Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Saying good-bye....

Mary Kate, a good Gordon alum used to work at Oasis and came back for a couple months this summer before she starts med school. It was a blast sharing an office with her for a bit and we had a great time.  Our office is hidden and lots of people don't even know where it it's nice. We can party and people don't even know.

So we had a Cinnabon Party for Mary Kate to wish her well.

And we gave her lots of CERTIFICATES to reward her for her good work.  This place (and maybe this part of the world--who knows) gives lots of certificates to people as they come, go, leave, work for 2 days, intern, intern for 1 month, etc....anybody can get a certificate.    We knew Mary Kate would be dying for one before she left.  So instead we rewarded her with 5 so she could feel proud!

Monday, June 28, 2010

In Living Color.....

So they've painted our house.  I picked out some colors but then we tried to finding the matching color through a cheaper company but two of them didn't turn out EXACTLY as planned.

Take a peak.  The house is almost done. The kitchen floor turned out even better than I expected! I love it.  But the color in the kitchen and living room....mmm.....BRIGHT! remember how I said that I wanted slate blue---yeah, well what do you think of this BABY blue.  It just looks funny. I think the paint company forgot the Grey color in the paint. Small problem.
They painted one of the bedrooms this color, too but it looks different in a dark room that doesn't have much light compared to our living room (above) that gets tons of light.  So I'm keeping it in the bedroom. Who cares. It's for guests and y'all can stick it out for a week if you come to visit.
And on Day 4, God created the SUN and moon and said it was good.  
BUT hmmm....I don't want my kitchen to look like the sun.  Soooo we need to change this pronto.
But can you get a glimpse of the floor through the door.  Nice, huh?
I love the green and how it turned out.  Just what I wanted.
And the Brown, turned out better than expected!  I thought it might make the room small but it hasn't. It was a great choice and I'm so happy with it!
They ripped out the wall between our kitchen and the eating can barely see because my husband was a horrible photographer today (I think he lost some skill).  You can sort of see the yellow on the left.  Where the yellow and tile meet, there was a big wall going across the room with a little door. Not so good. It's free to tear out a wall so we asked if we could do it. You can sort of see the orange/red tile floor from here.

So first thing after work, I ran to ACE and bought new paint. They are going to paint the new colors tomorrow morning and it should be done by tomorrow afternoon.   I hope we didn't go overboard with the new slate/blue color.  We are hoping it doesn't end up too dark but we figured that the blue turned out so much brighter than expected, that we needed to make it a few levels darker.  So we'll see tomorrow.  And we found a dark mustardy/goldish yellow. Here's hopin'!  

Friday, June 25, 2010


Trey's enjoying the watching the World Cup with some buds.  These are a great group of guys from Syria...2 of them work at the hospital.  The hospital also was kind enough to order the channel for 1 month that gets the World Cup so I'm sure there will be some parties going on for the finals!
I'm reminded often that this only happens every 4 years so nothing gets in the way of these games...especially when there is a good game on!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pizza Pie....

Around the corner we have an oven that makes bread from Afghanistan.  They make it in a round shape or a long shape like this. Usually we get the long shape.  It all tastes the same. It's so good hot with a slice of cheese.  OR lately we've been getting it and making pizza.
Add a little sauce, cheese and any toppings and bake it for a bit.  
Wa-la!  Tastes good.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Another round of......

They have these really great juices here!  I'm addicted.  They have all kinds, but my favorite is the 3 layer.  It's avocado, mango and strawberry.  On the way home from Dubai and the airport, we stop and get these EVERY time.  I can't drive by without getting one. I think each layer has sugar in it and I can't guarantee that they are really "that" good for us, but still they are tasty and I imagine better than some other treats.

So if you come to visit, we'll enjoy some good juice together.  We had a long day Saturday picking out furniture for our house so Trey was really excited by the time we got to the juice "hole-in-a-wall".

Monday, June 21, 2010

We're halfway there.....

We went over to check out our house the other see how the updates were coming along. Here is the old kitchen outside. 

They tore out the wall in between the kitchen the eating area.

Here is another view.  

They are putting in new bath tubs since the old ones were a little rusty and nasty.  
I love white things in a bathroom. 
They tile the full walls here....I guess it makes it easy for cleaning. 
I can just wash down the walls, too!

