;) )

Turkey is only offered seasonally here, and they're large for what our family can eat and only available at the mall that's not easy for me to get to (physically and mentally. ;) ) So, for supper we had roasted chicken, stuffing, broccoli casserole and a peach crisp. 

The kids and I had fun making paper turkeys to decorate the table. Hearing the things they were thankful for was a highlight of the day!

This Thanksgiving was dedicated to Benjamin: the guy we are all thankful for. He loves his children and puts in time with them training, educating, talking and playing. He puts his family's needs first and is always consciously providing for us now and keeping the big picture of the future in mind. There's so many things that go into being a good father. I'm thankful our children have him.

Happy Thankgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Ben!

Happy Birthday Ben! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Censorship

If you think I haven't been posting anything substantial lately, you're correct. It's not that I would write something criticizing the people or government here, because I don't usually write about that sort of thing and I truly try to find the positives in every place we live... but just the fact that there is censorship here makes it difficult to write at all. Maybe it's a mental block, because truly, with the immense quantity of nationalities, foods and cultures blending in this place, there's a lot I like to learn about and would like to share, I just never know what will be offensive to someone else. Over-thinking things really kills any creative flow or desire to write. Because of this, here's what you end up with: recipes, photos, what the kids are saying and, you know, basically anything without thoughts deeper than the surface level of life here because that's what is for sure (until I say it is, perhaps) allowed to be written.

There's nothing that makes one want to be critical as much as the preemptive admonition not to be.

There are so many good things here. I want to be able to write about them.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Green Spaces



I recently had a conversation with a friend comparing this desert to the desert of Las Vegas. Las Vegas, they said, was all sand, buildings and plastic "grass." Coming to Ruwais, then, it was refreshing to find more trees and grass than they had expected. 
There is an extensive gardening and landscaping effort throughout each city I've visited in Abu Dhabi. Miles and miles of Palm trees line the highways watered by even more miles of black hoses that utilize desalinated water from the gulf and give gardeners from places like  Bangladesh and jobs.
I have read some complaints about the amount of energy and water that is used to produce these green places in the desert and I'm not sure how to solve that problem, but every time I see these green places, I appreciate them. I'm not sure there's a way to measure, but I would bet it helps people stay sane and continue living here longer.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

When it's Difficult to Breathe

Respiratory health is difficult to keep in Abu Dhabi. It seems to be even more difficult closer to the oil refineries. I've heard several theories for this:
-pollution,
-constant sand in the air,
-buildings fabricated with materials not allowed to be used in other countries for health implications
-the chemicals sprayed for pests or fertilizers that are also stronger than in other places.

Who knows, perhaps it is a combination of all of those things... but as "winter" here takes a foothold, the coughing and breathing/throat problems have escalated among everyone that I know here, escalated, not appeared, because they were already rampant, I've noticed, for as long as we've been in the U.A.E.