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Two Weeks and Counting

 Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just got my itinerary this morning. I'm leaving on August 11th. As I looked at the email, it hit me: I'm really leaving. I admit, I cried. I'm tearing up now as I post this. I'm seriously going to miss my family. I'm positive August 11th is going to be a bittersweet day - exciting cos I'm moving to one of the richest cities in the world; sad cos I'm leaving my family. What takes the sting off is the fact that during the first year, I may see them (or some of them) every 4-5 months. I'll be back in December during my winter break, I plan to fly my parents out during my spring break (their 35th wedding anniversary is in April, so this'll be my gift), my sister comes in May, then I go home in July for summer vacation. All that's left is seeing my brother, nephews, and my adopted sibs and I'm cool. This helps me, tho. It's just the in between...the fact that they won't be a hope, skip, and a jump away. But there's always Skype, although we'd have to think of a good time since there's a nine-hour time difference.

So anyway, ask me if I'm ready. Go on. Ask me. My answer? Nope. I mean, mentally, yeah, I'm so there. But otherwise, no. I still have stuff to do. I'm getting rid of practically everything I own (except my books...can't part with my books). Sis and I are still trying to find someone to take over our lease. I don't have luggage, which explains why I'm not packed. I have a few things I have to download before I leave to make life easier over there. I have to get more long dresses and sandals. I have to get an international drivers license. I have other things I need to do and only two weeks to do it. But I'm not worried...okay, maybe I started to panic, but I'm good now. Things will work out.

I just remembered I haven't blogged about my new haircut! With the changes I'm making with this trip, I've decided to make a few other changes to kind of symbolize what's going on in my life. Getting rid of almost everything I own reminds me that this is a new beginning for me. Letting go of the old and welcoming the new. I'm hopefully getting my nose pierced this weekend, symbolizing the fact that I've let go of fear and am ready to live life to the fullest (I've always wanted a nose piercing, but have been too scared to get one). My haircut was somewhat the same. I've cut away what's holding me back. The biggest reason I've cut my hair is cos I'm going natural (no chemicals to my hair) and without perms, my hair is CRAZY thick. I didn't want to go to Abu Dhabi, where the temps can get to 108 degrees or higher, with my long, thick hair. It would've been UNBEARABLE. So, I chopped my hair off. I'm hoping to get braids at some point before the year ends. Just easier to maintain. So, here's a pic of my new haircut:

Yep. Chopped it off. Like a good five inches gone bye bye. I do plan to grow my hair out. I just wanted to get used to Abu Dhabi's heat before I did.

I have two weeks left. Am I really ready for this? Why yes. Yes I am!


And the saga continues...

 Saturday, July 9, 2011

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Contract is here. I'm nervous. What will it say? Better yet, how much will I make? I open the email and print out the contract - which, by the way is in both English and Arabic. That's how much I'll be making a month? SWEET! I mean, I'd more than likely be making the same amount here in the states, but unlike here, I wouldn't have taxes coming out...no medical either. Basically, what I see is what I'll get. Add to that the fact that ADEC pays for housing and utility bills are usually under $100 and I've got a pretty fat check every month. Niiice!

Gotta view a webinar tomorrow before signing cos they'll explain the contract in more detail.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Webinar over, now I'm ready. Or am I? I hesitate. This move is becoming more and more real. I'd be leaving my family. I'd be LEAVING MY FAMILY! Oh gosh! I don't think I can do it. My family is my rock. I've never, in my almost 35 years, been this far from them. Part of me wants to cling to them and scream, "No! I don't wanna go!" Yet, another part wants to let go so I can fly.

I don't have to sign the contract. I can tell ADEC thanks, but no thanks, then walk away. With Daddy's mild stroke a few weeks ago, maybe I should. It would hurt my heart dearly if I went overseas and God forbid, something were to happen to him. But even now as I think that another thought crosses my mind: my dad would not be happy if I passed up this opportunity. I mean he'd rather me be here in the states - in Houston - but he'd want me to follow my heart...and God.

So, what does my heart - more importantly, God - say?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Both God and my heart say go, so I'm going. I've signed and emailed my contract, so it's official. I'm feeling about a bazillion emotions, but surprisingly, fear isn't one of them. I say "surprisingly" cos I've let fear keep me from doing so many things in the past. Honestly, I let it hold me captive cos it was safe. If I didn't venture out I wouldn't get hurt. But I'm tired of allowing fear to control me. Makes for a boring life. Don't get me wrong, life has been pretty good to me, besides some bumps here or there. It's just been...blah.

Earlier this year, I asked God for an adventure in Him...an adventure that'll bring me closer to Him. And I think it's safe to say moving to Abu Dhabi will definitely be an adventure.


