Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Have My Residents Permit!

I haven't written in a while so I have lots to talk about.  I finally got my residents permit a few weeks ago. Now if I can get my license.  As they say here inshallah, which means "God willing".  American translation is maybe, we hope so!!!  Yesterday, Alan called and said for me to go by the traffic department and get an application for my license and get an eye test.  So a friend went with me.  We drove up and a guy met us at the gate and of course I couldn't really understand him.  I told him I was coming to get driving license application, so he said follow me.  He took off like speed lightning and I could not keep up.  My friend was behind me.  We followed him to this dump of a trailer and he asked for my RP card and he started typing on a manuel type writer.  The keys were all in Arabic .  Then he asked for a photo and I didn't have the passport size photos I had been using on all my documents and stuff.  So he took my picture for 20 QR.  Then he said follow him, off he went like speed lightning again and we took off trying to keep up.  He went into another building and they had round piece's of poster board cut out and the muslim lady said to cover my right eye and she put the numbers and letters on the wall and I told her what they were.  I passed and then we went outside with the guy and I asked him if I was finished and he said that would be 30 QR.  I said ok what for and he said "I type your paper"!  He then put the money in his pocket.  Whatever! We will cross our fingers for my license now.  Normally you take driving test and they fail you several times.  But Alan has a Qatari sponsor that likes him and is doing this for us.  Yea!!!

One of my least favorite things to do here is to go grocery shopping.  It is a very stressful thing for me.  You can never find everything that you are looking for and you have to go to several stores or be like me and just make do with whatever that store has.  Anyway I say all this to tell you I went the other day and as I was driving up and two young men started running towards the parking space where I was going to park.  Before I could get out of the car they were shoving each other and fighting over who was going to wash my car.  They ask you everywhere you park if you want a car wash and you pay them 20 or 30 QR.  Well I get out of my car and say to them "hey hey I don't want a car wash".  So needless to say they were very disappointed.  It was too funny.  I felt like I was dealing with my boys.  Not that my boys would be fighting over washing my car, trust me.   At all the compounds here they have workers that wash your car and you pay them so I never get one at the malls or stores.

The other day I was at a Home Center Store shopping.  This store is like a Hobby Lobby or Kirkland's just not near as good.  All stores here have these carts that all four wheels spin around in different directions, so they move sideways.  This is very important to my story.  I was shopping around and looking at some tall candle holders.  So I put them in the cart to go and try to find candles for them.  Of course there were no candles for them.  So I wheel the cart back over to put them back on the shelf. I lean down in my cart and pick up these three rather large glass candle holders.  My arms are very full. I turn around to put them on the shelf when my cart moves so slightly sideways.  In slow motion it barely touches these very large vases and one by one they slowly start falling like dominoes and crashing and breaking. YIKES I can't stop them because my hands are full with glass.  I want to run away but all these little Indian people rush over to start picking the glass up and I say I will pay.  I only said that because I have seen other people break things in there and they had to pay.  They were only 12 QR each and I had to pay for 3, that is like $3.28 each and they were knee high.  I am so happy Alan wasn't with me he would have died!!!

The other big thing that has happened recently is that we got our villa painted on the inside, the outside is another long story that will have to wait for another blog.  It makes it so much better and feels like home.  A little paint always makes things feel cozy.

Yesterday was a huge day for the U.S. with the news that Osama Bin Laden was killed.  I started thinking about this and the fact that we were living in Pennsylvania on 9/11, so close to NYC and Washington, and had been to the twin towers just weeks before. Now I'm in the Middle East when this momentous event happened.  I was a little worried at first being over here. But now I truly feel safe and  I just know that it is in Gods hands and I can't let this freak me out to much.  If Alan's company thought for a second we were in any danger they would take us out immediately.

Alan has been out of town two times and I have had to stay by myself,  but it wasn't too bad.  Just glad it was only a couple of days each time.  I would die if it was for weeks at a time.  I think I would have to go with him.   I have to say I slept fine and felt very safe, which is more than I can say when I am alone at home in Houston.  I am already dreading staying alone this summer in Houston without Alan.

