Friday, April 28, 2017

8 Months, 8 Weeks

I can't believe that I've been living in Abu Dhabi for 8 months.  Not only has it been 8 months since I've arrived, it's just 8 weeks away until the end of term!  The school year is nearly over, time surely does fly!  I made it through so many "firsts" over the past 8 months and I'm looking forward to the many more I will encounter throughout this journey.

Just to give a recap of what happened since my last blog, I did get visitors from home and we had a great time.  My friend and her son visited for about 9 days and we spent our time visiting places in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  It felt great showing them around and sharing with them what I experience in my daily life.  I wish more of my family and friends are able to experience this with me, who knows how long I'll be on this side of the world.  My contract will end in June of 2018, which is a little over a year away.  I could return home to the U.S., extend my contract, transfer to a new school, or even a new country.  It's funny how just a few months ago, I couldn't imagine making it through the year, now I'm thinking of extending my stay.  We'll see how year two treats me 😉.

Oh yeah, remember from my previous post I had to make a decision over a spring break.  Well when I returned back to work, I let my principal know that I would like to move to third grade next year.  I haven't received a response back, I believe it was because Admin was so stressed about our ADEC inspection (we had inspection this past week).  I'm going to send a follow-up email this week to find out an update.  I have a feeling that they may keep me in KG, I wouldn't be totally opposed to the idea.  I do however, prefer kindergarten over pre-k and would love it even more if I looped up with my current students.  I just want to know where I'll be so I can plan accordingly.  Look at me, the school year isn't even over and I'm already planning for next year 😁.

Until next time...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Much Needed Break

I know, I know, it's been a while!  So many weeks have passed since my last post.  I know every other post I make promises to do better, but I really will try to do better.  But here goes my latest thoughts....

I'm officially on spring break!  Our spring break is two weeks and this break is well needed! Term 2 was very long, 11 weeks without any days off.  I'm not traveling during this time, my very first visitors arrived yesterday!  My sister's best friend and her son will be here for the next 7 days.  We plan to travel within the UAE.  

On March 1st I received a letter stating that I officially passed probation.  All but one teacher passed, unfortunately the other teacher will not finish the school year with us.  All new staff are placed on probation for the first six months.  Six months is a long time to decide if you want to keep someone.  But I guess with all of the money the school invests in you, those six months are adequate.  I can't believe the school year is almost over.  Once we return after spring break, we're down to 11 weeks.  I've been told once Ramadan begins, the days pass over rather quickly.

You may recall during one of previous post how I spoke of changing grades for the next school year.  Well, I had my performance meeting with the acting principal the day before we let out for spring break.  Anyway, she informed me that there's definitely a spot in grade 2 and maybe grade 3.  She wants me to take the time over break to decide where I want to be next year.  A few months ago, I was very adamant that pre-k wasn't for me, but now I'm not so sure anymore.  A part of me misses working with the older kids, and the other part loves working with the babies.  Decisions, decisions.  I have to have an answer by the time I return from spring break 😕.  

Congratulations to those of you who have secured a teaching position, be it locally or abroad!  

Until next time...  

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Six Months Later

As of  yesterday, I've lived in the UAE for six months.  There are still days when I just sit back and say, "Wow, I'm really living in Abu Dhabi".  Things are going well and I'm counting down the weeks until spring break (4).  

Since I've last spoken to you I manged to finally get my name onto my utility accounts, had my first sandstorm and rain in the desert!  If you're wondering if it gets cold here, I can assure you that it does.  There were a few times that I've contemplated getting a portable heater because I was so cold.  But the weather here changes often, one day is cold and windy, the next it's warm and humid.  I'm thankful for the break in the weather because the summer is so hot.  However, it doesn't stay cool here for too long.  

I'm so looking forward to spring break!  Tomorrow we're starting week 7, we haven't had any breaks since the term begin.  I'm hoping that we have a rain or fog day soon, the weekends are just not enough.

