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!        

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Transportation Woes

So we had quite the experience the other evening.  I helped another friend in my building with setting up her Fire Stick.  The ordeal took longer than we expected so in appreciation, she offered to take me out to dinner.  I thought it would be a quick trip to Marina Mall, but we didn't get home until three hours later.  This was our first time to going to the mall on a Friday evening so we had no idea catching a cab home would be so difficult.  Any other day, the cabs would be plentiful but on this particular day, not a cab in sight!  Did I mention that the taxi line was ridiculously long? 

We thought of taking the bus, but since we're not familiar with the bus route, we decided not to use it. Because of the long line and no taxi cabs in sight, we decided to walk a little further up and hopes of getting a cab, but no such luck.  To make a long story short, we ended up walking about 3 miles until we successfully hailed a cab.  I've never been so happy to see a yellow light on top of a taxi.  We didn't arrive home until after 12 am, we left the mall after 10:00 p.m.  So we learned a valuable lesson, avoid going to the mall on a Friday evening, unless you have a car.  It's so funny that earlier that evening I said I could make it without renting a car but after this ordeal, I quickly changed my mind.  

You see the taxis lined up, this was on a Thursday evening.

Until next time!

Change of Attitude

Hey Everyone!  I've been meaning to update this blog but I kept putting it off, I believe I shared with you all before, I'm a huge procrastinator.  I'm really going to try and do better with updating you all. A few days after posting my last entry, I found the words above on Facebook which turned my whole attitude around.  I've decided that I'm going to take advantage of this opportunity and enjoy it.  I'm sure that there are many other people who would like to be in my position right now.  

I keep up with the Facebook groups in hopes of meeting up with new people.  On this particular day a woman posted that she'd just arrived in Abu Dhabi the day before, and was looking to connect with other people.  I commented on her post and so did a few others, we arranged to meet that same day before dinner.  I'm so glad I reached out to her and got out of my apartment.  Everyone exchanged numbers with promises to stay connected.  Cheers to making new friends!    

P.S.  If you read my blog titled Day 17, I fixed the videos that were on there.

Until next time!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Making the Best of It

Well I survived the first 7 days of school!  Although it's only been 7 days, it feels so much more longer.  I'm officially off for 9 days due to the celebration of Eid Mubarak.  I'm going to take this time to regroup and hopefully visit other emirates of the UAE.  Yesterday, I attended church with another teacher who lives in my building.  We work for the same company but different schools.  Anyway, I enjoyed the services, it was well needed.  I have good and bad days here.  It's a mixture of missing home, teaching a new grade, and just getting use to how things are run here.  

If I'm being all the way honest, I was contemplating coming home during the winter break and never returning.  I've heard that several families have already returned home for a number of reasons and I can totally understand.  Yet, I was reminded that I prayed for this opportunity and He granted my request.  Things won't always run smoothly but it doesn't mean I need to throw in the towel.  I'm extremely grateful for this opportunity and I promise to make the best of it.

Until Next Time

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Day 17

Hello All!  I finally have Internet and I should be able to update more frequently.  It was hard living without the Internet but I made it.  Lol!  I've been in Abu Dhabi for 17 days now, and I'm adjusting quite well.  

After a delayed opening of my school, we finally received the green light to begin school on Wednesday, August 31st (3 days ago).  I love my new students and their parents.  My students are from Hungary, India, Yemen, Pakistan, US, Jordan, Malaysia, Canada and of course UAE.  I have 19 kids on my roster, but only half showed up.  I probably won't meet all of my students until after the Eid Holiday which is coming up soon.  So we'll be in school for 7 days before we have our first break.  During that time I plan to go to Dubai.   

I'm debating on whether or not to rent a car.  My goal was to get to know the area first then rent a car my second year here.  But having a car would be so much easier for me.  I like the area I'm in and can easily access a cab to just about anywhere, but those taxi cabs add up.  So the question still remains...

Here are a few videos of my new neighborhood. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Never Alone

"Sometimes I'm alone but never lonely." - India Arie

When they say you're never alone and everyone is like family here, they're telling the truth.  On yesterday, I left my apartment keys at school, the school is a good 30 minutes away, I have no car, and a taxi would be quite costly to travel round-trip.  Thankfully there were teachers still in the building but they weren't coming back right away.  My next door neighbor whose Egyptian took me in, fed me and entertained me for about two hours until my keys arrived. I was so grateful for her and thanked her several times. She told me not to worry about anything and if I'm ever in need, she's there to help.  She reminded me that we're family now, and indeed sisters.

