Monday, September 7, 2009

Camel milk taste test

This is sunrise. I love them.

Matthew's office

After the Ifta.

Can you see the soccer goal posts?

Dates on trees everywhere.

The only place with green lawn in our area.

Certainly not a need but Matthew let me buy it anyway. A gold bedspread etc.

4 September 2009
Al Ain Women’s College is where Matthew works – aka HCT (Higher College of Technology). They offer Bachelor degrees so the institution isn’t quite a university but isn’t a TAFE either. Matthew is Chair of Education, whatever that means. I have been volunteering as Mathew’s Admin Assistant. I heard a couple of you gasp. You obviously know me, and know I am so out of my comfort zone working in an office setting. However, it has been a cross between teacher-aiding, so photocopying his class materials and setting student appointments with him. I have learnt to use a computer calendaring appointment booking program. I have also been able to use the internet to continue with my study. So it has helped us both. I have a desk with a college computer and a spot that I can set up my computer. They are having interviews this week for an Admin Assist for Matthew. This position must be filled by an Emirati so I may have to train them. Hehehe who ever thought I would train someone in an office situation.
So we are getting things set up in our apartment. I made a mistake in ordering our bed, I ordered by size here thinking I was ordering a Queen size bed turns out that it is actually only our DOUBLE size. So poor Matthew’s 6’3” is squashed. Oh well. Live and learn here.

Groceries are more expensive here than I remember them in Qatar. There is a shop closer to us that seems to sell more western items and they are more expensive again.
It was Timothy’s birthday this past week and my brother Gerry’s is this week. Tim’s cousin in Australia – Chris was funny posting Tim’s age as a couple of years older. He reminded me of Uncle Baz and Dad. I remember how Uncle Baz always tried to tell us that he was the youngest and that dad was older than him. I remember how Uncle Baz would take his wallet out of his pocket and offer us some money with the question, “Who’s the better looking?”

- Reminiscing sorry-
Matthew has had a couple of trips to Abu Dhabi with work. We will take a trip out there for some sightseeing.
I had tradesmen come and go one day this week. The drain in the kitchen overflowed and suds bubbled up, the downstairs toilet was blocked (the workmen emptied all their cement dust etc down there), and lights in the courtyard aren’t working. Oh, yeah and the hot water was trickling from the kitchen faucet. I sat at the kitchen table while the plumber, his offsider and our complex care-taker worked in the kitchen and talked in another language (I think Indian). Each hot-water tap has its own tank in the ceiling. Removing a couple of ceiling tiles the pipes and taps were exposed. The offsider was instructed to turn the tap on which he did, allowing the water to run, not trickle into other ceiling tiles, down the inside wall onto the bench top, and onto the floor. All I could do was smile to myself and laugh inside. My thoughts were – if only Dave Brown (who is our Head of Department Manual Arts, and very particular with his work), could see this. He would die. I slowly rose to find a new bathroom towel. It still brings a smile to my face, they do things differently here. J Oh yeah they finally did fix the kitchen hot water tap and drain.

Bro and Sis Penny and their family from church have been wonderful. We would have been lost without their help. We have lovely neighbours in our complex as well. Cliff (works at the same college as Matthew) and his wife are directly next door. I got to dog sit for them yesterday, poor Punkin (pronounced with a real Southern American accent (phun-keeen) was very jet-lagged.
Sunrises here are so beautiful and I just found a setting on my camera so I will share some photos later.

We attended my first Ifta this week. After fasting from Sunup to sundown the Muslim people break their fast and it is called Ifta, often break their fast with dates first just as the Prophet Mohammed did. It was put on but the social club at HCT. I learnt that a pregnant or breast-feeding woman can use wisdom in regards to fasting for Ramadan. At HCT the age of the students are about 18-28ish. Many are married and are given 5 days off to have a baby then it is back to college.

I learnt a new saying this week as I had to call the plumber out again because the hand basin in the blue bathroom was leaking. The plumber is not used to a white lady watching over his shoulder. Well he fixed the first problem he found that’s when I learnt the new saying for the second problem. “Silicone fix problem madam”, for full effect wobble head from side to side and repeat with Indian accent. So there you have it in case you ever have a plumbing problem – “Silicone fix problem.” Hehehe gota love it here. I can just see the gentlemen in the manual arts staffroom shaking their heads. Oh and the other important thing to know is that there are only 2 types of problems here – and remember to wobble your head as you say, “Small problem, big problem.” In response to small problem will follow by no problem and big problem is followed by a more vigorous head wobble.

Working here as Matthew's Admin Assistant has given me a greater appreciation for the most wonderful, on the ball Shelley who was our whiz at school. She was so good and patient. I never thought I would be working in an office setting. For 2 days now I have been so busy that I haven't got to any study and still with no internet at home I can't even get to it at night.


  1. That's hilarious. Good on you for trying the camel milk mum.... eww! My favourite bit is dad saying 'Camel Nuts' hahah.

  2. Hi Mum and Dad,
    I loved watching your camel milk home movie. It made me laugh! You look so happy and full of life! I'm going to write you an email now.
    Love Naomi

  3. If I could have edited the 'camel nuts' I would have. You can see our washing machine is in the kitchen. Much better than outside because it is so dusty out there, and if I dropped anything taking it out, yuck.