Friday, April 30, 2010


This is a random post of all sorts of things......

This is Najet and Warsheen.  They came from Iraq so that Warsheen could have club foot surgery.  She is doing great.  Her cast will come off soon and I can't wait to see her walk.  She will have physical therapy and then they get to go back to Iraq at the end of May.  I wish I could be there when her mom sees her for the first time walking and running like her other children!

This is Fazila.  Fazila and and her husband Saleem are from Afghanistan and work at the hospital.  Fazila grew up from her mid-teenage years in California. One night we were at their house and she busted out a traditional Afghani outfit. It was beautiful and made me want to travel to Afghanistan to learn about their culture.

A couple weeks ago the hospital had a staff event at the Al Ain zoo.  We had a great time and enjoyed a dinner in the African Exhibit.  This giraffe along with his zebra friends were our dinner company.  It was a pretty fun setting. 

Warsheen enjoying the zoo.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Got Milk....

Back in November or so when we were visiting with our Bedouin friends, they offered us some warm camels milk straight from the source.  Our friends tried some and said it tasted pretty good.  We found it here the other day when we were at the grocery store......all nice and civilized, cold, in a plastic bottle and on the shelf in the milk aisle.  Still didn't buy any but it was fun to see.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I will make you fishers.....

Last week Trey had the opportunity to trek around Dubai for a bit with his boss from CURE. He was here for a few days to spend some time with Trey.

One thing they did was to go down to the fish market by the water in Dubai.  Thought you might enjoy some fun pictures.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Itsy bitsy, teeny weeny....

 We have a friend living in our house with us!

Everyone tells us that he'll eat the bugs so we should just leave him.  Last night he appeared from behind the refrigerator.  Man, he's fast.  And he makes me scream like a girl. 
We tried to get him out last week and Trey finally did....but he's back. 

I think we'll just leave him for the next tenants!  These guys run funny, though. 
And he doesn't appear as big when we put a hand up next to him.  
But still.....

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Found a new place....

A couple of weeks ago Trey and I decided to try out a new restaurant that we've been interested in and just pass by on occasion.   We knew the ambiance was why not.   The restaurant is located on this walking path where Trey and I used to walk before it got too hot.  At first we didn't know what the building was but we decided to check it out....two nice girls were standing outside due to boredom...nobody goes out to eat here at 5pm (no early bird specials:) and so we talked to them about the restaurant and menu and decided we would visit sometime.

We sat on couches and your table is more of a coffee table type but our experience didn't disappoint. 
Their food actually wasn't that amazing for the price....BUT the manager was kind and made the best move possible and gave us free dessert.  Out came carrot cake and DATE CAKE.  Neither of those sounded like desserts we were crazy about but we both decided to taste the date cake and OH MY WORD!  We fell in love.  Forget the carrot cake.

We asked him about it and he told us that it was his secret weapon!  That's funny. It really is good and sold us.  We've gone back twice since and brought people with us and everyone loves it!  It comes with this warm sauce and vanilla ice cream and the date cake is warm.  

I'll go back for the ambiance and the date cake.  I loved the cups our cappuccinos came in. Maybe this isn't the greatest picture to show you how delightful they were.  Loved them!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lemon Meringue Bars

Another recipe.

Made these twice already and they are GOOD. They taste just like Lemon Meringue Pie but better....the crust is like a shortbread crust and tastes so much better than normal pie crust.  Try them. They aren't hard to make and people will enjoy them. I can guarantee it.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon zest
3/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp baking powder

4 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350F.

To make the crust, combine flour, sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor (or a large mixing bowl, if you prefer to work by hand). Pulse in butter (or rub in with fingertips) until butter is well distributed and the mixture resembles moist sand. Pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread evenly. Press down to create a firm, even layer.
Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

While crust is cooking, prepare the filling. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together until smooth (can also be done in a food processor). When crust is done, pour filling into hot pan and return to oven.