Today, I had yet another experience leaving my personal items at work.  This time around was my wallet 😯.  One of my  colleagues began a WhatsApp group which has come in great handy, so I was able to contact a teacher who was working late at the school.  The teacher found my wallet and brought it back to my apartment.

I was on my way to get something to eat when I noticed my wallet was missing.  One of my grade group partners gave me money so that I could still eat. She didn't stop there, she later picked me up from my apartment took me to the teacher store and gave me additional money so that I can put minutes on my phone.  I'm just so grateful to have a support system all the way in the UAE.  When I prayed for this job, one constant request was that i would work in a school where I would build healthy relationships among my colleagues, students and their families.  God has honored all of my requests thus far, and I'm sure He's not done yet.  😇😇😇


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Welcome to Abu Dhabi

It's Saturday, August 20th and I've been in Abu Dhabi for four days now.  On Tuesday, August 16th I boarded a plane bound to Doha, Qatar from Philadelphia, PA.  After a 3 hour layover in Doha, I finally landed in Abu Dhabi the following day.

This was my very first international flight and it went pretty smoothly.  We had a little turbulence, but it was a great flight.  Qatar Airways is a first class airline and they did not disappoint.  We were fed 3 meals and we had plenty of entertainment on board.  In between sleeping, I watched 3 movies: Barbershop 3, Creed, and one of my favorites Hair Spray. I also listened to music and read books on my kindle.  The flight to Doha was about 12 hours.

I transferred planes in Doha, still using the same airline.  The first leg of my trip was first class, the second part was...I guess I was spoiled with the big plane and comfy seats.  Once I made it to my seat on the second plane, I immediately began to dose off.  The fight from Doha to Abu Dhabi was 90 minutes long but it felt like 30.

After getting my passport stamped, I picked up my luggage and headed to the arrival hall where I was greeted by my Principal and other HR representatives.  I was so thankful that I made it to Abu Dhabi safely, and with no mishaps. After I arrived two more of my colleagues arrived, and wouldn't you know one is from Jersey too!  We eventually left the airport and was taken to our accommodations.  

We're already off to a great start, here in Abu Dhabi!  I'll write more about my accommodations in another post.  It's getting late here, and tomorrow is the first day of work.

Until next time...

Friday, August 12, 2016

Flight Itinerary

So the day that I've patiently waited for, finally arrived yesterday!  As with everyday, I woke up and checked my email but there wasn't an email from my school.  So I went ahead and began to prepare for my day.  I headed out to the salon to get my hair braided for my trip.  As soon as I step foot in the salon, I hear a ping from my phone indicating a text message.  My new grade partner sent a message telling me to check my email, so I immediately opened up my Gmail account.  I opened it up and was greeted with a ton of information.  It had everything from the schedule of the Induction program, to housing and the most coveted prize, my eTicket!

I'm so happy that I don't have to fly to Chicago.  We were told that we would fly Etihad Airlines but I'm now flying Qatar Airways.   I can't tell you how many times I've searched for fights going to Abu Dhabi from Philly.  I'm so glad one of the routes I continuously searched, is my chosen path.  On Tuesday, I will depart from Philly and head to Doha, Qatar (12 hour flight).  I'll have a 3 hour layover there then board another plan for Abu Dhabi which is approximately 1.5 hours.  I've already chosen my seats, an aisle seat for the first part of the trip and a window seat for the second leg. It's recommended that you get up and walk a lot, so an aisle seat is necessary.

I have my housing and searched all day for pictures and information on it.  But I couldn't find anything. I did learn that it's brand new, but that's about it.  I've decided to just let it be, I'm looking forward to seeing it for the first time on Wednesday.

I just have a few more things to pack and I'm all set!  I had my Bon Voyage party last weekend, I'll talk more about that on my next post.

Until next time!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Flight Update

I love my wall calendar!  How fitting for the month of August!

So I received an update from HR concerning our flight arrangements.  I now know that I'll fly Etihad Airways and we're currently waiting for the airline to issue the tickets.  We're still scheduled to arrive in Abu Dhabi on the 17th, just 16 days away!  Yikes!  It's really getting real!

Until Next Time!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Let the Packing Begin!

