Sunday, October 27, 2013
...it's been a while since my last post. Ok, longer than a while.
I know. I know. Bad blogger. Tsk tsk and all that jazz.
I'm not trying to make excuse, but this past school year was rough. Ok, so I'm totally making excuses, but it's the truth. Stressed doesn't even begin to describe how I felt last year. Everything suffered. My health. My writing. My relationship with God. No bueno, right?
Thankfully, I'm no longer in that situation. Hopefully, this year - my final year in AD - will be better and stressful.
You read right. This is my 3rd and final year in AD. I can't believe I'm already in my 3rd year! It's gone by so quickly, man.
Anywho, I'm hoping to get back to blogging cos, to be honest, I kinda miss it. It helps with my creative flow. This may be final year in AD, but this definitely does not mean I'm hanging up my "International Diva" hat.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Happy New Year!
Long time no hear from, right? The only excuse I can give is it's been a hectic and tiring first trimester here in Abu Dhabi. But it's over. Done. Khalas ("finished" in Arabic). Thank God! The 2nd trimester has begun. Prayerfully, it won't be as hectic and tiring. Only time will tell. I do plan on catching up on everything I've gotten behind on, including blogging.
In the days to come, I hope to catch you up on what's happened since I last blogged. Like I said, it's been a hectic 1st trimester at work, but some exciting things have happened.
So, welcome back my loves! I'm excited seeing what this year will bring me & I'm equally as excited to share them with you. :D
Monday, September 17, 2012
I'm a bad blogger. I haven't been blogging consistently for a while. No major excuse. I've just had other priorities that kind of super ceded blogging.
But I'm back. Not promising posts everyday, but I will try to post at least once a week.
Now that that's out of the way, on to better things...
My summer was AMAZING. One of my best summers ever.
I started out with a week-long trip to Phuket, Thailand. What I loved best about Phuket were the beaches (cos I'm all about the beaches). Gorgeous! And the people were friendly. Of course, they assumed that, because I was black, that I came from Africa, but I let that slide. It's not like there were many black people there. Every time I passed someone from Thailand, they'd greet me by singing Shakira's song "Waka Waka" which was the song from the Soccer World Cup in...yep, you guessed it. Africa. It got a little tiring, but like I said, I let it slide.
And they loved our skin color. We were given so many compliments about how beautiful our skin was. My friend, who was the darkest of us 3, had the most compliments. The darker your skin, the more beautiful they saw you.
There were many transgendered males. When we walked the strip (with night clubs & bars), we saw transgendered show girls & transgendered prostitutes. Some of them were obviously male, but others totally looked like gorgeous women! The thing that broke my heart, though, was the fact that some of the prostitutes were obviously teen boys. I so wanted to cry seeing that.
Let's see, besides relaxing, we went to a Ping Pong show (don't ask...my eyes will never be the same) and traveled to Phi Phi Islands, where some of the James Bond movies (The Man with the Golden Gun & Tomorrow Never Dies) as well as the movie The Beach (with Leo DiCaprio) were filmed, and went elephant trekking through the forest (AWESOME experience).
Next stop, AMERICA! I sooo missed my family and was happy to be home. I started out in Birmingham, Alabama where my sister attends seminary. I was able to meet (i.e. check out) her friends and see her in her new surroundings. It made me feel better to know my little punkin surrounded by wonderful people who take good care of her.
After Birmingham, sis & I drove home to Houston where I saw the rest of my family. Oh man, it felt good to hug & kiss my people! There's nothing like a family's love, I tell ya. We were only home for a few days before sis & I left for...PUERTO RICO!
OMG, Puerto Rico was AMAZING! The place, the people, the language...beautiful. It certainly lived up to my expectations. Did I mention I'd been waiting to visit PR since I was a SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL? That's 18 yrs, people. For 18 years, I'd prayed, planned, re-prayed, re-planned, etc. We'd get close to being able to go, then something always came up to stop us. Not this year. Everything worked out so well that my sis & I felt like we were dreaming. Lol.