How It All Began, Part 2

 Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I abhor interviews. I get so nervous sometimes that my mind goes blank. Ugh! I know I haven't been taking this seriously, but it hits me: I really want this job. By the time I arrive at the hotel, I'm good. I've talked to God and He's calmed my fears.

There are four other interviewees, one of which is interviewing with Ash, the recruiter. After Ash is finished, he comes over to talk to us before the next round of interviews. He tells us about the city of Abu Dhabi (used to be desert before discovering oil), the residents (only 20% of the residents were actually born in Abu Dhabi; the rest are from around the world), and the education reform (ADEC wants students to be able to compete globally, hence their hiring English-speaking teachers). He also discusses the challenges we'd face and lets us know that the average citizen is worth $17 million. $17 MILLION! Every natural-born citizen have benefited from the oil discovery. I wonder how much is the average US citizen worth...

My turn to interview. The butterflies are having a field day in my tummy, but I'm good. I speak with confidence, ask questions...I'm thinking I did well. Nothing left to do but wait...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

OMG! I did it! I'm moving on to the final step...the interview with ADEC (Abu Dhabi Education Council). Mama's already talking like I got the job. My family's already making plans to visit. This is crazy! This is madness! This is...AWESOME!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I have a week to go before my interview. Gotta get papers together. A thought crosses my mind: Even if I don't get this job, I'll be happy. I've experienced growth in this short amount of time. The old Rae would NEVER have even applied for a job out of city, let alone out of this country. But, here I am, getting ready for my final interview to work in a place on the other side of the world. Thank God for growth!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Interview day. It's dreary and rainy outside, but I refuse to let that deter me. I'm gonna ace this interview. Since I left my umbrella at home by accident, I'm all wet when I get to the room (they're interviewing at the Embassy Suites...niiiice), but I remain upbeat. It's my turn to interview. *breathe* I meet Fiona, from Down Under. She's so cool and friendly. It almost doesn't feel like an interview...just like I'm talking to a friend. She tells me I remind her so much of her friend who lives in Abu Dhabi (this is a good thing, perhaps?). I don't miss the fact that she says I'll have to meet her friend when, not if, I move to Abu Dhabi. Although I don't get an offer right there, I have a good feeling about this. This job is so mine!

Tuesday, May 16, 2011

I haven't heard a thing! They said in 2-3 days. Why haven't I heard a thing?!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I listen to the voice mail Ash left saying the contracts are being held up, but I will be offered a position to teach in the UAE. I've listened to this voicemail over and over and over again. This moment is bittersweet. I'm leaving my family, my comfort zone, all that I know and love to venture to the other side of the world. I'm so gonna miss my fam. At the beginning of this year, God told me that 2011 is gonna be about change for me. This is definitely the biggest change I've had in my life so far. But I'm ready for it. God's about to do some major stuff in my life and I'm so excited. This is my moment. Bring it on!


How It All Began, Part 1

 Monday, July 4, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I receive an email stating that the local news did a piece on the recruiting agency, Teach Away Inc, who's recruiting 1,000 teachers to teach in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. It's for an education initiative they've been conducting for the past two years. My first thought is, "Abu Dhabi? Where in the world is that?" My second thought is, "Nah. This job's definitely not for me. It's too far away from home."

For the next hour or so, there's this annoying voice in my head that won't leave me alone. "Go for it," it keeps saying. I try to ignore it. I mean, come on. It's not even in this country! But the voice is so darn persistent. I settle for looking up Abu Dhabi. Oh my! The beaches are gorgeous!

Nevertheless, it's not in Houston, so I won't be applying. "Do it," the voice tells me. So, to shut the voice up, I apply. No harm, right? They'll probably end up saying no thanks anyway...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Oh. My. Gosh! Just got an email back from Teach Away. Should I open it? What does it say? Doesn't matter cos I'm not moving to Abu Dhabi. I won't.  Curiosity gets the best of me, so I open it.

"...we would like to consider your application..."

EEP! I'm moving on to stage 2 - fill out the full application. Wait a minute! What am I thinking. This isn't exciting. This is not even important. I. Am. Not. Going. To Abu Dhabi. "Do it!" There goes that pesky voice again. Knowing it won't leave me alone, I fill out the full app. This time, I'm sure they'll say no...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another email. What's this one gonna say? I open it.

"...Teach Away would like to invite you to the initial interview..."

Seriously? I can't believe it! Ok, breathe. I have two choices: Don't confirm my attendance for this interview and pretend none of this ever happened or confirm my attendance and see what happens. This time, I don't even need the voice to tell me. I confirm. Surely I won't get any further than this...


About This Blog

This blog is all about my adventures while living in Abu Dhabi. Come along with me for what will be an awesome experience. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

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