Since my last post, I've begun packing and I'm extremely proud of myself.  I quickly learned that trying to fit everything in four suitcases wasn't a good idea.  My school offers a shipping relocation allowance for approximately $800 for singles.  And since I don't want to struggle with 6+ pieces of luggage at the airport, I've decided to take them up on the offer.  So far I've packed four boxes and one large suitcase.  My school requires three quotes for shipping, so tomorrow I will need to go to three different places to get pricing and send to HR.  I'm still waiting on my eTicket and Visa, as well as my housing.  Hopefully I'll get this information sometime this week. 

Until Next Time!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Any Day Now

Just 24 days before I board a plane to Abu Dhabi!  I'm still waiting on my eTicket and visa to make it official.  On Tuesday, I emailed the person in charge of booking our flights only to find out that she's on vacation and won't return until Wednesday, July 27th.  So I'll have to wait another week or so before I get my ticket.  Like I said in my last post, it could take a week or two weeks before I get my ticket but I'm scheduled to arrive in Abu Dhabi on August 17th.

On another note, I purchased a new luggage set along with a rolling duffel bag and packing cubes.  I still haven't gotten any closer to actually filling them, but I'll do it soon. I've been glued to Facebook today, as teachers are beginning to arrive in Abu Dhabi.  It's so exciting seeing their updates as they travel from their various countries to their new home in UAE.  I can't wait to be one of them, updating everyone on my new journey.  Any day now, I'll receive that email with my golden ticket!  

Until next time! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Lesson in Patience

The Public Holidays are officially over in the UAE and I'm expecting my flight itinerary any day now.  I was expecting to get my eTicket during the week of June 19th but that day has come and gone and we're now in the month of July.  Last week we received an email from HR informing us that we will receive our itineraries this week.  I woke up several times during the night, early Sunday and Monday mornings to check my email, but still no itinerary. Last night I turned my phone and tablet off so that I wouldn't be tempted to check my email during the night.  If there's anything I've learned during this process, I've learned that you need a great deal of patience and faith to make it through.  I know my ticket is on the way, so I just need to be patient.  It might come this week or even two weeks from now, but I have faith that it's on the way! Besides while I'm waiting, there are a ton of things that I can and should be doing.

Until next time... 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Patiently Waiting

So I finally managed to take my luggage out of the closet.  Lol!  I don't know where I'm going with it because it's way too small for this journey.  I'd rather have two large suitcases that will fit all of my belongings, than to bring over 4 small overstuffed bags.  I received an email update from my school informing us of that the HR department was closed and will reopen on Sunday, July 11th.  We were also informed that we will receive our flight itineraries during this week as well.  I'm hoping it comes on Sunday.  Housing is still being worked out and we will receive it by the end of July.  It's really getting real!  I don't know what I'll do when I finally receive my flight itinerary and tickets; shout, scream, run, dance, cry, or maybe do all the above

Until Next Time...    

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Just Checking In...

Just checking in with you all!  It's the last day of the month and 47 days until I touch down in Abu Dhabi.  Yesterday, I received my official welcome letter from my new principal and I'm excited because it included all of the new staff names and addresses.  My plan is to write an introduction email to everyone so that I can begin getting to know everyone.  I'm still waiting on my flight itinerary and housing information.  We were told we would receive this information within a week of confirming but we still haven't.  I'm not going to stress about it because I know it's coming, I just would like to have it in my hand.  

About two days ago, teachers who are going to teach in the public schools, begin receiving their flight details. Some teachers will arrive in Abu Dhabi as early as July 21st. Although I have a little more time than these teachers, I still freak out when I realize how much time I have left.  I still have yet to begin packing, I honestly don't even know where to begin.  I guess I can start by removing my suitcases from the closet.  Hey that's a start right?

Until next time...

Monday, June 27, 2016

End of a Chapter

The Security Team and Facilities Manager gave the staff the "red carpet" treatment.

Well the 2015-2016 school year came to a close on Friday, June 24th.  With the end of the school year, came the end of a chapter with my job.  I've worked at my school for 9 years, and although I'm sad to leave, I'm also excited to start a new chapter.  My first five years I was an Instructional Assistant for kindergarten and the last four years, I taught third grade.  I'm truly going to miss my VCS Family!  I hope and pray my next school family will be just as awesome.

By the way, we're still awaiting confirmation for our flights and living arrangements.  Hopefully, we'll hear something soon.

Until next time!