But we spent a peaceful & glorious week in San Juan, PR. We didn't do too much; just relaxed and chilled. We did visit Old San Juan and the Bacardi Rum Factory. Next time (and there WILL be a next time), we'll visit with Isla de Vieques, which has bioluminescent bays (with glowing water) you can swim in along with other places we didn't get to visit. By the way, Bacardi Dragonberry...YUM! I'm not a drinker, but this right here? Mixed with fruit punch? Muy delicioso!
Oh and the men...GORGEOUS! And they have the sexy accents too? *fans self*
Anyway, after PR, we went back home, where I spent the rest of my summer vacation with my family. Ahhh, it felt so good to be surrounded by the love of my family and friends. It felt good to go to my home church. It. Felt. Good. I didn't want to leave, but alas, I had to. God isn't finished with me here. I still have work to do.
So, back to Abu Dhabi, I went.
I'll post about the start of the school year later this week. For whatever reason, I'm having a hard time posting my pics, so I'll try again tomorrow.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Well, I did it.
I survived my first year teaching abroad. It was a challenging year, but through God's strength, I made it. The school year is finally over.
The students' last day of school was officially June 21st, though many stopped coming before then. Unfortunately for teachers, the last day was July 12th. Why the powers that be chose to have that 3-week gap, I don't know, but it was excruciating. At least for me. Many teachers spent the last three weeks doing absolutely nothing. Well except for working out (at school), eating, reading, or chillaxing.
Our last few weeks were spent in PDs (professional developments), preparing for the next school year, blah, blah, blah. To be honest, I mentally checked out sometime around week one. I was done working. My body was there, but my mind had already gone on vacation. It was a struggle to get up in the mornings and go to work, but nevertheless, we did. And we're finished. Thank you, JESUS! I'm seriously contemplating getting a shirt that says, "I survived teaching in Abu Dhabi." I have that Destiny's Child song in my head. "I'm a survivor. I'm not gon give up. I'm not gon stop. I'm gon work harder." Describes this year perfectly.
My brain rejects anything school-like, so enough about school.
My vacation will consist of a trip to Phuket (pronounced Poo-ket) Thailand, home (the US), and Puerto Rico. I know, awesome, right???
Tomorrow morning, my friends and I leave for Phuket for a 6-day/5-night vacation. I so can NOT wait. There is fun - and relaxation - to be had. Next week, I leave for home. I can't wait to see my family! Oh, how I miss them so. Then, it's off to San Juan, Puerto Rico with the sis for a 7-day/6-night vacation. Seven days may not be enough, I know but we'll make the best out of the time we have. I can't wait to see the gorgeous men...uh, I mean the gorgeous beaches of Puerto Rico. Heehee. I spend the rest of my vacation back in Houston with the fam before I come back to Abu Dhabi for another great year of teaching.
I'm thinking this summer may turn out to be the best one yet.
Friday, July 6, 2012
The students stopped coming about 3 weeks ago, but teachers have to stay til July 12th. Many teachers have spent these last few weeks doing absolutely nothing. Some have been sitting around talking to their coworkers. Others filled their days with dancing, working out, eating, etc. My school? We've been spending these last few weeks WORKING.
I know. Lucky us, right?
Our principal has been working us pretty hard, getting ready for the next school year. We've been in PDs (professional development) since forever. I envy the teachers who've chilled. But, when September comes, we'll be the ones relaxing and not stressing while everyone else is working extra hard.
We have one more week left. Honestly, my mind went on vacation mode about a week ago. Physically, I'm at the PDs, but mentally, I've already started my summer break. I don't have anymore left to give for this school year. My energy is gone. I'm done. I don't think I'm the only one at work who feels this way. And I think my principal notices. Or at least I hope she does. Thankfully, this last week is supposed to be an easy week.
