Saturday, February 27, 2010

It's over now...

So our weekend is almost over.  I really like weekends.  We planned on exploring this weekend but decided to just relax, enjoy some friends and just do some regular life things that we wanted to get done.  We took some pictures we brought with us to get framed professionally last night.  Then we went grocery shopping to a really large nice grocery store.  It's called Lulu Hypermarket....don't you like that...Hypermarket.  Anyway. We have one right across the street from the hospital and it has everything but a brand new one was built in the city and is large, clean and I found everything I wanted today!  That was a miracle in itself coming from B-town.  It's sort of like Chaos-Mart (aka Wal-Mart)....has all the food, clothing, electronics, etc.  This place really is like America...with only a few exceptions:) 

We also found the Central Market for Al Ain today where they sell camels, goats, sheep, chicken, etc and the food for them.  I felt a little odd driving around there but it's sort of fun to see....we pulled up in our car and a bunch of men from Pakistan came up and started talking to Trey....we clearly look like we didn't belong.  They asked if we were there to buy a camel.  I don't think it would have fit in our car today...maybe next time.  A camel can go for about $10,000.

Hopefully the zoo or Dubai are on the list for next weekend.  The zoo got some new white lions and people have said they are spectacular. I want to go before it gets too warm...and it's really 15 Dirhams which is about $4. Not bad for the zoo. 

For now...another work will be come those seem to come around so quickly?! 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Working in a coal mine...

Not really in a coal mine....more like a hospital.   I'm learning all sorts of new things working in a hospital setting considering I've never done that before.  Like how you get licensed coming from another country as a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, physiotherapist...etc.  I'm working on some projects in HR and then will hopefully switch from that soon.   My title is called Special Projects which means I'll do all kinds of things.

So it's the weekend. Woo hoo! It's Thursday afternoon and I love that time of the seems to early to be looking forward to the weekends from a long week of work, but it's the truth. I sort of feel like I got dropped into a crazy whirlpool and they said hurry up and swim!  Somehow Trey missed that and his job seems like so much more fun...or like more variety I should say.  We have chapel on Sundays at work and he is our speaker this week.  Cheer him on!

So I hope we venture out and do something fun.  It was 85 here today and feels so nice right now....but that makes me scared that the heat is's coming....eghghhh...we're gonna be sooo crabby.  People have said that the heat can get you down in the middle of summer...sort of like winter in New England....strange but I can imagine it's true.    Anyway, people say the zoo is really nice and a good thing to see. So maybe we'll do that.

Happy weekend-ing to you all.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Okay to start, just to clarify, I DO NOT wear the long black dress thingy (an Abaya) or need to have my head covered on a daily basis.  I was wearing that only because we were visiting the mosque and it's required to get in. They give them out for free and it's necessary to wear it the whole time.  Men walk around telling you if it's sort of slipping off or if it comes off all together.  Anyway, if you plan to visit us here, we'll be going there. It's beautiful and quite a site to see.

Life is sort of in a routine for now.  We're waiting to move into our home, but our temporary house is very comfortable and has everything we need.  Our temporary house is on campus so it makes it convenient for walking to and from work.  The stores are very close and we have a car which provides great convenience.  Otherwise, we go to work each morning and come home each night like many of you do.  Normal office jobs...Trey's won't be so much.  Trey is going to play soccer on Tuesday nights and I think we found a gym we're going to join.  At this point, we found a nice place to walk outside at night after work. The weather has been great and we're trying to enjoy it before the HEAT comes. I'm happy we're not on the's really humid there. We live inland and it's less humid here than in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Thank goodness!

It's hard for me to get used to the work weeks, though.  Our work week is Sunday through Thursday here.  Friday is church day and Saturday for us is like Saturday at home (errands, doing fun things, etc).  Tomorrow is Tuesday but also hump day here.....I keep thinking Wednesday is hump day and then I'm pleasantly surprised on Thursday afternoon that the weekend is here!! 

Anyway....we're doing great. We'll keep you updated and take some more pictures.  Trey did a great job with that last round of pictures from the mosque in Abu Dhabi.  That new lense seems to be worth it.  Hopefully we'll get out and about taking more pictures for you to see.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beautiful Day....

The weather right now is gorgeous.  Love it.  
The fun and outings have already started! 
Today we took a drive to Abu Dhabi with some friends to see the Sheikh Zayed Mosque.  
Abu Dhabi is about 1 hour and 40 minutes for us. 
Love that picture that Trey got.  We got a new lens while we were home and it's paying off already!

It was sparkling white and gold

The ceiling inside the prayer room. The attention to detail was unbelievable.
And there we are all covered up just like we belong.

It can hold up to almost 41,000 people. 

You won't see me in this often, nor living in a country where this would be a daily thing.  
Did you hear me Trey?! 

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Climb, Climb up Sunshine Mountain.....

On Friday or was that Saturday (I don't remember), we took a drive up to the top of Jebel Hafeet near Al Ain with our neighbors Jenna and Allan.   It's a very pretty view from the top and you can look over the sandy desert, Oman (a country that borders the UAE) and the city of Al Ain which is where we live.