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Long Awaited Email

It finally came!  The email that I've waited for since April 12th has finally arrived.  I was awakened from my sleep at around 5:00 am, and since I had nothing better to do, I decided to check my email.  Lol!  Well I checked my email and there it was, the subject read Flight Booking - details to be confirmed to xxxxxxxx by Wednesday 15 June 12 noon Abu Dhabi time.  I had to reread the email to make sure I was reading correctly.  I just wrote a blog post last evening about awaiting flight details and just a few hours later I received the news.  Things are really getting real!  My school is planning flights for Wednesday, August 17th!  I've decided not to stress about the departure city and direct flights versus connecting flights.  They've already informed us that there aren't any guarantees that we'll have a direct flight.  I'm just grateful that it's a flight that I don't have to pay for.

The email also informed us that our accommodations are in the final stages; we will receive information as soon as everything is confirmed.  So it looks like everything is falling into place.  I just have to wait for my visa to be processed and then I'm officially headed to Abu Dhabi!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

One-Track Mind

School isn't finished, but this teacher (Me) is done!

Many school districts across the country are officially on summer break.  As for me and the lovely school districts in NJ, school is still in session.  I have 10 school days left, before the year is officially over.  School isn't finished, however I'm so done!  I can't seem to concentrate on anything but my plans of moving to Abu Dhabi.  I can't seem to get enough of all things UAE.  Lol!  I'm constantly on the Facebook groups, refreshing the browser every so often for new updates.  If I'm not on Facebook then I searching for teacher blogs on UAE and even videos on YouTube.  I can't get enough!  I'm so excited, I really don't know what do with myself!

I still haven't begun selling or packing things up.  I did go shopping last week for clothing, just purchased maxi style dresses, slacks, and tops; all things that I could wear to work.  We don't have to wear traditional Islamic clothing to school.  The dress code is conservative and professional with absolutely no denim.  It's really not much different than what I'm use to wearing.  I can't seem to pack anything until I get confirmation of my departure date.  I don't want to part with my car, I love my Kia Soul!  I've thought of shipping it over but it's just too costly.  My dad has mentioned that he wanted to purchase a newer car for my mother so I think he may just take over the payments or pay off the balance.  Hopefully, I'll come to a conclusion soon, it'll be one less thing I need to do.

I'm hoping to receive an email from the HR Department of my new school.  I was told that I would receive an email to begin planning my departure towards the end of the school term.  Their term ends on the 23rd, a day before my school.  I'm hoping to get a direct a flight to Abu Dhabi.  My closest airport is in Philadelphia and I know that they do not have direct flights.  If I leave from Philly, I'm guessing I will fly to Qatar, then Abu Dhabi. Another scenario would be to fly from Philly to Boston to Abu Dhabi or Philly to Chicago to Abu Dhabi.  But if I request to leave from JFK in NY, I can have a direct flight.  You see what I mean when I say I can't concentrate on anything else.  Lol!  No one told me these things, I just figured this would be the scenario after searching for airlines with a direct flight to Abu Dhabi.  You're dealing with a person who has a one track mind!  

You've heard me say this before, but I'm so ready to begin this journey.  In my research of finding out when people received their golden tickets (airline ticket) last year, many people received word immediately after the conclusion of Ramadan.  I believe the earliest date that I saw was July 9th.  This year Ramadan ends on July 5th, I hoping to receive my ticket that same week.

Well that's it for now, until next time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

There Aren't Any Guarantees

So there I was minding my own business, when I saw a post come up in my Facebook news feed.  One post in particular stated that all offers were rescinded for August starts.  Of course this post sent off alarms for everyone, including people like myself who were hired to work in private schools.  Everyone wants to know what's going on and exactly who is being affected and why?  Well it seems as if there were a surplus of teachers hired, than what was actually needed.  Many of the people affected were teachers of English who will teach middle and high school students.  As a result of the large number of hires, many contracts were rescinded leaving people without a job for the next school year.  Keep in mind, many people have already sold their homes and resigned from their current jobs.   There are also numerous teachers who were hired to start in January but pushed back to begin in August, now there is a possibility that they may not go at all.  This is very unfortunate because the process to teach abroad can be costly.  I'm single and going over by myself, I've spent about $700 (including passport) with authenticating my documents and postage fees.  People with families have spent much more than me, so you can imagine what is going through their minds right about now.