We finally bought a car from a family here in our compound that was moving back to France.  The for sale sign went up around the end of March.  I saw it and called and we test drove it and told him we wanted it.  He said he wanted to keep it till April 11th.   That was ok with us because we had two rental cars.  The 11th came and went and there was still paper work to be done.  To make a long story short it was another thing in Doha that wasn't easy.  We finally got the car a week ago last Sunday on Easter Sunday.  The guy that sold it to us is not moving now.  But he said all the money had already been transferred to his account and he wasn't going to back out of the deal.

We did celebrate Easter here at the Grace Fellowship Church.  Of course it was on Friday. The service was great and very moving, I loved it.  They did have a sunrise service on Sunday and one that evening too.  We were hoping to go to the evening one but we ended up having to go to the traffic department one more time for the car.  Everything takes several trips. Oh and the car I got is a 2009 BMW X3.  It has four wheel drive and that is what you need here.

The next time I write our youngest son, Jared will be here and were are going to go to Brussels with Alan on his business trip and then to Bruges and Amsterdam.  So I can write about that adventure.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Week of Spring Break

I know you are all wondering why does Spring Break over here matter to me.  I have no kids in school here.  Well there are a couple of my friends that do have kids still in High school.  Both of their kids went on a school trip to Macedonia.  Wow, to be an expat kid over here would have been great.  Anyhow back to Spring Break in Doha.  All of us that were not leaving for a Spring Break destination decided we would have a "staycation" here in Doha.  Everyday we had a plan.  It started last Sunday and went through Thursday.  We started out the week on Sunday and went to the Souq and shopped around for fabric, then went to the tailor we all use, Al Hitmi to pick up some pants that one of the girls had made, they were perfect on her.  We ate lunch at Soy in the Souq and it was yummy.  After we finished lunch I had a hair appointment to get my color done.  As you remember from my last blog I wasn't sure if I was going back for that.  I don't remember if I told you that the hair dresser showed up at church on Friday the day after she tried to poof out my hair for my Birthday. It was her first time there and she stood up and introduced herself.   I was in shock!  But I did go up to her and welcome her.  By the way my hair color turned out great she matched it perfect.  Yay!  Anyway back to our staycation.

 Monday we went to the Ritz.  One of our friends is a member of the club at the Ritz so she got us in for free.  We laid out by the pool and ate lunch by the pool.  It was so much fun even though it was a little dusty.  We had our own little pool area by ourselves.

Tuesday we went to the Intercontinental Hotel and laid at their beach it was still dusty outside but the weather was kinda cool and breezy.  We ate lunch there and had alot of laughs.

Wednesday we went to The Pearl. Our friend Dede lives at the Pearl and so we all brought different salads to share and then we walked and shopped along the Pearl mile and ended at the Chocolate Bar and had some yummy desserts and coffee.

Thursday we met at the gold Souq and shopped around for jewelry and some friends bought some and some had some made.  We then went to eat sushi and it was very good.  Are ya'll getting tired of all this eating!! I know I am.  That evening was the grand opening of the most incredible restaurant at the Pearl.  Jerry and Dede got us all invited. It is called Megu and it is a Japanese sushi bar.  It didn't start until 9 p.m. and they put on a show outside the restaurant that was so outrageous with drums and a flute and a few shouts here and there.  When the ceremony finished they allowed us to go upstairs to the actual restaurant.  There were buffet tables setup everywhere and waiters with trays coming up to you all the time.  We ate so much and everything tasted  delicious.  There were no tables set up for sitting at so everyone just walked around eating and drinking.  We had sushi of all kinds, oysters, tempura (shrimp, asparagus, other veggies), kobe beef, shrimp and scallops, you name it they had it!  In the middle of the room was a big circle table filled with the most incredible desserts.  During the middle of the evening they had some "ninja acrobats" perform.  It was a great way to end our week of our staycation.  Thank you Dede and Jerry Jackson.  Wow I was tired from our adventure everyday.  On Friday we had church and the rest of the weekend we were very lazy.

Alan did get his Qatari drivers license.  This was a big deal because it is not easy to do.  At least for most Americans.  Some how Alan got the Qatari Sponsor to get his for him and he didn't have to take a driving test or even go to the traffic department.  He just brought it to him.  Crazy we can't believe it.  Cross your fingers and hope it happens for me.  I do start the Residents Permit process this Thursday.  So everyone pray for me as it does involve a needle!! Yikes!  I will phsyc  myself out. Really I will be glad to get that all over with.

