Thursday, December 30, 2010

All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth......

We've been having a good time at home.  I would upload pictures, but they are on Trey's computer and we can't get online with it right I'll do it when we can get that.

We had a great Christmas and enjoyed time with family.  There was a big snow storm that started on the 26th.  It was great to see snow and so much of it!  I love the hussle and bussle of life before Christmas so we got to experience that a bit, too.

Now we're with Trey's family in Massachusetts and yesterday I got to experience my first root canal. I thought only "old people" had to get apparently I'm old!  My tooth has been bothering me for a while so I decided that I just needed to go for it.  The endodontist was fabulous and I'm so glad I did it here.  I was nervous about getting it done overseas as dental work isn't really the same everywhere and I didn't want a botched up tooth.  She did the major work and then I'll finish the crown in Dubai.  I'm glad that it is over with. 

I'll post pictures, soon hopefully!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Hamdan Awards....

I told you last week that CURE got an award last week in Dubai. It's called the Hamdan Award.

This award is presented to four individuals {personalities or organizations (doctors or others)} who provide important voluntary services and who significantly contribute to alleviating the suffering of a large number of human beings subjected to exceptional circumstances such as catastrophes, epidemics, famine, wars and natural calamities. 

The man on the left is our President and CEO at Oasis.  Both Trey and I directly report to David which is nice because there is so much to learn from him.  When he tells you stories, you feel like he's lived about 12 lives already.....his wife Beth is in the above picture.  Dale Brantner is also in this picture. He works out headquarters for CURE in Harrisburg.
And then there is always this character!  I have NO idea what he is doing here.  The background behind him was pretty cool....except that it got to be a bit much when you were looking at it all night.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peppy's Pita.....

Rising for the second time before you put them in the oven
We made an attempt at making pita.  It was pretty good but not all puffed up as they should have...but they still tasted great. The recipe says to use a bread machine and I'm sure that makes it easy but we didn't do that. We just mixed the dough in a Kitchen Aid mixer and then my dad kneaded it by hand a bit.  We let it rise and then followed the rest of the directions.  It tastes great, but I don't know why they all didn't puff up.  It still tasted good with the hummus we made last night.

Here's a recipe that I got from another couple who used to live in Nazareth while we were in B-town. 

In the oven....some of them puffed up. All of them still had the pocket when we pulled them out. 


  • 1 1/8 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast


  1. Place all ingredients in bread pan of your bread machine, select Dough setting and start. When dough has risen long enough, machine will beep.
  2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently roll and stretch dough into a 12 inch rope. With a sharp knife, divide dough into 8 pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball. With a rolling pin, roll each ball into a 6 to 7 inch circle. Set aside on a lightly floured countertop. cover with a towel. Let pitas rise about 30 minutes until slightly puffy.
  3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Place 2 or 3 pitas on a wire cake rack. Place cake rack directly on oven rack. Bake pitas 4 to 5 minutes until puffed and tops begin to brown. Remove from oven and immediately place pitas in a sealed brown paper bag or cover them with a damp kitchen towel until soft. Once pitas a softened, either cut in half or split top edge for half or whole pitas. They can be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for 1 or 2 months.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Abu Dhabi

The night before we flew out, we stayed in a hotel in Abu Dhabi since Trey had a meeting and a lecture to attend.  Our friend from work was also staying in Abu Dhabi for a conference so we went out for the evening in the city and then took a walk along the Corniche. The weather was perfect and is so enjoyable this time of year. 

This is a beautiful hotel in Abu Dhabi called Emirates Palace Hotel.  I love how they light it up at night. It looks just like Christmas at home.

In early December, the UAE celebrates National Day. This year they celebrated 39 years of being a country.  They put up lights all around which is so nice because the country colors are red, green and black.  It makes it nice for those of us who celebrate Christmas. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

As time goes by.....

Usually when we fly home, we take a night flight and arrive at home in the late afternoon.  It's nice because we're usually tired and just force ourselves to stay up for a couple hours and then hit the sack.  Usually we wake up early, but that's not a problem. The early morning is pretty nice.

This time we flew home on a day flight......we left Abu Dhabi at 10:30am and then arrived to my parents around 7:30pm.  We barely could stay up for an hour. I was asleep by 8:30pm and Trey earlier than me.  But our problem has been waking up SUPER early this time.  The first night I woke up at 3pm, Trey at 4pm.  Last night, Trey woke up at 1:30am and me at 3am again.  Trey made it the whole day until 6pm and then went to bed.   Today I just woke up at 4am but I'm happy because I made it to 7:30pm last night, took 2 Tylenol PM and slept for 8.5 hours. 