All of this reminds me that even though I signed a contract and was promised a job, there are no guarantees.  This is the number one reason why I haven't told many people about my big move.  But that didn't stop my family from telling others.  Every week I'm getting asked about my pending departure date, to which I have no definitive answer.  I won't know anything until my visa is processed, until then my departure date is around August 17th.  My school stated that licensing will begin soon to begin processing visas, once my visa is processed then I will be in the clear to move and work in Abu Dhabi.  Until I receive this confirmation, there aren't any guarantees.  

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Still Waiting

So after 7 weeks, I finally received an update from my school.  It wasn't the update that I was looking for but just hearing from HR is good.  But the email just asked for me to send a few items that I've already sent.  I'm hoping and praying that everything is fine with my paperwork.  I would hate for them to discover a problem now, when they've had it for nearly three months...

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Speak It!

When I logged onto my Facebook account today, it showed my memories of this day.  I made this post two years ago and I'm so excited that things are coming into fruition.  I'm reminded that if you want things to happen, sometimes you have to speak it into existence.  I have 29 school days and approximately 3 months left before I end my year at one school, and begin a new school and grade, in Abu Dhabi, UAE.  I'm still in disbelief that it's actually happening.  

Every so often, I ask myself "Why now", or "Why didn't I do this sooner?"  I remember when I was graduating from college, Norwegian Cruise Line was recruiting at my school.  I loved the idea of traveling and thought this would be my opportunity to do so.  I really wanted to do it, but I let fear get in the way.  Fast forward to summer 2015, here is when I begin toying with idea of teaching abroad.  I told very few people of my initial plans, I believe subconsciously, I wanted someone to talk me out of it.  Surprisingly, everyone I told was very supportive of the idea.  I still can't believe that I'm actually doing this, being that I'm an introvert and I've never traveled anywhere by myself. Then I reminded that traveling the world has been a dream of mine, now that the opportunity has presented itself I cannot let it pass me by.  

I'm so ready for my journey to begin!

Until Next time...

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Too Much Information

So I've told you all about the many Facebook groups I've joined.  These groups can be very helpful, with newbies and veterans alike, sharing their stories of excitements and disappointments.  I often enjoy going on these pages, and they're one of the reasons why I log onto Facebook everyday.  But then there are days when too much information is shared and it leaves one doubtful that they may not make to the UAE.

So today, just like everyday I browsed the groups to read the new posts.  When I check the posts, I'm always looking and hoping that someone is headed to my school.  I've met one person so far and we've been a great support to each other.  Anyway, there was one post that stood out and had several people, including myself, wondering if we would be granted visas.  A young lady shared her story of applying to schools in Abu Dhabi and how she and her husband were turned down because they both have a masters degree in education.  I know you're probably wondering why this is an issue.  Apparently there's a new law and teachers must have a bachelors in education in order to teach in the UAE.  Unlike the U.S., a masters degree in education is not enough.  I'm not sure how true this is but it caused quite a stir.  Like many others in the group, my bachelors degree is not in education, so it left me a little shaken.  I did read somewhere that secondary teachers must hold a bachelors degree in the subject they want to teach, so maybe this "new rule" is only for those teachers.  

Whatever the case may be, I've decided that I'm not going to worry about it or lose sleep. I don't think I've come this far in the game to be turned around now.  Sometimes when we're doing things out of the norm, I think we subconsciously look for things to go wrong.  You all know how much I've prayed and fasted on this opportunity, so I believe this news is just a distraction.  I'm going to keep pushing forward and staying positive.  

Until Next Time...  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Seven Emirates of United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Since the name of my blog is My Journey to UAE, it's only right if I share with you videos of this marvelous place.  Most people have never even heard of UAE or more specifically Abu Dhabi, I only learned of it in the summer of 2015.  Dubai is also recent to me, I learned about it maybe 5 years ago and it has been on my bucket list ever since.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

And the Wait Continues...

On Monday, there was much excitement going on with one of my Facebook Groups I'm a member of.  Some people received word that their visa applications were submitted and now on to processing, others spoke about packing, and duffle bags vs. suit cases, and etc.  Of course reading the posts left me excited and even more impatient.  I made a promise that I wouldn't contact the HR Department of my school until three weeks after submitting my documents.  Well thanks to FB, I didn't even make it to two weeks (a day short).  On Tuesday morning, I emailed HR just to get a an update.  Long story short, my paper work is being processed and the next update won't be until after the end of the current term which is slated to end on June 23rd.  Towards the end of the term, they will contact me so that they can begin finalizing booking my flight.  If all goes well I'll be heading out around August 17th!  As stated before, the school is brand new and is currently still undergoing construction.  I'm hoping and praying that the school will be finished in time so that staff and students can begin the school year. 