I'll continue to update you as things progress. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Keep em' coming....

I love to read signs here. I've posted some things in the past that amuse's another.
We went to a place called Leisure one night with friends.  
It has nice outdoor seating and a good atmosphere.  
This sign was posted in the bathroom for the staff.  

Feel free to interpret!  I'm not sure that I understand it exactly right.

Friday, June 18, 2010

We're off....

I originally wrote this post below to post on Friday automatically....BUT we got rejected!  Our visas were denied to Syria.  Sooooo sad!  I was interested in this conference and in Syria.  All the other Americans got to go.....but our past 3 years was worth it....but still someday I'm going there!  Maybe after a couple years we'll be able to apply again and go.

On Thursday morning we left for a trip to Damascus, Syria. We're really excited about the conference and getting to explore Damascus a bit. 
We'll update you when we get back next week!
Look how excited I's sad.  Oh well, we found out that we are going to Kenya in January for CURE's annual meeting.  That's pretty cool, huh?! Safari, friends, CURE staff...should be good.  And I think we're going to try to go on a 4 day weekend trip somewhere in October or November.  We're so close to new places to visit and we can usually find some pretty cheap tickets!  We'll see and we have no idea where...but we'll find something.  I've heard Sri Lanka is pretty neat and then someday we'll get to East Asia.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Heart Stop Beating.....

My co-worker found this great American information.  So proud to be an American!  Check out this website...did you know about this restaurant in Chandler, AZ?

Here is a news article about it from CBS news

Does it make you want to go to the Heart Attack Cafe?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's your opinion?

So we're trying to pick out some inexpensive cabinets, flooring and countertops to freshen up the kitchen a bit. They demolished it yesterday and I meant to get over there to take pictures.  Anyway, the cabinet man came to measure. I think we found someone that has reasonably priced cabinets --they won't last forever nor does he have a huge selection but I'm not going to get picky here.

So our options were white, cherry (but it's not real wood so it doesn't exactly look like cherry) or a fake wood grain looking color.  Mmmmm...didn't like it. So I thought white might be okay.  He gave me a sample to take so that we could look for tile.

There were lots of tiles I loved but they were of course the really expensive granite tiles...and the other tiles are about 1/3 of the prices so we're going with those.  So see the pictures and see what you think.

I think we're going to go with the white wood looking cabinet....some with glass windows and some with solid doors.  Then the clay looking floor.  The red speckel one is too much and the white would be really white with white tile and white you agree?!  The hardwood floor looking tiles in the cheaper tile (not granite) were too fake looking so I moved away from those. 

So looking at this...what color can I paint?  You think like a light blue/gray or green or something?   I love that slate blue color but not sure. I will do 1 bedroom that color.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Take me to another place, take to another land....

On Friday, we took a trip to Oman.  Oman is very close and only about a 10 minute drive to the border post...but really Al Ain and Oman are just divided by a fence.  Anyway, we went to a village about an hour away to visit this man. Let's call him Mr. A.  Trey met him at the hospital when he was having a baby about 2 months ago.  It was nice to visit. They were extremely welcoming and we had a great visit.
This cool thing was covering our breakfast so that the flies wouldn't get at it. 
Also, this is Dr. Shirley.  She is from Canada but did medical school in the States and is now a doctor here in our clinics.
This was part of our breakfast.  It was these little pancake/crepe like things with 
honey that they made on their own land.
We couldn't figure out if Trey looked like he was from Mexico 
or supposed to be out in the rice fields in Japan.
This boy Salah was awesome!  He knew a lot about life at his young age of 11. Guess what?  He is the uncle of Mr. A!  That's what happens when your dad marries 4 wives.  Salah and Mr. A's dad are brothers.  Now his dad has died.   Salah knew the whole process of how to make and sell honey.  He does the work to clear out the bee boxes, etc.  I asked him he gets stung a lot. He said yes and knew exactly how many he had in 2010 so far and how many he got in 2009.  I'm excited to see this kid again. 

The family has their own Oasis of date palms.  We took a little trip in the car to go visit the Oasis and the original village. Only about a 5 minute drive in the car. This is where Mr. A's grandfather and Salah's dad grew up with his parents. 
The dates are coming along nicely!  Look at how cool looking they are.  People pick them now and eat them half brown and half yellow. Personally I like them fully ripe and brown.  The yellow part is rather dry when you eat it but some really love it!
They also had a garden on the Oasis property. 
This is one of the old houses on the family property in the Oasis area. 