We think we have bought a car.  I say this because we don't actually have it in our possession.  We have not exchanged money.  Alan talked to him yesterday and he said he had been out of  the country and would go get papers today to change it over to us.  So we will hopefully know something soon but he has not called us and now it is 9:15 Sunday evening.

Alan leaves for a business trip this week.  I will be in a foreign country all by myself.  I will try and stay busy during the day so the night won't seem so long.  I won't lie I am a little nervous but I know I will be fine.  It's not that I feel unsafe.  Actually I am more relaxed to stay alone here than in Houston.  He has several trips planned in April and May.  I will go with him in May.

I am picking out paint for our Villa.  Alan and I found the paint store on Friday so at 4pm I went back and it was open and got some paint chips.  I have talked to a guy from my compound that will do the painting.  So hopefully I will start the painting project this week sometime.

This catches everyone up to where I am now.  Hopefully the next time I talk to you I will have my Residents Permit and my license.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

I started a new Bible study at the church we attend, on the Book of Ruth.  We went  around the room and introduced ourselves and told each other where we were from and why we were in Doha .  It was really neat becauseI was sitting with women from South Africa, one from Singapore and one from Quebec.  The one from Quebec has just started learning English.  I see some similarities of my life here in Doha with the life of Ruth.  Ruth is went to a foreign land where she is the outsider.  She immediately jumped in with both feet forward made the new place her home and was not afraid because she had to survive.  Anyway, I know you all know the story, but I am loving the in depth study we are having into the life of Ruth and how her life can help me adjust her in Doha.  I am still going to the Nehemiah study on Tuesdays as well and it is very enjoyable as well.  I am meeting so many great friends through these bible studies that I am in.  I just know that I am making friends for life.

Well there are several Doha moments I need to share with ya'll.  Like for instance I have an iPhone 3G and I finally found a place to get it unlocked so that I could use the sim card I have over here in my iPhone and get rid of the old fashioned touch screen phone we purchased with the "allowance" that Alan's company gave us.  It was quite an ordeal as is every seemingly simple thing here.  I took it in last week and kept going in to see if he had it unlocked and he didn't.  He kept telling me that he would call me, but of course he never did.  I finally got it back to realize that the Qtel (the Qatar cell phone company) plan I have doesn't fully operate with the iPhone.  I can call and text but that's it, no data plan availability!  I have to admit I have learned a lot of patience.   I know I will figure it out but it will take time or "INSHALLAH" like they say over here all the time.  It means God willing.  In other words it's just a way to put you off.  I know some of you have watched the show "Outsourced" and if you have not you need to, it could be the funniest show on TV now, maybe even funnier than Modern Family.  If you have seen it then you know about the Indian head bobble.  Well that head bobble has taken on a whole new meaning for me as it happens to me all the time.  Especially with my maid when I ask her a question and she does the bobble and I want to say is that a yes or no?  The funny thing is you will never ever know.

I had a birthday and it was a big one.  My husband and friends over here have made it really special for me.  My friends took me to the Ritz Carlton for Tea, this is now one of my favorite activities, we had a blast.  Then I was taken the next day by some friends to lunch at the W hotel and had a great time.  Last night when Alan got home we went out with another couple to a  Lebanese restaurant, Layali.  It was so yummy.  This is a place we will redo over and over, especially now that we know what all comes out for free.  This time we had no idea and we ordered way too much food but it was so incredible we just could not stop eating!  Now that is definitely another story we will have to share in another blog, way too much eating is going on over here!

I have been trying to find a place to get my hair done.  The first place I went to was at the W hotel where we lived the first 2 weeks here.  The guy that cut my hair took scissors that thin your hair out and layer it all over.  This is not good, not a real hair cut.  So now I have to wait for it to grow back out for a very long time. But now my gray is coming through, yes I know y'all are all shocked that I have gray,  but don't tell anyone this is not my natural hair color!  Anyway I called a couple of different salons that my different friends have told me to call.  I got an appointment to one of the salons for next Wednesday.  Well that was before the first annual Doha Dolls Spring Break Agenda was set and keeping that appointment was going to cut into my play time with my friends.  I haven't canceled that one yet, but I went ahead and called another place yesterday and they made an appointment for me for Sunday.  While I was at lunch with my friends yesterday the place called and they had a cancelation for 4pm yesterday.  I was very excited because I was going  to get it colored before Alan I went out that evening even though it meant I could not go to the Emir's Cup and Sword festival Arabian Horse races with Alan, he went by himself and that is a another story for later too.