But this is what happens when you wake up at such odd mid morning you feel like you've conquered the whole world.

Yesterday we decided that this would be a good meal for 10:30am.

Pasta with olive oil, garlic, lemon, wine and shrimp.  It was sooo good but I was laughing so hard that we were eating that at 10:30am.  Thank you jet lag.

Friday, December 17, 2010

On the first day of Christmas.....

We arrived home safely last night.  It was a long trip--we did a 15 hour straight flight from Abu Dhabi to New York.  I was done at hour 8 of the flight......the poor lady next to me. I was so restless.   I can't even think about going back. 

I woke up at 3am ready for the day..... enjoy some pictures from our first morning. 

Baby it's cold outside!

The tree. I love these big colored lights with the old reflectors.

We started the fire first thing this morning.

Home, sweet, home.

Monday, December 13, 2010

  1. We put up our tree.....I'll get a picture up some time soon.
  2. We went caroling in the desert.
  3. Christmas party at the Hulsey home with all of our friends who are all 40+.  Seriously, I like our  friends (all 40+)! They enjoy partying, too.
  4. I can't forget about crashing the leg reminds me everyday.
  5. Finding little piece of America here.  Yesterday, we went to Chili's with our friends.  I don't know why we went there...I don't really care about Chili's in the US...why here!? But anyway, while we were sitting there, they were playing oldies songs and it felt like we were just in America for a second....except for the fact that the people sitting across from me were wearing black abayas and the guy wearing a white kandora.  Trey spotted this sign.  Shout out to Springfield, MA.
And an Extra Credit: Tonight we are going to the Hamdan Awards for Oasis Hospital. CURE is getting an award in Dubai tonight.  We're pretty excited.  I'll update you later if I find something good to tell you:)

    Tuesday, December 7, 2010

    It's a beautiful day.....

    This weather has been fabulous.  Tonight we're enjoying our patio. 

    Sitting outside at the table, each of us doing our own thing (Trey studying arabic, me writing a blog as you can see), candles lit around the patio, enjoying some good music and good weather.

    The patio door is open, the Christmas tree is on and the Christmas lights over the tv that are strung on the garland are also lit. 

    Many nights after work feel like a rat race or we enjoy having people over for dinner.....BUT these are the nights that I enjoy once in a while after work:)

    We leave in a week for the US. Can't wait. The last time we were with family for Christmas was 2006 so we're excited.

    Saturday, December 4, 2010

    Free fallin', now I'm free fallin'....Part 3

    The answer of why this series of post is called Free fallin' will come today.

    We were having a great evening.  Our friend Mariam decided to surprise us with 4 know the ATV kind that you ride in the woods at home.  We were loving our time, the weather was perfect and the company even better!

    We all hopped on...2 on a bike.  We decided to hit some small sand dunes and the woman who owns the farm led our group since she's the expert and knows where to go.

    Did I mention that we were having SO much fun.....

    After a bit, Trey and Min's bike got stuck in the sand.  Christine and I were on another bike and I noticed that it was taking them a bit longer to get out than I expected.  We decided to head back to get them.  I was driving.  We entered up to the top of a sand dune but the only real way to Min and Trey was to go down the sand dune and head a different way.  Mmm.....not such a good decision.

    As we headed down the sand dune, I over turned the wheel trying to compensate for the fact that we might fall to the left. When I overturned the wheel, instead we took a DIGGER to the right.  Not a huge digger, but one none-the-less. Christine flew off the bike right into the sand.  Me, I fell off but not out from under the bike completely.

    After the first second of shock wore off, I realized that I was stuck under the bike. I couldn't get out.  I told Christine to get help because I was stuck. All of the sudden, Super-Christine pushed the bike over off of me.  Adrenaline is a good gift from God.  For 2 reasons.  You'll find out reason #2 in a second.

    I tried to walk away but couldn't. My leg was sort of hurting. I figured it was sore from the 4 wheeler falling on me. Those things are heavy I thought if I just sit here for a second, it will go away and we can get back on and go back at it. Ha ha!  That wasn't happening.

    I have another photo close up but thought some of you might not like it
    I went to pull my pant leg down and felt wet.  I thought "Hmmm...we're in the desert, there is not water out here." I looked down and saw a rather large hole in my leg. I could see inside. There was fatty tissue sticking out and I wasn't sure what else.   Reason #2 adrenalin is great. I didn't even feel anything when it punctured my leg.

