Saturday, August 30, 2014

Debt Reduction and Staying Positive

We have officially paid off one of our student loans. We have three more to go and the end is in sight!

Even though it was difficult to leave family and friends and come back to Abu Dhabi, we had friends waiting for us here AND we are achieving our financial goals.

It is a good reminder as to why we are here and when people back home ask, "Why? Why would you put yourselves through one more year of being away?" we can't convey how enjoyable, how relieving, it is to be making progress on our debt reduction goals.

It is a good feeling. And it keeps us staying positive while surviving the desert!


Friday, August 29, 2014

School Update - Yay and Boo

Rob is still teaching at the same school. I got a transfer (yay!) on the last day (boo!) of our teacher work week to a middle school (yay!).

So my classroom isn't really ready to go (boo!). I don't quite have a handle on my new school (boo!), BUT I'm teaching grade 7 (yay!) English (yay!) at a middle school for girls (yay!) to girls AND I'll be working for an American principal (yay!).

More updates to come!


Our (Last) First Week Back

We had a rough start to our (last) first week back in Abu Dhabi.

With the combination of a delayed and prolonged travel itinerary, we arrived back in Abu Dhabi on the morning that we were supposed to go back to work. This is what it took to get us back to the good ol' Dhabs:

Original 26 hour travel itinerary: Detroit > Chicago > Dublin > Abu Dhabi. And yes, 26 hours to get from the US to AD is phenomenal!

On our first day of travel, we were delayed leaving Detroit because Chicago shut down for weather. By the time our Detroit > Chicago flight was cleared to leave, our Chicago > Dublin flight had already left Chicago.

So we went back to Rob's parents' house for an extra night (yay!), to leave the following day. This time: Flint (closer to Perry then Detroit) > Chicago > Dublin > Abu Dhabi.

We arrived in Chicago with no issues, boarded our Chicago > Dublin flight, but then sat on the plane for an extra hour and half because of "mechanical issues." So we missed our Dublin > Abu Dhabi flight (by about 20 minutes).


While in Dublin, the airline was nice enough to get us a hotel room for the day, so we had somewhere to go while we waited 12 hours for the next departing flight. We were able to take a nap, take a shower, and then take in the sights: dinner and a Guinness at a local pub.

And can you tell us what's wrong with these pictures?

Pretty crazy for drivers and cars to be on the opposite side of the road than what you are used to - especially when your brain is fuzzy with jet lag.

Even though we were exhausted, there are worse places to have a long layover and it was fabulous to have a place to drop our luggage and our weary heads for a few hours.

We did end up getting to AD eventually. We took a cab straight from the airport to our schools, checked in with our principals (who were very understanding) and headed back to our apartment to begin the recovery process. We unpacked, went grocery shopping for five items, (bread, turkey, cheese, cereal, and milk), and went to bed at 1:30pm to take a nap. We woke up for work at 6:00am.

True, we are still a bit jet-lagged and the week back to work was stressful to say the least, but our (last) first week in Abu Dhabi is over. It's our (last) first weekend and we haven't left the apartment and, actually, if I'm being totally honest, we haven't actually left the couch for anything more than the bathroom or food.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Back to the desert

We forgot how hot it is here.

It is a slap in the face "Welcome back!" to have to sweat profusely every moment that you are out of doors - a sweaty slap, but a slap just the same.

We are settling back into our normal, school year routine. Still a bit jet-lagged, but we are slowly getting over it (Rob's asleep on the couch while I type this and he's been sleeping since 7pm).

Kids are supposed to show up to school on Sunday and Rob is still at the same school, planning on teaching grade math. We shall see what changes between now and Sunday. I'm still at the same school I was last year, but will not be teaching grade six English as it will no longer be housed at that school. I'm waiting on hearing back about a transfer to a middle school where I will hopefully get to teach grade 7 English.

Other than that, life resumes it relatively slow pace of a school year. After a full and hectic, but marvelous summer of family and friends, I have to admit it is nice to sit on the couch and watch tv in our own apartment. 

Even if that apartment is in Abu Dhabi.