So I go into this salon and  fill out paper work with all my info on it.  The lady calls me back and says "so we are going to cut and blow dry your hair today right" and I said no I just want highlights and lowlights and cover the gray roots.  Well she panics and says she doesn't have time for that and that was not what was scheduled but she looks at my paper and sees that it is my birthday and asks if she can wash and blow dry my hair for my special evening out.  So I agreed and then Oh My!  She starts by telling me how damaged my hair is from the water here and that my hair cut I had last time was terrible and not to cut my hair for another six weeks, blah blah blah.  Then she begins to blow dry my hair and again Oh My!!!!  She makes it really pouffy with curls.  This is sooooo not me.  She teased it and sprayed it and kept teasing it and spraying it more and more so much so I wanted to laugh.  She kept saying over and over  "it's not fixed so don't panic".  Well when she finished she asked "so what do you think".  I wanted to scream and run away.  I looked in the mirror and thought are you kidding me?  Am I on candid camera? Is this April Fools day?  Really!  Who is playing a joke on me.  So she says tell me the truth.  So I told her,  well this is way to pouffy for me, I am not that kind of girl.  I know I am from Texas but that left Texas in the 80's.  I start trying to smash it down with my hands and it just will not smash.  So I politely tell her thank you and she said "it's free because it is your birthday".  I couldn't get out of there fast enough.  I get to my car and try to comb it down and it's still not moving there is soooo much hair spray on it.  I try and call Alan and my phone says I need to load more minutes on it.  Theres another story.  Anyway  I have to run over to the mall and pay for more minutes  with my big hair!!!  I have sunglasses on and put them on top of my head and they get lost in the big hair.  I was just praying I didn't run into anybody that I know.  At any rate I still have my color appointment with her on Sunday!  Do I trust her?  Please tell me when you respond.  I feel like I have to go back to her since she was trying to be so nice and I cannot waste part of the Doha Dolls SB.  So do I go and just don't let her cut and then know when she blow dries it that I have to go straight home and re-do it?  Seems like a waste of time.  There is no telling what I will look like when I come back to Texas.  I will have to go in hiding for several weeks to undo all the bad.  Of course this is why all of my new friends over here keep telling me that you start drinking over here just to get over the things that you used to take for granted that they "almost" get right here in Qatar.  Remember Qatar's nick name is "The Land of Almost", they almost get everything right!

Next week will be fun on our Doha Dolls Spring Break with a great group of girls who are like me and not going somewhere else for Spring Break so we have a plan to make our own Spring Break fun.  Everyday we have something different planned, just like a vacation.  But it's a staycation.  It will be fun.  But it involves a bathing suit!! Yikes!! Oh who cares!!  Anyway I will write in a couple of weeks and tell you all about it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring Break

The boys were here for their spring break and we had a blast.  It was so fun seeing the things we have experienced through their eyes.

The first night they arrived we went to a tailor and had a custom made suit and 2 dress shirts made for each of them.  It is so cheap to have suits made here.  They made them in 4 days and they fit perfectly.  We went back on Wednesday to try them on and I thought that we would have to go back on Thursday to pick them up but they were completely ready on Wednesday.  They looked so nice, very GQ in fact.

On Sunday Alan had to work but the boys and I got up early and went to the Souq and had breakfast.  The Souq is a traditional old time shopping center.  They sell all kinds of things from traditional arabic clothing to scarfs and animals, jewelry and all sorts of knick knacks.  The boys were in complete amazement just looking at all the people.  While we were setting at a restaurant with some of my friends, a bunch of young arabic girls, dressed in their traditional clothing started taking pictures of all of us.  They wanted us to hold up the peace sign.  One jumped in the picture with us.  My friends and I thought they really just wanted pictures of Andrew and Jared.

We started walking around and Andrew said Hi to a man from Nigeria and he hugged Andrew and we asked if we could take a picture of him with the boys and said yes.  Andrew and Jared said everyone is so nice.  We went into a shop where an Arabic man was selling some kind of homemade jellys. We tasted of it and he let the boys take his picture.  In another shop the shop keeper made Andrew try on the arabic head dress for men, that pic is on face book.

