Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The price you have to pay

Wading in the [in the US: Persian, here: Arabian] Gulf in December while my friends are buried in snow: Priceless

Having sand in my socks for the rest of the day: TOTALLY worth it. :)

P.S. I'm not ready to go home yet. This place--this experience--is just incredible!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hey - I'm in Paris!!

We made it to Paris - phew! This was after our flight to Minneapolis was canceled (…the day before we were to fly, but we didn't find out until we arrived at the airport; apparently they got some snow, or something? ;) ), and we got rerouted through Detroit and the Dulles airport in DC on our way to Paris, where we'll get on our original flight to Abu Dhabi in a couple of hours. We ran through Dulles - "it's not far," the airline lady told us about our gate, so we ran through hallway-escalator-hallway-BUS!-escalator-hallway and finally made it, barely!, on the flight to Paris! (I think "it's not far" will be one of the jokes from this trip - we've already used it once since then. :) ) One of the flight attendants saw us coming down the entryway hall thingy, and must have been able to tell how harried we were, because he moved to block the doorway, with a big smile - "I'm sorry, we've taken the final passengers!" When I teased him back in French that that wasn't nice, he then tried to tell me that this was actually a flight to Mexico. :)

So I've been able to use my French a little, and even! a little Arabic! Very little. :) We sat next to a nice Frenchman, and in getting to know each other a bit, J (the prof I'm traveling with), said that she speaks German, and in German she said, "and a little Swahili." And our new friend said something in German and then, in Arabic, said, "Do you speak Arabic?" And I said "Na'am!" and then tried to say something else - FAIL - and we went back to English. :) Ah well. :)

So one more pretty long flight, after not much sleep the night before departure (ask me about my new hairdryer sometime) and not much sleep on the flight to Paris, and then, luckily, we arrive in Abu Dhabi in the evening, and "sleep" is the first thing on my agenda. :)

So the plan is:
Monday - meetings with big names at the university and visiting classes
Tuesday - a speech by J and 2 poetry competitions (no I will not be competing :P )
Wednesday - a tour of Abu Dhabi, more class visitations, and another speech by J
Thursday - tour of Dubai!
Friday - 2am departure back to the States


Thursday, December 09, 2010

Just in case you forgot...

...this is what I look like when I'm talking:

And also - this:

And for those of you who need it - photographic evidence that I DON'T actually talk ALL the time:

The end.