Speaking of vacation, this may turn out to be the best summer so far. I'm going to Thailand for a week, then to the States to be with my family, whom I miss soooo much, and later, my sis and I will be in San Juan, Puerto Rico for a week. See why I can't wait to get this party started?
Last week in Dubai, I went to my 3rd concert since moving to AD. In October, it was Janet; December, it was Sade; June, it was Pitbull. This was my first (definitely not my last) Pitbull concert. I am a big Pitbull fan, especially his voice. I LOVE Pitbull's voice. *swoon*
Anyway, while waiting (forever, it seemed) they had a winner of some reality competition come perform. I don't remember her name, but then, she wasn't memorable. I don't understand why they had her, but whatever.
Karl Wolf, who was born in Lebanon, raised in Dubai, and resides in Canada, opened up for Pitbull. I'd heard of Karl Wolf before but this was my first time seeing him live. I loved his performance. I'm definitely a fan now.
Pitbull was an hour and a half late. So not cool. To be honest, I would've left had I not purchased fan pit tickets (where we got to stand close to the stage). But I wanted to get my money's worth, so I stayed. I am so glad I did. Pitbull made up for his tardiness. His performance was AWESOME! And boy oh boy that man is HOT. I've always thought he was cute and his voice was sexy, but seeing - and hearing - him in person has cemented it...Pitbull is one sexy man. The fact that I was right there by the stage made the concert even better! I'll definitely be going to another Pitbull concert in the future. Next up...Jennifer Lopez in November. Can't wait!
I've been to more concerts in less than one year than I've been in the last 15 years! Thank you, UAE!
|Wanted him to take off those darn glasses so we could see his pretty eyes, but alas it wasn't meant to be.|
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Our letter of the week was "V" and one of our vocab words volcano. So, Monday I had a light bulb moment. Why don't I make a volcano and show the kids a model of what an eruption would be like! Mix vocabulary with science. Genius, right? Yes, I know. I thought so too.
For a second, I completely forgot about the fact that I'm not an artist. Only for a second, tho. Then I remembered how bad I am at drawing or making things. I paint awesome pictures with my words, but I suck at painting awesome pics.
Or any pics for that matter.
Anyway, I decided since my babies would like it, I'd go on and attempt to do it. I mean, these are 4 year-olds who live in the desert, for pete's sake. They know of volcanoes (or bolcan in Arabic), but I'm sure most of them have never seen one in real life. So, it's not like any of them were gonna stand up and say, "Uh, Miss Raenice. That's so not a volcano." They don't even speak enough English to say that. So, with a water bottle, a box, a splash of flour here, a hint of oil there, and a pinch of salt and water thrown in, I made a volcano. A very lumpy volcano, but a volcano, nonetheless. Then, I had another light bulb moment. Why don't I paint the box and the (lumpy) volcano! Again, another genius idea, right? Yes, I know. I thought so too.
So, I did it. I painted everything to make it look somewhat real. Or perhaps the decorating was really done to mask the horror that was my volcano. I got compliments on it, but I'm sure inside, they were thinking, "What in the hell is that?" That's ok. I'm fine with my lack of artistic abilities. I embrace it. It is who I am. Artistically deficient. That's me. And I'm ok with that. Sort of. It's not like I'm jealous of people like my brother, dad, and friends who are awesome artists. Nope. Ok, maybe a little. I wish I could draw or make models of stuff.
Creative person that I am, making things soothes me. Whether it's through my baking or my writing or even my horrible art models and drawings. It's my getaway. Had a bad day? I write. Feeling stressed? I color or bake. Using my God-given creativity is a stress reliever. And I so wish I can add drawing to that list.
But I digress. Today, I showed my classes the model and they loved it. Their eyes were so wide with wonder. And when it erupted...excitement galore. So, my volcano may have sucked in the looks department, but it was all kinds of awesome in the "My students are gonna love this" department. As my kids would say, "Good job, Miss Raenice. Good job!"