I really don't know what I'm going to do with myself from now until then.  I would like to hear some concrete news, I feel as though I can't move forward until I have that confirmation.  But in the meantime, I guess I should began making my "To Do" List.  I saw a cute luggage set from Heys but now I'm not sure if I should go with suitcases or duffle bags...       

Until Next Time..

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Waiting Game Part 2

As of Monday, March 28th all of my required documents have arrived safely in UAE!  With the arrival of these documents, a new waiting game begins.  Although, I received an offer and contract to work in Abu Dhabi, the final say so is up to the Ministry of Labour.  They will determine if I will be granted a resident visa and work permit.  Apparently there is a new law in UAE that is delaying work permits.  There are many people who were hired to begin working in January but they are still in their countries.  I'm hoping that this part of the process will be as smooth as the other steps I've taken thus far.  As you can imagine, I can hardly concentrate on anything else but Abu Dhabi.  Hopefully I'll hear good news soon and I can begin making plans for my move across the world.

Before I go, I have to let you know that I've made connections with a young lady whose also going to be working at my school, as well teaching the same grade.  We've talked quite a bit and it feels good talking with someone whose going through the same process.  I'm glad I'll know someone before I even arrive in UAE.  I'm looking forward to making more connections and relationships along the way.  

Until Next Time...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Getting Things in Order

Hey All! 

Just wanted to give a quick update!  I received my authenticated forms on Thursday.  Like others suggested, I used ProEx to get the job done.  The entire process took approximately 15 days to get the forms authenticated and delivered and cost about $400. Had I done this myself I could have saved myself a ton of money.  However, I have a deadline to get all of my paperwork in, which is coming up very soon.  Not only did I have to spend money on authentication, I also had to get an updated FBI clearance which resulted in shelling out an additional $129.  Even though I have a little less money in my account due to those payments, the experience that awaits me in Abu Dhabi more than pays for it.  I have one more letter to get from my school then I will gladly mail my documents to UAE so that I can begin the process of obtaining my resident Visa and work permit.  I hope to have an update soon!

Until next time...

Sunday, March 6, 2016


As I lay in bed this morning, an alert came across my phone.  I knew right away that it wasn't an email message because of the distinct tone, but an alert from one of the many Facebook groups that I'm a member of.  I clicked on the Facebook message to see what was going on and I noticed that I indeed received two email messages.  At first I wasn't going to check my email because I promised myself that I would stopping stalking my account every 30 minutes.  But curiosity caught the best of me and I clicked on my Gmail icon and there it was, the email that I was waiting for!  The email contained an offer letter along with a contract and several other documents!  The wait is finally over!!!  God willing I will be on a plane to UAE in August to teach at a brand new school in Abu Dhabi!  I'm so excited and very much nervous but I'm ready for the adventure!  I still have one more step (authentication) before everything becomes official.  But it looks like this Jersey girl is on her way to residing in the UAE for the next two years.  

This is just the beginning, so make sure you keep following!  Don't be shy, leave a comment, or even join the site!

Until next time!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Waiting Game

Exactly one week ago today, I had my first Skype interview for a teaching position in Abu Dhabi.  Since then, I've continuously checked my email for updates.  The first email I received came two days after my interview.  When I saw that I received an email, I didn't know what to think.  I almost didn't want to read it because I didn't want to be disappointed.  Well, I'm glad I did read it because it detailed what the next few steps would be.  The email requested that I send the following information:
  • Colored Passport Copy
  • Copy of attested degree
  • Copy of transcripts of records
  • Point of hire (nearest International Airport)
  • Marital Status (no. of children and age – if applicable)
All but one of the requested items I had on hand, and was able to send them right away. Because I read so many blogs, I knew which direction to take when it came down to authentication - ProEx!  I immediately contacted ProEx and requested a quote for their services.  The quote was pricey but I needed these documents right away.  I sent the documents (college degrees) off on Tuesday and they were received the following day.  I was told the turn around would be about 14 days.  I informed my potential employer of the matter, so that they know the requested information will soon come.  The second email came a few hours later requesting two professional references.  Again, I responded right away and sent the required information.  So, here I sit anxiously awaiting to hear some news.  It'll probably be another two weeks before I hear anything.  In the meantime, I'll continue to think positive, pray, and read more on Abu Dhabi.