Bake for about 17-20 minutes, until filling is set. Edges may be lightly browned, depending on the pan.
While filling is baking and getting close to finished, prepare the meringue. Beat egg whites to soft peaks in a large, clean mixing bowl, adding the sugar and salt in gradually while beating, beginning when the egg whites are foamy. Spread evenly onto hot, cooked filling and return pan to oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until lightly browned at the peaks.

Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Use a slightly damp knife to cut through the meringue cleanly when ready to cut into bars.

Makes 24 bars.

Monday, April 19, 2010

So I've been writing less frequently....that's because life is settling into a pattern and so I can't find as much to write about.  In the beginning everything was new and exciting.  Not that things aren't exciting anymore but they are becoming more "everyday" things.

Anyway, we're doing well.  Settling into our jobs.  Now that we've been here 2 months, I think we have crossed that point of "it's the beginning and everything is new and I'm tired because everyday I'm learning 9 new things about this place" into "okay, that is a little more familiar and this is our life now".  We definitely don't have it all figured out by any means.  We still have lots of friends to meet (I hope!) and we're waiting to move into our place.  It's coming.....I'm excited to make it feel like a home and have people over.

This past weekend we took a trip to Ikea to check out some furniture.  It's affordable, classic looking stuff and would be fine for us......EXCEPT the couches.  I had my eye on one set on the internet (according to my style) and we went to check it out and we sat down and it was SOOOO HARD and looked rather junky up close!  Definitely not a Saturday afternoon couch!  I tried to convince myself that maybe it was okay and we could deal with it, but is that really what you want for your sofa?   So, I think we'll be looking other places for our sofa but otherwise I think we will be successful in finding our basics at Ikea.

So, Crate and Barrel here we come! We'll see what other stores we can find that have sofas and chairs within our style and budget....not sure Crate and Barrel actually fits the budget part...we'll see.

Onto another subject.  Trey's boss from the US office is here visiting this week.  He's enjoyed being with him and has felt confirmation about the things he's been doing which is good.  As we get settled, we'll figure out things a little more but for now, I think we're doing okay.'s getting hot.  Everyone says "Just wait".  I's going to get even more hot but still this feels hot already so that is only going to feel worse and I think I'll take a nap under my desk each afternoon when July hits.  We can do it.  We might need to buy Trey a few of the same shirt for each day so he can change halfway through the day:)  He sweats a lot.  Thank goodness for air conditioning.  And thank goodness for airplanes that can get us out of here in July or August!.....only if that crazy cloud of ash over Europe clears by then. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Our House.....

We're moving soon!  We did a walk through of the house yesterday.  I'm looking forward to having our stuff which has arrived and is sitting in storage until we move. 

I think the house needs some changes and needs to be fixed up a bit, but we can do it.  I think I may try to video tape some or take some pictures and see if you have any opinions on how to best use the space.

They make everything a room here.  So you enter through a door to go to your kitchen.  You enter a door to go into your living room, etc.  You get the point.  Walls with doors take up space that instead could be wide open to create a really nice space...but it's just different here.

So we're thinking of knocking a wall out but we're not sure if we're allowed or what the landlord will say.  The difference between here and home is that if something breaks or you want to do work on your apartment, you pay for it, not the landlord. 

I think we'll be heading into our new place in about 2 weeks or so.......we only shipped bedroom furniture, but we'll be making a trip to a few stores to get some couches, spare bedroom set and some paint to make our house look like a home.

It will take a few months to make it look like home especially if we need to do a bunch of work. I love doing that stuff and it gets me all excited!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

So lots of Indians live here.  I think almost half of the state of Kerela moved here from India.  It's pretty fun to get to know so many different cultures.  Anyway, I think I've had more Indian food in the 2 months of being here than in my whole life put together...really.

Anyway, our friend Shiny is from that area (sort of--she never grew up there--she went there for University and stuff but her parents are from there)....and she took us out for Indian food one day at lunch.

We went to a place called Food and Fun.  Their tag line is TEMPTING WAVES OF SCRUMPTIOUS FOODS......

A) Who uses the word scrumptious in a tagline?  I'm not sure many people I know in the US besides my nana use that word.  I'm wondering how they decided it should be used in their menu.....just askin'.