The boys and I drove everywhere  the first few days looking and taking pictures of everything they saw. They loved all the buildings and architecture .  We went to the Corniche which is the name of the main road along the water.

Everyday was a new experience.  On Sunday night we met some friends at The Intercontinental Hotel at a restaurant called the Fish Market.  You picked out everything raw and then you told them how to cook it.  Lobster, tiger prawns, langoustines and fresh veggies, we ate outside near the water.  It was really yummy!!

Alan took off on Tuesday and Wednesday and on Tuesday we went Dune Bashing.  First of all it was a really bad sand storm and when I say bad you just think of west Texas and then think worse.  Or think of Colorado or Pennsylvania in a whiteout blizzard!  We met our tour Guide at a grocery store and headed to the dessert.  His name was Ibrahim and he wore the traditional arabic dress and was listening to arab music on the radio.  We all got a kick out of that.  When we got to where we would go out in the dunes the wind even got worse.  They had Camels for us to ride when we arrived.  The boys got on them and Alan videoed them but it was such a bad sand storm there was no way I was  going to get on that Camel.   We finally started driving on the dunes and we did do some really scary drops and slides.  The funnest thing was, when another guide that was out there with two couples got stuck and we had to go find them and rescue them.  Listening to Ibrahim talking about the other driver was so funny.  Ibrahim then took us to his camp site where three men were preparing lunch for us.  They had tents set up and cushions  on the ground that we sat on.  There was a man from Napoli there to serve us and he made us tea and talked to us as much as he could with the broken english he knew. The food they made was really good.  The beach was beautiful but the wind really put a damper on everything.  We had sand everywhere.  When we finally got home we couldn't wait to shower off all that dirt.

On Tuesday evening Alan and Andrew went to Honk chicken to pick up roasted chickens for our supper. Honk chicken is where you drive up in front of this chicken place and honk and hold up how many chickens you want.   We love it.  Jared and I went to pick up Hummus and tabbouleh salad.  They both loved the peta bread, hummus and tabbouleh.  Then they discovered shawarma's and that they only cost 5QR or just about $1.40.  Everything centered around food while they were here and I seriously have got to go on a diet now that they have left.

Thursday Andrew woke up really sick with 101 fever.  It was probably that sand storm.  Jared and I found a pharmacy in the mall near our house and I went in and told them Andrew's symptoms and I told him he probably had a sinus infection and needed a z-pack.  He first said we needed a prescription and then I told him that they were leaving on a flight Friday morning and turned around and gave me some for 100QR.  I couldn't believe it I was so excited.  We ran home and gave it to him immediately .   Then we went to Qatar Airlines and changed their flight to Saturday morning to give him another day to recoup.

On Friday Andrew woke up fever free and said he felt a lot better.  We took them to our Friday church and introduced them to more of our friends that we have met.  Some of them invited us to the American School for a soft ball tournament between parents and students.  So we got to see  where the school was and for a moment you felt like you back in the good ole USA, hamburgers, hotdogs and loud rock music.

For our last night with the boys  they wanted to put on their new suits and go out so we all dressed up and went to the Pearl and ate at Gordon Ramsey's restaurant called Maze.  The boys loved looking at all the very expensive cars out there, that could have been one of the highlights of the entire trip!

Today is Saturday and we woke up and took them to their flight at 6:30 and they will arrive in Houston at 5:20 p.m. Saturday, Texas time.   We hated to see them leave, but wow we need a rest now. Great Memories!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Our Boys are coming!

Things have gotten quieter now.  The House is coming together.  But it will take a while to get it like I want it.  I have to keep telling myself I came with nothing and I had a wedding shower when I started up a home 25 1/2 years ago.  So this will take some time to build up obviously not 25 years but a few years.

Grocery shopping is still a challenge for me.  I keep saying I refuse to go all over town to shop for groceries.  I will just try and figure out what I want for supper when I get to the store instead of going with a list and only finding 1/2 of what I want.

I am loving the two bible studies that I am involved in.  We start Ruth in the next couple of weeks.  I think I will love that.  That one is at the Church we go to.  I go to a ladies villa for the other Bible study I am involved in and that is a study on Nehemiah.