This is Mohammed. He was our tour guide in the old area where the family used to live back in the day. He must play in this area with Salah a lot. Even Mr. A doesn't go back there very often so didn't know where to go.  Mohammed was very quiet and sort of seemed sad.  He is also Mr. A's uncle.  He is the youngest of all the children of the 4 wives.  His dad died while his mom was still pregnant with hi.  It's funny to hear Mr. A call him and Salah uncle. In arabic you don't have to say your uncle's name, you can just call them "uncle".  It makes me laugh.  Pretty strange for us unless you're like my friend Joanna who is 1 of 16 kids.
I just thought this door was cool looking on the farm. They went through here to grab mangoes before we left.  There are a few mango trees straight ahead.  Salah climbed the tree barefooted as if he lived in the jungle.  Trey asked him if he needed help and he said he does it all the time and he climbed right to the top.  It's not a tree that has helpful branches to boost you up at the bottom.   You have to wrap your legs around it and pull yourself up.  They gave us about 40 mangoes that are green...we'll wait until they become good and yellow to eat them....but they eat them green with salt.
Mr. A has very good english and loved to use big words!  Any word he didn't know that we said, he'd ask Trey to write it down.  We had some great conversation with him and really enjoyed our day.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I've been missin' you....

In my last post I told you how they moved our crates over to the new house.  We put it all in one room and cranked the air conditioning so that it wouldn't get musty in there. 

It was so fun to open up our boxes and see the things that we haven't used for 3's really like Christmas. 

There was paper wrapped around most things so we unwrapped, unwrapped and unwrapped.  It was pretty therapeutic!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hey, that's the good stuff.....

We got to see what we packed in our crates.

They wanted to get our stuff out of storage on campus and move it into our new house.  So on Thursday, they opened up our crates and they moved them over to our new house.

I've already forgotten what was inside some of the boxes. Trey and I went over with our friend Shiny last night and we looked through. It was pretty fun to see our things again....I'm so excited to have my cooking stuff back after 3 years.  Woo hoo.

They will start working on some of the changes for our apartment in a couple weeks....I'm pretty excited.  I have pictures of the before but am nervous to show them to you without the after.  The pictures look worse than it actually does in real life so I think I'll hold off.

Our new place has great potential and I'm trying to come up with room colors....any suggestions for our spare bedrooms.  I think for one I'll get a white bed from Ikea.  The other room will be an office/guest bedroom.  My desk is black and has a glass top.  Do you think the bed needs to be black, too?  Ikea has a black daybed that could be like a couch in there but also a nice bed.  What do you think?  What color would be good for painting that room to help it look bright and not all black?

I'll get you some pictures of all our things packed into one of the bedrooms.  We wanted it all in one place so that we could keep the air conditioning on.  I had a candle in one of the boxes.  Mmm.....that day I must have had a few less brain cells.  Of course it melted!  Anyway, that box smells like Yankee Candle Christmas Tree scent!  Actually I love that smell.

This is Trey and John.  John is the head of maintenance and has been wonderful in helping us deal with our stuff and will be working with the men to get our house fixed up a bit.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Happy Birthday

It seems that there are a lot of birthdays in our family right around now. I didn't get my act together to send cards....there's always next year!

My grandfather turned 92 last week

My sister Jenny's birthday is today and my mom on June 10

Trey's sister, Min also on June 10 and his granny on June 9

And there are more and more coming in June and July


Friday, June 4, 2010

Work it out....


I think I emailed some of you are US phone long as our computer is one, the magic jack will be plugged in and you can call us.  We finally got a good VPN and we're in business!

So if you want our number and don't have it, it's a Pennsylvania number which shouldn't really matter as most phones are unlimited long distance just email me for it!

There is voicemail but we're having a hard time getting it set up for some odd reason.

It's still amazing to me that we plug our phone into this little box thingy that plugs into the USB port, goes through our wireless internet to America and there was NO delay today when talking to our families.   All this for $20 a year.  Not bad.

I think in about 20 years, we're going to be able to beam ourselves from one country to the next.  Watch out.