Until Next time!   

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Finally Interviewed

After two scheduled interviews that never panned out, I finally had the chance to interview for a new private school opening up in Abu Dhabi.  I could barely sleep through the night, for some reason I thought I would oversleep and miss my interview.  I awaken every morning at 5:30, so I don't know why I was so worried about oversleeping.  Lol! Today I woke up around 4:30, I tried to force myself to lay in bed and not get up until 5:30.  I could no longer lie still, so I got out of bed around 5:15 and begin to prepare.  It seemed as though time dragged until 7:00.  

My interview was via Skype and they called in at 7:07 am.  Overall, I felt like I did well.  I know I could have done better but I have this overwhelming calm wrapped around me.  I pray that this means I will get the job.  I will not hear anything until the end of next week, so I should have an update by March 4th.  Please pray along with me that hear I good news.  In the meantime, I'm still going to pursue any and all teaching jobs that interest me.

Until next time!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Interview

Well here it is 12:42 on a Sunday afternoon and I so want to cry but the tears won't fall.  I'm just so disappointed.  Today was my scheduled interview with a new private school in Abu Dhabi.  I woke up early, prepared myself, prayed and was sitting down in front of  my computer 30 minutes before my interview time.  I was nervous and excited that my stomach begin to ache.  By the time 11:20 came around, I was ready to get the interview started.  I waited anxiously 10 minutes after the scheduled time, waiting for the call to come through.  After 10 minutes, I checked my email again to check the day and time and I was indeed correct with the day and time.  After taking a closer look, I noticed that the time was 11:20 am UAE time.  I couldn't believe that I didn't see this before.  I guess I was so glad to finally receive an interview, I just focused on the day and time and not the time zone. 

So I immediately sent both an email and Skype message letting them know that there was a mix up in time and requested a new day and time.  After sending both messages, I calculated the time and noticed that my interview was scheduled at 2:20 am (11:20 am UAE time).  The latest I've heard of interviews taking place was 11:00 p.m., so maybe my intended time was actually 11:20 a.m. (EST).  I decided to sit in front of my computer and wait in hopes that the interviewer was running behind schedule and I would receive the call shortly.  I waited for an hour and did not receive a call.  I sent another message and email, letting them know that I was logging out but still very much interested in rescheduling an interview.  Things are not going as I had hoped they would, but I'm still hopeful that I will receive an offer.  I guess God is teaching me patience, something I'm not too good at. 

Until next time...... 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

When Will My Time Come?

Yesterday I was in a little bit of a funk, there were a few times where I wanted to shed tears.  I've been applying to schools since early November and I haven't had one interview yet.  After reading about others securing interviews and even receiving offer letters for the next school year, I couldn't help but to feel a little envious.  When will I have the opportunity to be interviewed????  Yup, I had a good ole pity party for myself, but it didn't last too long.

I remembered reading a post on one of the many groups I'm involved with on Facebook, and the person said don't wait on recruiters/agencies, if you want to teach abroad, contact the schools directly.  And so, that's what I did.  I sent my resume directly to several schools yesterday.  I even looked into schools in Kuwait, yes you've read correctly, Kuwait.  I'm finding that more and more Black educators are traveling to Kuwait to teach.  I visited one particular school's website and I was very much impressed with the diversity among its teachers.  Am I totally sold on the idea of moving to Kuwait?  No.  However, I'm not totally against it either.  As I stated before, I have to open myself up to other places if I want to become an international educator.  Of course my desired location is UAE but I'm open to other countries in the Middle East.  I would also love to work in South Africa but I haven't found anything as of yet.

Before I go I have to let you know that this morning, I received an invitation to a Skype interview for this Sunday.  The interview is for a new private school in Dubai.  I can't get too excited because I've been in this position twice, only to have the interview cancelled or postponed.  I will remain hopeful and pray that the interview does take place and that I interview exceptionally well!  Pray for a sistah!

Until next time...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Qatar Foundations Interview...

So today is Sunday, January 31st, and the day that was designated for my Skype Interview with Qatar Foundations.  It seem as though every time I have an interview lined up, things do not go as planned.  This time I received an email from Mia letting me know that Qatar Foundations wanted to postpone all interviews.  She also let me know that they will personally reach out to candidates that are on the Skype list to set up individual interviews depending on their vacancies.  So in the meantime I'm going to continue searching for positions.