The boys will arrive here Saturday and  we have all kinds of things planned for when they come.  They will leave on Friday and I was hoping it was Saturday because I wanted them to come to church with us and meet all the people we have gotten to know.  But I think they will come back in May hopefully.

This past weekend we went out to where they race Camels.  They weren't racing at the moment but we did see a bunch of Camels everywhere with men riding them. We took all kinds of pictures.  We are hoping they will be racing when the boys come.  We ended up that evening at the restaurant called Ric's it's like Mel's for those people from Houston.  We had Chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes it was pretty good but not as good as Mel's.

On Saturday we went to a place that sells rugs that our friends showed us on Friday.  I bought 3 rugs.

Today we went to eat at Applebees for lunch and at the end of the meal the waitress asked if we would like more tea so we asked for to go cups for our tea.  They actually call it "take away" not "to go" here.  They said yes and that they would bring them and our check.  You always have to ask for the check here they never just bring it.

It took them forever to come back and several times different waitresses would come by and we would ask and they would just say yes they would get them.  Very frustrating!!  They finally came with our check and 1 large to go cup of tea no ice, 1 small cup of ice and 2 small cups of tea, a container of lemon slices and a container of simple syrup.  Wow complicated!!  Alan and I just looked at each other and laughed and left with all that tea in a carrier.

Alan has had meetings and dinners with some Qatari Men.  They have treated him so nice and are so excited to tell him  places we need to go when they find out that we are new to Qatar.  It always amazes us with their cultural dress.  I guess it is the way they have always dressed and its as natural as what we wear everyday.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


We will start with the Boot Scoot this week.  That event has been going on over here for 13 years.  Anyway lots of Texans go to this every year; they say it’s the funest night in Doha.  It is put on by Texas A&M.  It was fun but the band wasn’t that great.  They kept stopping in between each song and talking amongst themselves, I guess to decide what song they wanted to play next. 

There was a silent auction as a part of the festivities and we bid on a table that used to be a door from India.  It is really a unique piece and I really like it.  I actually paid ½ of what it cost at the store.  It came from a store called the Green Door.  When we found out that we had won it, they told us all items won had to be taken that night.  We did not know this when we were biding on it. We only have a very small rent car still.  The guys at the Boot Scoot just felt certain they could get the table top in our back seat.  HA! HA!  So they told us we had to have it gone by Saturday.  A friend said she had a Tahoe and would help us, but I decided she lived too far to come back the next morning and help us.  We decided to call a cab service and ask for a SUV.  Alan had a hard time getting the service to understand we needed a big car to meet us at the Intercontinental Hotel. Finally when he thought he got through to him and we went off to meet him. We arrived before the cab did and kept looking for it.  Finally this guy drives up in a Toyota Camry!!! Really..  He said he could get it in, we were doubtful.  Several men came out and were trying all sorts of ways to get it in this SMALL car.  Finally they put it in the trunk and it was sticking out, we laid a rug on top and they got duct tape to hold the trunk down.  Duct TAPE!! It’s amazing!  It worked and we got it to our villa without a scratch.

Later that day we met some of our new friends to go to a food festival. There was all kinds of restaurants and Hotels represented there.  It was a great place for us to get a good feel for the food this country has to offer.  We have been to food festivals in Houston and I think we would pay around $25-$50 for a small taste at any of the places you wanted to taste.  At this food festival you paid each vender 5QR to 10QR that is roughly a $1.50 to $3.00 per taste but each taste was a full plate.  I could only taste a little each time because I was so full.  After the food festival we tried to go to a ship (Logos Ship) that goes all over to bring books to different parts of the world.  The line was at least 2 hrs long so we opted to go to the Pearl and  have coffee and dessert at the Chocolate bar!!  Ugggg I need to stop eating!!

Sunday we went to our small group that meets at the Wilson’s house, they are from College Station.  A Friend took us so we would know how to get there.  That’s what you do here.  There are actually no addresses so you get a GPS, and when you get to where you are going you lock it in as your favorite.  Then it knows how to find it for you the next time.  Anyway we were driving and we saw 3 truck loads of camels, just riding in the back looking all happy… WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE EAST people.  I know I have to keep telling myself this everyday…..  I am amazed at the stuff I come across and wish each of you were here to enjoy this adventure with me.

