Thursday, November 28, 2013

Figuring out Transportation and Community in Ruwais

One of the hardest parts of moving every year or so is the adjustment to the loss of community and the need to rebuild it. This is easier in some places than in others. Abu Dhabi city had several easy transportation options: many taxis, buses, lots of things within walking distance.

Ruwais is different. Taxis are supposedly available, but the one time I called one he said he'd be here in 40 minutes and after 2 hours passed he said he'd be here in 15 minutes and after a few missed calls and another hour said he was lost and gave up. We will have to see if calling the main number gives better results next time. There are buses, but I still need to figure out where to get a map for them or figure out a good time to drag everyone out when Ben's available to see if I can get a driver's license. There are a few things within walking distance: park, little market and a recreation center; but mostly there are millions of villas that look identical to each other all tacked together in rows and rows of neighborhoods. Very few of the women I've met, (and I don't see many out during the day,)  have spoken English, except for the Filipino cashier at the market... so, we're still figuring out the whole community thing at the moment.

When a good friend visited from the States, we took the opportunity to get registered at the hospital (in case of an emergency so we don't have to fill out all of the paperwork before getting treatment) here and check out the beach a short drive away, since she could drive with a U.S. license as a tourist, but I can't legally as a resident.

Some issues this presents at the moment is a difficulty getting to the hospital if I were in labor, and a lack of people to leave the children with. Since Ben works an hour away, I should be able to labor pretty well at home until the last minute to avoid interventions at the hospital and give him time to get here.

Being here a month has brought up things like these that we are still figuring out. There's always a new type of challenge, everywhere we move.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wind/Sand/Rain/Hail Storm in the Western Region

Yesterday a really strong sandstorm had Ben's bus pulled over on the side of the road a few times on the way home from super-strong winds and super-low visibility. The wind was strong enough to blow sand in between the doors of the bus. They managed to outrun it for a little bit and then it overtook them again. He finally made it home an hour later than usual. Being a bus driver in these conditions must be really stressful!

Later that night very strong winds blew into Ruwais and following the sand storm was crazy rain and really strong lightning and thunder! I was surprised to hear hail following. Our electricity went out for a few hours, and this woke me up and I laid there remembering how Guatemala often had these drippy sounds running in the background of daily life during the rainy season.

Today it has continued to rain, at a much calmer pace and without as much wind, all day, but the destruction (mostly to the vegetation) from last night's wind is still visible.