International School Services is another recruiting agency that I've joined.  Unlike, Teach Away there is a fee to join, I bit the bullet and paid the fee.  I figured between Teach Away and ISS, I will find a position for the 2016 - 2017 school year.  My desire is to work at an international school and all of the schools listed on ISS are such schools.  One school reached out to me letting me know I was shortlisted for an elementary position.  The position was later filled but they asked if I would be interested in teaching kindergarten.  I told them yes, now I'm just waiting to find out if I'm a shortlisted candidate.  I'm going to continue my search and reach out to schools directly.  I'll keep you all posted.

Until next time...

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Plan B???

If you're keeping up with my blog, you know I hit a bump in the road with my journey to UAE.  I was all set to attend an in-person interview in NYC on this coming Sunday (January 24th).  Unfortunately, the school went ahead in filled the position I was up for.  I have an awesome recruiter by the name of Mia and she is working diligently to help secure a teaching position for the 2016-2017 school year.  As you can see from my blog's address, my heart was set on the UAE, I was determined to go to Dubai or Abu Dhabi.  

But what happens if and when those places are unavailable?  Is there a Plan B?  Can I be just as excited about another location, as I am for the UAE?  These are questions I had to ask myself.  I'm learning that on my quest to become an international educator, I have to leave myself open to other options.  When applying for international jobs for the first time, you probably won't get your desired choice.  The goal is to get a position, successfully fulfill it, then move on to the location you desire the most. 

Last night Mia and I spoke about the possibility of teaching in Doha, Qatar.  I actually had my eye on this position a few weeks ago and contemplated applying to it.  Because I already had my interview set up for Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and was set on going to one of the two, I was reluctant to apply to other positions.  I applied for the position and was passed through to the next phase.  I have a Skype interview scheduled for Sunday, January 31st.  The position is for two years and the salary and benefits package is one of the best packages offered through Teach Away.  Although my heart was set on Dubai, I'm actually excited about the prospect of living and teaching in Doha.  It's about an hour flight away from Dubai, so I can still visit.  I pray that all goes well with the interview.  In the meantime, I'm going to continue my research of Qatar and the selected schools.  I'm not sure if I mentioned that I signed up with International School Services, but I've also applied for numerous positions through this agency as well.   

Until Next time...

Friday, January 15, 2016


I received an update from my Placement Coordinator, Mia.  She informed me of the openings with ESOL in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as openings in Qatar, and encouraged me to apply.  Moving forward, I'm only required to complete a 5-10 minute call for any new positions.  I immediately applied for those positions and minutes later I received confirmation for a follow-up next Tuesday.  I hope to share some good new with you all soon!

Until next time! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

Bump in the Road

Monday, January 11th, I received an urgent email from Mia, my Placement Coordinator from Teach Away.  When I read the words URGENT in the subject, my heart begin racing.  What could possibly be in this email?  Initially, I thought my interview was being rescheduled for a later date.  But, as I read a little further my heart began to sink and tears begin to fill my eyes.  Basically, the email stated that the position I was invited to interview for, has been filled.  I immediately wanted to cry, but the tears would not fall.  I begin to think positive thoughts and tell myself, maybe GOD is setting me up for something even greater!  I had to remind myself of all of the conversations I've had with GOD, and that he knows my desires.  Not too long ago, I made a post saying, "What God has for me, it is for me".  That position was not for me, and I'm going to trust that HE will lead me where he wants me to go.

Mia called me about five minutes later and apologized profusely. I told Mia, although I was a little upset, I'm thinking positively and believe something greater will come along.  She began to inform me of other partnerships through Teach Away.  Mia informed me of ESOL schools in Abu Dhabi, Dubai & Egypt, as well as private schools in Qatar.  She assured me that I should hear something by the end of the week about those positions.  Some of those positions have interviews coming up soon, either in-person or Skype.  In the meantime, I'm going to continue to have positive thoughts and pray.

Until next time...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Passport Update

So I arrived home from work to a package via Priority Mail.  I had no idea what it was, I hadn't ordered anything and wasn't expecting anything.  I was surprised to see that my passport had arrived so soon!  I wasn't expecting it to arrive until the end of the month, it only took two weeks to process and deliver.  This is my first passport and hopefully not my last.  I can't wait to get my first stamp!