B) Tempting me, waves come and go....they come in and then it's quiet, they come in and then it's quiet. I hope we hit the food on a day that there were waves!

C) Do we use the word FOODS plural?  I'm pretty sure my english is getting worse but still, that doesn't sound right to me.  It isn't correct, right? Or am I losing it!?!   If that's the case, maybe I'll start working there and then there will be constant waves of SCRUMPTIOUS food!

Our delightful meal.  It was good, cheap and an overall funny experience. I'm glad Shiny introduced us to a new place in Al Ain.

Also wanted to show you a few fun co-workers.  These people are great. They let me share a desk in their HR/nursing area my first few weeks here and we've been buds ever since.  It's me, Kim (2 white girls from the Northeast), the Filipinos, the prettiest Indian girl I've ever met in my entire life (she's not in the picture), an Emirate girl and a couple Syrians. 

Did you know that Tagalog (the language some speak in the Philippines) sounds a lot like Spanish.  I thought the 2 guys were speaking Spanish one day, but nope....I got a lesson about the Philippines, Spanish colonies and learned that I can say Como Esta to them in the morning and they understand what I mean.'s the crazy crew. I think a few are missing.  Excuse me, it appears that I only have one outfit here as I seem to always be wearing this when I take a picture with them, but I assure you that is not true! 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy.....

Super Delicious if you like Rhubarb.  I made it for an Easter lunch we went to on Sunday.  It tasted good to me.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

  • 4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1" pieces
  • 2 cups strawberries, clean, hulled and cut in half
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup rolled oatmeal
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, cold, cut in 8 pieces

How To Make Rhubarb Crisp

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9" X 9" baking dish with vegetable spray.
  3. In a large bowl, toss rhubarb and strawberries with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 4 Tbsp flour and lemon juice and place in baking dish. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a food processor, combine remaining flour and brown sugar, oatmeal and cinnamon and pulse until blended.
  5. With the food processor running, add cold butter a few pieces at a time. Pulse until the butter is incorporated and looks like fine meal.
  6. Spread topping ingredients evenly over the rhubarb and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until strawberry and rhubarb filling is bubbling through and the topping is starting to brown. Remove from oven and cool for 15 or more minutes before serving.
  7. Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
  8. Refrigerate any leftovers.
  9. Serves 6-8.


    Tuesday, April 6, 2010

    I'm movin' on....

    It was only 3 short months ago that we left B-town. I forget that it was so recent.  It feels like we have lived a good 6 months since leaving there.  We came here almost 2 months ago and things are starting to feel familiar yet still so new. 

    Most days are good but as expected there are some hard days.   For some reason I expected it to be easy to transition from something so hard to a place that feels relatively easy to live, but there are still changes. And this isn't home.  And it's not my culture. And our jobs are new.  And we're not in our house yet.  And people are still getting to know who we really are (you know those awkward beginnings).  And we're still getting to know our co-workers and how people work and how they relate to other people. And really we're still getting to know our jobs. Both of our jobs are new here.....there are people/or have been people in the past with the same titles, but our jobs will be somewhat different.  Mine not as much as Trey's. 

    You get the point, all those news things.  And I tend to be hard on myself.  Like I should have it all together in 2 months. And we should have lots of contacts and we should have all our friends and we should do this, that and the other.   I enjoy knowing what is before me...but that doesn't always happen.  I learn so much through these circumstances.  Trey reminded me that it is like your first year in college.  What happens your first year is soooo different from your senior year, right?  What we do now, who we know, what we think of this place, etc will all change as time goes on. 

    We're excited to be here and really feel like we're in the right place.  We have glimpses of great encouragement through conversation with people we don't even really know and others we know a little bit better.....but I just need to remind myself to be encouraging to my spouse instead of putting all these expectations I have on him, too.  I have to remind myself that we came from a hard experience where life felt so "abnormal" at times and we're probably still debriefing from that without even knowing it. 

    Everything takes time.....