Well until next time... 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

2016 was good to me, I have no complaints!  In 2016, I took a leap of faith by doing something that I still can't believe.  I left my job of 10 years and took on another position that required me to leave my comfort zone and travel across the world to a new country in the Middle East.  I'm enjoying meeting new people and discovering more about myself.  I successfully completed the first term at my school, teaching prek and loving my students and their families.  

I traveled back home for Christmas and enjoyed spending time with my family and former colleagues.  It was good to regroup and refocus and I'm now back in Abu Dhabi.  It's funny how I couldn't wait to go back to The States, but once there, I couldn't wait to come back to the UAE.  Lol!  It was just too cold, I've become accustomed to this beautiful weather here.

I'm looking forward to all the things to come in 2017.  Hopefully, I'll take my first trip during Spring Break to South Africa.  I have three more days of vacation, then I'm back to work for two days of PD.  I hope you all have a prosperous new year!

Until next time!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Residence Visa

So I've been in Abu Dhabi now for 111 days, nearly 4 months and today I finally received my residence visa!  Yes, you read that right, I'm just now receiving my visa 😏.  I know you're probably wondering how that could happen, but unfortunately I have no answers to how/why this happens.  This is one of the ways, private schools differ from pubic schools.  If you're planning to come to Abu Dhabi to work for ADEC, you will receive your visa before you board your plane.  If you don't have your visa then you are advised not to board the plane.  By doing this, it would save you so much trouble.  

Just about everything you need done here, requires an Emirates ID.  In order to have an ID, you must first have a resident visa.  From getting a Sim card to opening a bank account, an Emirates ID is needed.  Fortunately I was able to get those mentioned items with a copy of my passport and letter from my employer.   However, there are so many months these businesses will allow you get away without showing proper identification.  I'm so grateful that I finally have my visa and that it came just in time so that I can travel back home for the holiday. 

Until next time...

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

I started this blog yesterday (Thanksgiving Day) but forgot to finish it.

So today is Thanksgiving but it's just an ordinary day here in the UAE.  As I prepared to go to work this morning, I logged onto Facebook to see so many friends and family prepping for Thanksgiving Dinner.  This is my first Thanksgiving away from home and I'm missing everything about this day.  Being here has made me appreciate so many things that I've take for granted back home.  Although I'm feeling a little lonely, I'm reminded that I'm not alone here.  In just a few minutes I will celebrate Thanksgiving here with my colleagues.  I'm grateful that most of us live in the same building, so dinner will be held in another teacher's apartment.  Everyone is contributing to the dinner, my contribution is baked ziti, drinks, and a roasted chicken.  I have so much to be thankful for and even though I'm not among family today, I'm grateful that I don't have to spend this day alone.  Besides this is my Abu Dhabi Family and I'm so thankful for each of them.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

85 Days Later

Hello All!  I know it's been a minute since I last communicated but you all know me by now :-)  No since in making promises that I probably won't keep, lol.  I can't believe it's been 85 days since I landed in the UAE.  As you know things haven't always been great but they aren't all bad either.  It's like I'm on a roller coaster.  Some days I'm fine and comfortable in my new place and other days I'm longing to be home.  But all in all, I'm loving the ups and downs and glad I've had the opportunity to live abroad.

Since my last blog post I've attended my first music festival and I absolutely loved it.  It was a 90's music festival with local talent and other well known artist/groups.  I mostly attended the festival to see the group Arrested Development.  They did not disappoint!  I'm so glad we attended this event and I'm looking forward to attending more events like this during my time here.  I've also joined an Urban Line Dance class on Wednesdays.  It's a great way to meet other people as well as dance the stress away.  

At the work place
This week we had our first Parent Teacher Conferences and they went extremely well!  Both my parents and I are pleased with the progress students have made.  I'm thankful for my wonderful coworkers who have made this such a great transition.  We also celebrated Flag Day last week and it was very festive, I'm looking forward to the National Day Celebration that will take place in two weeks.  Just four weeks until the end of Term 1 and our holiday break!  I'm debating on whether or not to travel back home for the Holidays. I'll keep you all posted!

Until next time!