Jebel Hafeet is a mountain primarily in the United Arab Emirates on the outskirts of Al Ain. The mountain actually straddles part of the border with Oman. The mountain rises 1240 meters and offers an impressive view over the city. Jebel Hafeet was a well-known landmark throughout the area's history and is a contemporary tourist attraction. An extensive natural cave system winds through Jebel Hafeet.

This is Jenna and Allan. They met in Kenya when Jenna was working
for a CURE hospital there.  They have been great neighbors and
so helpful this first week!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

People Get Ready.....

Adjustment and new beginnings always feel a little strange...and even a little hard at some points.   There are definitely ups and downs.  Or we could just say that there are times when you feel crazy and maybe this is all a dream!  A woman I met with the other day said to me that there will be a few points in our next couple months or longer that we'll think "Why did we do this?".  I am aware of that because of our past job and in orientation they warned us of that. It's good to be aware actually so when it hits, you can push through.   Sometimes they're hard and even though there is so much excitement and new work, it still can be tough.  Trey better get ready for those times....I can be a real treat:)

The jet lag beat us this time for some reason.  On our first day of work someone said to us "Try not to make too many decisions.  In the past I have and then looked back and realized they were not so good."  I can totally relate.  The tiredness and pushing through it can really make you feel crazy sometimes. I'm sure that's how new moms feel at times when they have a lack of sleep.  We were doing better sleeping for a few days and are sort of back in a slump again.  It will pass.  Someone gave us an herbal pill to try for tonight and she said it really helps.   I think some of the sleepiness is due to everything being jobs, new surroundings, finding our way around, shopping (ha ha, just kidding--that gives me a great burst of energy and the mall is only 10 minutes so it can be used regularly for therapy).

Also, we just got internet in our temporary house which is exciting.  Friends have been nice to let us use their house and there is some wireless in parts of the hospital, but in our house we had a very weak signal so we got it for about a minute at a time.  Then it would die until a new signal would come back.  I wrote some pretty interesting emails over the past week from that 1 minute signal. If you got one of those speedy crazy ones where I sounded insane and not so nice, that's why! Combine it with the jet lag and it was an all around good combo!  The real Jessie will be in full working condition soon:) 

What else.....we've found all 3 malls by now.....Starbuck's included!  We found some good stores and where the gym is. Routine is starting which is nice. I thrive on routine, on organization, everything in the right place, etc.  It's getting there!  Just wait until we have triplets and then all of that goes out hte window(Just kidding, but I just wanted to find a way to throw that in there. Really our friend Jamie had triplets this week and they are all fun).

Anyway, despite all that nonsense and getting through the first few weeks, we've met some nice people, we enjoy Oasis as a hospital (it really feels like a family--and when people introduce themselves to us they say "Welcome to the Oasis Family").  We had chapel as a staff yesterday which was great.  It's not required but is there as a good support for staff. 

What do you want to know about this place?  I hope we get to Dubai or Abu Dhabi soon to explore a little. The weather is gorgeous right now and a good time to be out and about.  Soon it will get really hot and we'll be inside all the time.....we sort of switch places with New England....they come out of hiding and we'll go in!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Driving, driving in your car.....

I wish I could force myself to drive....but I just can't.  I really want to....but I just can't!!!  Trey tried to force me tonight...but he didn't win!  I sort of wish he did, so that it was done and over with.  They have these insane 3-laned rotaries here...they aren't normal. I know we had them in Massachusetts and NJ loves them, too...but they weren't as extreme. I feel like I'm going out for a Nascar try-out and maybe you'll see me at the summer Olympics of 2012 with Dale Earnhardt.  Could you imagine?!  The rest of the world probably wouldn't even let Nascar at the shouldn't be allowed in the south either. Anyway, enough of how I hate Nascar.  I hope that I can report to you very soon that I put on my big girl pants and went out and took on those Emirates!  Maybe we'll video tape that one for you.

Until then, Trey does a good job driving.

Why Don't We Just Dance.....

A couple weeks ago we went to my bro's house in Colorado.  We played the Winter Olympics Wii game and I found some funny pictures when I was downloading our camera today. 

Apparently I felt the need to actually be in position of a person skiing. 

And we were on the luge event....I was great at this one.

I can't remember what this one but I definitely decided to use a lot more hand 
action than my dad or brother.  

And I'm pretty sure my guy fell on the ski slopes with that action. 
That action I'm doing can't be good for anything in Wii. I'm look 
like I'm ready to break out dancin'!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


So we learned once we got here that our MagicJack isn't going to work. Bummer.  It would have been such a nice, easy and cheap way to communicate with people from home.  That's down the toilet.  So we're back to good ol' Skype.   But maybe we'll be able to see if Vonage will work. Our friends in Qatar use Vonage and I don't think they have any problems. I'll update you if we get that...but for now, ditch the phone number from MagicJack if you had it.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

It's a New Day....

We continue to get settled in. We are in the midst of our first weekend here (those happen on Friday and Saturday).  Sunday will feel like our official first day.  This past week we have been getting to know the hospital environment and people here. We had orientation on Thursday to understand hospital policies, etc.  It's different working in a hospital than past environments I've been in but I'm excited for that.