    Christine goes to get help. It was dark and our bike light had shut off so nobody would have seen us but C got to the top of a sand dune and our friends saw us.   Since I clearly needed stitches (or I thought maybe my leg needed to be amputated --not really but I always think the worst in an emergency) C threw her sweatshirt around my leg and told me to make it tight. They put me in the 4 wheel drive car but we got stuck in the desert.  Then we got out and I got on a 4 wheel bike.....put my arms tightly around an Emirate man (that won't happen too much in my lifetime...they barely shake my hand let alone let me hold tight around their belly!) and off we were to the car.

    Trey got me to Oasis Hospital where we work. Thank goodness we work at a hospital.  It was great to be treated by staff that knows us.  They stitched up most of it but left a piece open for drainage in case there was any sand left in there. They cleaned it really well but there's a good chance some sand was left considering we were in a sea of sand just an hour before.

    Finally one week later, I'm walking on it a bit.
    I had to be off of it for 5 days. When I start walking again, we'll see how the muscle held up. It wasn't broken, thank goodness. Right now my leg is really tight and it doesn't work so well yet when I try to walk on it.

    I have a close up picture of the hole, but am afraid that some of you will pass out. We'll stick with the smaller picture of the hole.

    Man, we were having such a great time. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt:)
    They made a nice b-b-q after we left but of course we missed it.  I sort of want to do it again, but not sure the hospital we work out will let any of the staff do it again!  One of our doctors broke his back doing it last far we have 2 strikes against us.

    Friday, December 3, 2010

    Free fallin', now I'm free fallin'....Part 2

    So....we enjoyed our time with the Falcons....but I wasn't really always that fond to be so close. 

    As you can see, I tried to be brave but it didn't work. At the end I wanted to muster up the strength to hold it, but NO SUCCESS.


    As you can see, all was going okay but then even the local gets scared.

    But my favorite is Min's friend Christine. She's so brave.

    She gets the hand off from the owner.

    Doing great.  She even got a picture for her mom.

    Don't put your arm down Christine, he'll get nervous. They like to be on level ground.

    Ummm.....Christine, don't put your arm down. Christine's neck area was the only flat ground he could find.  Look how brave she is, though!

    Okay, a little help here!

    Okay, the local Emirate comes in for the save.....

    Ah, transfer successful. And Christine kept her cool the entire time. I would have let go and told him there was some quail meat in the car or something.  Great fun.

    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    Free fallin', now I'm free fallin'....Part 1

    On Friday night our friend invited us out to her "farm" for an evening of fun.  I put farm in quotes since it's nothing like we imagine as a farm. A farm here is out in the desert and is a place you enjoy in the winter or cool evenings. 

    We arrived and her brother and his friends were out with their falcons. Falcons as I wrote about before is a sport that is alive and well here. It's pretty cool to watch.  The guys flew a big kite in the air. Attached to the kite is a fake pigeon that is attached to a small parachute.  They released the falcon and it goes to get the pigeon. It's pretty cool to watch.  He grabs it and then the guys hop in their big 4 wheel drive cars to retrieve the falcon.  At the end, they give the falcon a reward of raw quail meat.  It was really cool to watch. 

    Then her brothers friend took us out on a desert drive in his big Land Cruiser...this is really fun but semi scary. You always feel like the car is going to tip over but they handle the car so well....except when we couldn't get out of this little valley area.....he finally got us out but boy was that a thrill. You know that feeling when it's sort of scary while you're doing it but then later you remember how fun it was....yeah. 

    The wide open desert is really pretty.  Pictures don't capture the whole scene so well. We tried to get a good Christmas picture but didn't do so well.  We're always so awkward! 

    Part 2 coming tomorrow......

    Wednesday, December 1, 2010

    For this is Thanksgiving day.....

    We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. Last week before Thanksgiving, I made Thanksgiving cut-out cookies. Everyone in Bethlehem always enjoyed decorating them.  This year I decided I would do it again and save some for our friends to decorate when they came for dinner one night.  I was pretty sure that they probably never have decorated Thanksgiving cookies except for maybe Fazila who lived in the States for a while.  
    I was SO sure that her husband Saleem NEVER decorated Thanksgiving cookies since he is A) from Afghanistan--no Thanksgiving there & B) he's a man from Afghanistan. Men in Afghanistan don't do much in the department of  cookie decorating!  Fazila has taught Saleem well as she is an American woman and we expect different things from our husband than in certain countries.  Also, our friend Shiny who is from India but grew up here her whole life decorated with us, too.  

    It was a fun activity for all of us together.  Next up, Christmas cookies!