Saturday, April 10, 2010

the last day

You may ask yourself why, if you even followed me this far, I have only written about the first and last days.
Those of you who have traveled, especially on a program or for business, know that days are jam packed with activities and things to do. I often didn't get back from the activities until 11pm whereupon I would have to share the internet with my 4 other roommates. I'm not complaining, simply explaining my absence. I intend to update you all on everything upon my return to the states. Promise. It will be good for me to relive it and make it more vibrant. Maybe it will be more vivid after it's had a chance to sit and stew a bit, and it will come out being more poetic as opposed to simply a recounting of the day's events. The truth is, I do actually really enjoy blogging.

so here I am in the lobby of my second hotel. I'll first explain how I got to be in a different hotel than I was in initially so you don't think I did something terrible or illegal and got myself kicked out of the other one. Also, for the record, I should be sleeping right now. But enough about that.
So I'm in a new hotel because one girl we six from Smith are traveling with has an uncle who owns a hotel here. We are staying for free but it was only one night. Tonight at midnight we fly home. What a terrible time to leave midnight. I feel as if my hands are moving in slow motion because I am slowly falling asleep. This week I have been getting less and less sleep. I went to a wedding last night, invited by my friend Doni (who you will meet when I get home and have the time and energy to put together words that do her justice) and we were out until 3am. A bit late for me. Upon returning to the hotel, I thougght I had lost my contact lens case and I looked EVERYWHERE. it was nowhere to be found. Little did I know that it was in the bathroom. Okay, fine, but please tell me whether you want to go to a wedding and come back at 3am to find that you can't go to bed because you've no place to put your contact lens.
I swear (or Walla! in Arabic), someone is putting heavy weights on my eyelids, for they keep threatening to close and force me to rely on my fingers to type words that I am unsure will be comprehensible.
I'm actually going to sign off here. I planned to actually write something but at the moment I am simply too tired. I fear that what I wrote for you would be a bunch of nonsense. I admit, that would be funny, however, I would like to remember as it happened.
goodnight. seriously. at 3:00pm.

Monday, April 5, 2010

day two!

Hello there,

internet is more difficult to come by than I had initially thought it would be. I had to wait five minutes for this page to load, no joke. It's longer for some others. But enough of that, here I am now!!
****a word about the posting of photos on this website. I cannot post photos of the DWC girls because they do not want their images on the internet (understandable) and so I won't post as many wonderful pictures but you can come ask me for them if you would like to see some of the wonderful women I spend my week with!
Today was another day full of beautiful weather! I know I didn't finsih telling about yesterday but I will get to that when I have time. I'm keeping a journal but these things take up time I really don't seem to have. We're pretty scheduled here. I'm sure you all were expecting something a bit more stimulating and well written; well to tell you the truth, so was I. I have no idea how I could have ever thought that I would end up with enough time to write such a blog but it was a nice thought. Perhaps there is still a chance for redemption.

Today we learned about the Islamic courts and law, especially pertaining to child custody. I had no idea prior to hearing this lecture, that men and women had many equal rights and allowances in Islam. There are many laws which out-rightly lay out the fact that women have agency. Such things are never spoken about in "typical western culture" and I think having it stated as it is with Islam forms a mutual understanding of men and women as equals in many respects. This is, of course, broken in countries where Muslim woman's rights are undermined. We were taught today that men in Afghanistan who force their daughters to to marry against their will or desires will answer to Allah at the end of their lives. I thought it was a beautiful thing to recognize the girl's right to get approve or reject the husband even if the parents are doing the selecting.  We acted out a simulation of a child custody case in the Islamic court after this lecture. It was quite interesting because it deteriorated quickly. I played lawyer, which is mostly likely the closest I will ever get to being one. Children of lawyers don't usually become lawyers themselves, I've heard. It was an interesting exercise because it made us girls think critically about the law and what we had learned from the speaker.
gosh. days here seem so long.
I should be so much more elaborate about this because if I had time, it would be flowery and full of emotion and imagery. But it's not, the internet is wonky (to use Groove's favorite word) and I'm tired after long days. It may be only 4:41 to you all right now, but add 8 hours to that and you've got me sitting in the lobby with drooping eyelids.
We took our first fieldtrip in the afternoon! I'm so surprised about the weather here, I should mention, because it isn't oppressive and hot like I had expected, but rather warm and humid and is quite pleasant with a breezy breeze. I find myself quite comfortable which is a relief because the concept of weather had been causing me a great amount of anxiety before I came. Heritage Village was our first stop. I brought this laptop with me to the college today so I had to bring it on the bus. Unfortunately, I spilled a bit of my tea inside the bag from inside the thermos but luckily not much was wet. Later, when I returned to the bus, I would learn that because I was stupid and put the teacup back into my bad (?!), it had leaked again and made everything wet. including my laptop. in it's case. luckily, it still works great! I'm one lucky chick. note to self and of course to the general public; don't put tea thermoses in a bad with important possessions, it's airtight twist-on lid could leak tea ALL over your bag and all of the things you love. Nope, I'm not annoyed at this ocurrence at all.This village was
hold on. I've got to end. I need to help with a seizure.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

a beginning- at long last!

Well here I am. In the UAE. who'd have ever thought that I'd find myself in the middle east so soon?
 It was 1am when I finally arrived at the hotel, but oddly enough, I couldn't sleep. After having been in first the US, then Vienna and now Dubai, I felt as though someone had come and bent the hands of my internal clock all out of joint. No matter where I do, I can always wake up early, but then I just accumulate tiredness and loose sleep.Definitely not a positive correlation there. Somehow, however, I've been blessed with wireless internet. Although I am not able to use it in my room, I am now able to use it in the lobby without having to worry that it's going to cut out on me.
I need to tell you all about everything, but lets just begin from when I entered Dubai. I will leave the Vienna part off for now because that's another story completely and I want to get this while it's still fresh in my mind.
Let me just say something about the Dubai airport. It looks like a dance club or something out of a film or better yet, a giant resort. The entire city is as if it were a giant resort and I suppose in many ways, it does have resort characteristics. There is though, as with most places, a history that I hope to learn tomorrow.
If you ever have the chance, please fly Emirates Airlines! Even if you aren't the super lavishly rich person in the airplane seat that has it's own compartment, you are still guaranteed a very comfortable flight. All stages of my life were completed by this ride; the ceiling lit up with LED constellations like my ceiling at home, I could make my own playlist (yes, I did indeed spend about 4 hours doing that...) and the seats were comfortable (satisfying my old woman elements). Overall, I'm a fan. Also, they have lovely lotion in the bathrooms.

As we stepped off the airplane onto the airstrip (where we caught a bus to the terminal), I was surrounded with air that was not humid and oppressive as I had originally imagined I would be, but rather, the sort of warm that only tingles your nose and causes you to think of Spring. Being tired, I was not so inclined towards good posture and slumped my way all the way to baggage claim. My initial thoughts of the airport were something to the affect of "where the heck am I?!" As we rode the tall escalator down, the main part of the arrivals hall rose in front of me like the Christmas tree in The Nutcracker. First came the pillers of silver; as big as redwoods around and as shiny as you imagine, reflecting in panels. The second pillers beyond the passport  checking point are ivory with flecks of sparkles. I would not object to having a sandbox made with that sparkly stone.

I need to go to sleep now. I will finish this tomorrow. Don't go longing for me now.