I feel like tomorrow is the first day of school. I should get my clothing out, pack my backpack and get my lunchbox ready.  It's a new start, a new year and I have "that" feeling in my stomach. We're pretty excited and are looking forward to meeting new people here and getting settled into our jobs.

There's Trey all dressed up like a grown up ready for work in front of the hospital.  He even has his backpack ready!   Maybe the picture is too small to see it.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pass it on....

I was reading my friend Jen's blog.  She used to be my Bible study leader when I was at Gordon and her husband was studying at Gordon-Conwell.  I enjoy reading her blog and today she had a post about
"Good, Green Reads".  She put together and passed on some good information/reviews about organic cleaning, a paperless kitchen, a post about Food Inc from the Oprah Show (I loved this girl Kelly's review of the Oprah show that day), and a cheap and easy face cleansing method.

Take a peak if you care about any of those topics and have some time. I think it's worth it. She gives you the links and they are quick and easy reads from other blogs.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Places we know from home.....

Just some photos from our trip to the mall.  Thought some of you at home would appreciate these!

Dunkin Donuts for all our Massachusetts friends.

The boy from Springfield found a store named after his home town!

My brother works for Quiznos corporate offices.  This is for him even though he doesn't read it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A few of my favorite things....

So we're here and settling in.  Tonight is our 3rd night and 3rd different sleeping situation. Flexibility, right?!  We were put in a hotel for our first night but it was supposed to have a kitchen for us, so on day 2 they moved us to a room with a kitchen. Then day 3 we got a call that we were moving to a house on campus.  We'll be in this house for about 6 weeks and then move off campus to a permanent place.  There is some construction going on here for new housing on campus along with a new hospital.

A fellow Gordon grad, Jenna and her husband Allan, live here and work at Oasis Hospital, too. They have been wonderful in helping us find our way.  I'll take a photo of them for you at some point and post it.  They had us over for enchiladas tonight and they have internet!

We went to the grocery store last night (I can get everything in one place again!) and the mall.  We took some pictures. I'll post some today and then some tomorrow.  We'll post some pictures of the hospital and our temporary house later this week.

Trey loves this's that Boathouse stuff you find in market. I can't believe they have it here.

They have limes here!! In our old home they just called them green lemons and were only in season for about 2 weeks in August:)  Is it obvious that I was trying to pretend that someone wasn't taking my photo?

Ignore the face...I'm trying not to be one of those crazy tourists who takes pictures in the grocery store.  They have candy canes and there was some Halloween candy in there still, too.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Chocolate Mousse

While we're traveling, I thought I'd keep you busy with another great recipe that we made this past weekend while sitting inside from the snow.

Chocolate Mousse from Martha Stewart. (Don't let MS scare you. This recipe is easy and very good.)

6 ounces semisweet chcolate
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 eggs separated
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate with the butter.  Set aside to cool.

When the choc. mixture has reached room temperature, add the egg yolks and stir well. 

Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then, beating continuously, add the sugar until stiff peaks are formed.  Whisk a small portion of egg white into the choc. mixture to lighten it; gently fold in the remaining egg white.

Whip the cream with the vanilla until stiff, then fold it into the choc. mixture carefully but thoroughly.  Spoon the mixture into individual parfait dishes and chill. 

We're here.....

We arrived tonight.  We checked into our hotel/apartment for temporary purposes until we get an apartment.  It doesn't have internet, we'll be back in touch with the world once we get into our house and some internet going!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

And we're off....

We fly out out today.  This is the scene from our packing extravaganza.  We're excited.  We get into Dubai at 11:30am east coast time tomorrow.....7:30pm Dubai time.

Some things we can't get or are usually very expensive overseas.  We just went to Costco and bought a whole bunch more along with an extra suitcase.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Snowy Day....

We had a great last gift that came in the form of a big snow storm in the Mid-Atlantic area.   It delayed our flight a day and forced us to relax and stay inside.  We baked, made pasta, packing, got to shovel snow for the first time in probably 6 years (we never had to do that in NC either) and even bought the MagicJack.  We now have a US phone number and you can call better!  We're 8 hours ahead but we can work all that out. 

We made a great coffee cake this morning. I wanted to pass on the recipe for you:

Crumb Topped Coffee Cake

Crumb Topping:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

 Coffee Cake:
4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extra
2 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 and position rack in the middle of the oven.
Grease 13 x 9 pan.

To make topping, combine all dry ingredients together and add in melted butter.  Mix together with fingertips to form large, coarse crumbs. Set aside.

To make the cake, in a bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt and whisk to mix well. Add the butter, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk or yogurt (I used yogurt) and beat with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Put batter into greased pan and distribute topping evenly.

Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or toothpick comes out clean. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fun times at home.....

Our time at home is coming to an end.  It has been a great month and full of plenty of time with family, friends, shopping and driving in the car. 

We started in Philly, went to New England, out to Colorado and then back to Philly.  We had orientation this week and now are packing up.  Our flight has already been canceled for Saturday due to a big snowstorm on the east coast.  We now fly out Sunday and arrive on Monday in the UAE.

Some pictures from our time at home: