Tuesday, March 24, 2015

After Abu Dhabi: The Next Chapter

Our family is so excited about our next move!

Several of the goals we've had for where we live next have been reached in the new positions we have accepted:
-A place where our children could become bilingual in English/Spanish.
-A place where flights home weren't around $1,000 each like they are here.
-A place where the natural environment was more inviting than the desert so that we could all spend more time outside.
-A place that had some sort of balance between being super controlling and super dangerous.
-A place where if we both were to work, our children would be able to attend school in the same location.
-A church community.

We prayed about this transition, and then this position opened for us. There are so many ways that this is the perfect transition from Abu Dhabi: San Jose del Cabo in Baja California, Mexico. Let me just tell you some of the ways this place exceeds our expectations:

-We will be working in a bilingual private school where the subjects are taught in Spanish except science and English. Definitely a place for children to be bilingual!
-Flights home round trip are between $100-$300 and a one-way trip can be as low as $79. There is an airport nearby, too. (Also, a three hour flight sounds lovely right now as we are preparing for another 14 hour one.)
-This is a place known for its outdoor environment: beaches, horses, whale-watching and many other water sports.
-Since it isn't on the mainland of Mexico, but the peninsula, the drug traffic doesn't go through like many of the mainland and border Mexican towns. It has tourist police to protect the tourism industry and a special court for them as well. It has a good balance between control and danger. As far as natural disasters are concerned, there are occasional hurricanes.
-Ben and I will both be teaching (science and English, I love both!) and our children will all be attending school as well. There is a daycare, preschool and elementary up to 6th grade. It's perfect for the ages of our children and we love that the younger children will be learning Spanish.
-There are church options.

There are beautiful things beyond what we even wanted, like liking the subjects we will be teaching, and having respect for the people who run the school already because of the way they have gone out of their way to research what we would need and been available to help us with questions.

We feel blessed and thankful!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cat Shadows

Ruwais is a town with many feral cats. You hear them yowling all of the time, you see them tipping over trash cans and, I've suspected, one ripped a hole in our screen door. Don't get me wrong, I like cats better than dogs for the most part, but they're everywhere. 

Our villa came without the general maintenance usually done before a new family moves in. It's an old house, built sometime in the 80's, and has had many families before ours. Because of this we are used to issues with the water, paint peeling off of the walls and a very difficult to manage screen and door to the back patio.

When a gash appeared in the bottom corner of the screen we knew we'd have to be careful when it was in place or the cats would waltz right in the house in search of food. (Yes, they do.) Then, the difficult-to-manage door quit functioning: it would close almost all the way, but left a 3-4 inch gap. So we closed it and the screen as much as possible when getting the downstairs ready for the night.

This particular night, Ben went to bed early because he wasn't feeling well, and as soon as he and the kids were fast asleep I looked out the bedroom door and a shadow slinked from the stairs towards the rooms... A cat! I screamed at it and it zipped back downstairs and squeezed out the door before I could get down there. I put a cookie sheet between the screen and the door to block the hole, shut the downstairs doors and hoped that would block the crazy creatures.

Maintenance takes a while to get around to anything, so for now a baby gate between the screen and the door closes the hole and all the downstairs doors closed contains it.

In Guatemala the constant dogs and firecrackers were sleep hazards and here, it's the cats! Hopefully, now, they'll stay outside sleep hazards.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Seen in Abu Dhabi 33: Basboosa

When our Jordanian friends made us this dessert called "basboosa," it was the first time I had ever tried it and it puzzled me! It had a delicious flavor: slightly sweetened with a hint of citrus, but a texture I didn't recognize similar to grits. When I looked it up (http://www.food.com/recipe/basboosa-suji-cake-arabic-semolina-cake-309414) I found it is made with semolina, another thing I'm not familiar with. Regardless, it's delicious! I'm thankful for these generous people who like to introduce us to new things from their culture. I love trying new foods!