I have kept really busy meeting all kinds of people and going to all kinds of places, we are loving the Middle East.  We are changing our opinions of the Qatari people and Muslims in general.  They are people just like us and for the most part they are nice.

Alan met with his Qatari sponsor on Sunday and they discussed perceptions. He understands that many Americans have perceptions that everyone in the Middle East is somehow against America, in fact he said that many in his family didn’t trust people in America and they never wanted to go to the States.  He told Alan he liked Americans.  But he has dealt with Americans and has seen they are just people just like them.  Anyhow Alan liked him immediately and hopes they become friends.  Anyway there are some bad people everywhere and we get the wrong impression from the few that mess it up for everyone.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Is it Sunday or Friday?

Today is Friday but I want to say Sunday because we went to church.  So I keep saying to everyone my days are all off.  Our work week is from Sunday to Thursday.  Anyway I think I keep repeating myself on this subject in my past blogs. 

So at any rate we went to church this morning and this is our 2nd week in a row.  It is very moving for me when I go.  We meet in a house/villa and there are 3 services.  The singing is with a band and for all my C of  C you know this is different.  We know most all the songs.  Worshiping here has taken on a new meaning for me in my Christian life. 

What I mean is that we are in the Middle East the center of the Islamic world, in Qatar a very traditional Islamic state.  So when you come to worship it doesn’t matter what kind of church you are from just that you know you all believe in the Same God and that Jesus Christ was his son and he sent his son to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life with him in Heaven. 

All the Preachers/ Pastors teach from the scriptures and we have had awesome sermons.  When you’re in the Middle East and majority of the people are Muslim, this all takes on a whole new level of meaning in your walk with the Lord.  I have been moved to tears the last two weeks and you can ask Alan, I don’t cry very easily at all!  I don’t feel unsafe when I worship but we do have police outside making sure that we are safe.

We have met some amazing people and I am sure they will become very dear friends.  We can see Gods plan for us here every day.  I am not trying to be preachy I just wish my family and friends could experience this with us. 

We bought a scale the other night and got home unwrapped it set it down and I stepped on it to find out it is in kg.  Well that was good for me because it registered way under 100 so I was happy at first until I got an app to convert kgs into lbs.  We thought for sure there would be a switch to change it so it would read out in lbs.  But no there is no such switch.  Everything is kg, km, 24hr clock, liters anyway you get the jest nothing we have been brought up with is the same here.  So we will learn!

We met some new friends (Dee Dee and Jerry) the other night to eat at the Pearl, which is a new development on the water across from where we stayed in the hotel for 2 weeks.  The Husband, Jerry is in charge of the development of the Pearl which we found out is currently the largest real estate development going on in the world.  It was a Mexican food restaurant and the food was really good and then the Chef, really charming people and both fairly new to Doha.  A man that Jerry knew came and asked him when we finished eating if we would like to have a boat ride around the bay.  So of course we said yes! It was so much fun and very beautiful looking at the city from that perspective.

When we were leaving to go home and we got in the Elevator an Arab man asked Alan and I where we were from. We told him Texas and he replied the USA?  We said yes, and asked where he was from and he said Qatar.  He introduced himself and said he was visiting his family at the Pearl for the weekend.  He asked Alan who he worked for and when we asked him where he worked he said he worked at the Royal palace.  Wow!  We did not ask what job he did but who knows maybe he is one of the Ministers? 

Tonight we will be going to a Texas A&M Boot Scoot.  Everyone says it’s the funnest night of the year in Doha.  This is a night where all the Texans here in Doha (and there are a bunch) get out their boots and bling and have a great time.  Alan can’t believe we are going to an Aggie party but we are in the desert and when you are in the desert you do all kinds of things that you wouldn’t normally do back home.  So he says he is wearing BURNT ORANGE.  Anyhow if you are an American in the Middle East you just like being together with other Americans.  So I will blog about the party in a few days.

We met a Doctor at church today and ate out with them at Chili’s (free tea refills remember).  He works at Cornell Medical School.  He said we could call him anytime for medical questions which made us feel really good to know an actual American Dr. and will make our parents more comfortable.  I will close for today.  I am sorry it is so long today.