    Monday, April 5, 2010

    Oops I did it again....

    So we went to Dubai again this weekend.  It was a fun day yesterday.  And just an update about driving. Driving in Dubai and Abu Dhabi is sooo much easier than Al Ain.....They are normal roads with normal traffic patterns and no circles!  If you came from Boston or New York, you would feel like this was easy.  But now I'm used to driving in Al Ain with all the roundabouts,  so all is good! I'm back to feeling normal again.

    We started out by going to a play called Stones in His Pockets. It was a 2 man show and not bad. The theater was really pretty, though and it was inside this great little shopping mall area that modeled after an old Soukh.  It was surrounded by a hotel that is part of the Jumeirah Hotels Resorts which area all pretty nice here.

    They had this nice area outside that you can take boat rides and eat outside along the water.  It was pretty and would be pretty nice in the winter time here.

    Then we headed over to the Mall of the Emirates because this is where the new Crate and Barrel is.  Loved every minute. Somehow I had all this energy when I walked into the store and it just kept coming!  We found some nice furniture but we didn't buy much....just a cookie sheet. Boring!  Oh, we'll be back.

    Oh yeah...I almost forgot.....AND like every mall we know, they have a SKI SLOPE.  I know you've read it about it in airplane magazines or the internet.  They even give you the warm jackets to wear and snow pants.  I think when I feel really sad in the HOT HOT weather, I'm going to get a pass to ride the lift just so I feel cold and can dream of winter.

    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    Happy Easter....

    It's been really different celebrating Easter here than back at home or in J-town.  J-town was a cool experience and I have good memories of Easter back in the States....but here, it's just another weekend for us.  We have church on Fridays here or on Monday nights (there is an Anglican church that meets here every other week on Monday nights which we like. We're hoping this will become a regular thing.) Anyway, tomorrow is the start of a new week and there is a sunrise service at 5:30am or some horrible time like that....I wish I liked 5:30am so I would wake up and go.  Today it sounds like a great idea...but tomorrow morning when I'm warm in my covers, most likely it won't sound so I'm trying to set a realistic goal and just say I won't go. How about that!  That way if I do get  up and go, it's an even better day than I thought it would be!

    Happy Easter to you all. Wish we were at home and could go to church with you and eat ham and jello salad:) 

    I wish I could tell you more things about my job and sharing about Easter (well I can tell you more about my job specifically but I'll save that for another post).....I'm not scared of the government here, but you know.  They're probably reading this. Maybe we should all say hi....ready, one, two, three..... "HI".  Or maybe I have high expectations and really deep down inside I wish some bored government employee was actually reading my blog about our adventures to Dubai and in Al Ain:)

    Saturday, April 3, 2010

    Do you have, do you have to....

    Oops...I think they forgot a few letters on this sign!  Or some punk-kids thought they were being funny....but maybe I'm a punk-kid since I took a picture of it.

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    Sheikh Ahmed, whose Father Sheikh Zayed who was the President of the UAE and now his brother, Sheikh Khalifa is the President, died this past week when his glider crashed over a lake in Morocco. Yesterday was the funeral and now there are 3 days of mourning.   So to make that a little more clear, Sheikh Zayed was the the previous President of the UAE and died in 2004.  His son Sheikh Khalifa is now President and his other son Sheikh Ahmed who passed away was the Managing Director of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA).

    This morning, Trey went with a few men from the hospital to Abu Dhabi to pass along condolences from the hospital to the ruling family.  This afternoon, I will be going with a few women to visit Sheikh Ahmd's mother and other family who are present. 

    Sheikh Ahmed was born at Oasis Hospital and used to play with the kids of the missionary family that started Oasis.  We received an email this morning about memories the kids had playing together.  Oasis has had a pretty big impact on the community and many of the royal family has and continue to be born at our hospital.  It's a unique place with unique opportunities.

    I wish we were going to visit the ruling family for other reasons than a funeral.  Throughout the coming year, I'll go with other women from the hospital to give greetings from the hospital as women have babies and as celebratory times come about such as Aid during Ramadan.