November 30, 2008
Lachie’s school photo.
Lachie seems so grown up now as he heads off to school 5 days a week in his uniform. He loves school although by Thursday (end of the week here) he is tired. It’s really amazing how much he has learnt since school started in September. They use the jolly phonics program (which I love and use to teach in year one) and he is now reading. It’s wonderful to have watched him go from sounding out every word to now reading his books and only having to sound out a few words.
When he gets home from school, he and Charlotte play together (she misses him when he is at school) before he does his homework (reading book and site words) then heads outside with all the other kids in the street to play. It really is a wonderful place for him to grow up.
November 17, 2008
Al Ain is about 160kms from Abu Dhabi and is called the garden city. It is at the foot of the mountain range that separates the U.A.E from Oman and really is a beautiful place. There is a heap to do and see but after our visa run and wanting to enjoy the hotel, we decided to go to the zoo and save the rest for another visit.
The zoo is the largest in the middle east and is spread over 850 hectares… so not quite the place to visit with tired kids! We didn’t see everything but the kids did enjoy the animals we saw. Next time we will go at night, it’s open till 10pm and that’s when the animals are more active due to the heat.
We also drove up Jebel Hafeet, meant to be the highest peak in the country at 4000 feet, it’s a winding road and the views are great. The photos from the top however were a little hazy so the photo above is from half way up.
November 17, 2008
Although Clint is a resident, the kids and my paperwork is taking it’s time… and on Saturday our tourist visas ran out so we had to leave the country on what is commonly called a visa run.
Most people fly to Oman or Doha and then back an hour latter, but we took the cue from our neighbours, decided to drive and get the company to pay for a hotel room instead… a much better option!
It was all quite simple, we drove to Al Ain which is about 1.5 hours away and from there drove over the border to Oman, then reentered again on new tourist visas so we have another 60 days. The residency visa wouldn’t worry me but legally Lachs can only attend school for 60 days on a tourist visa, which he is well over. So far he hasn’t received a please explain letter from the ministry but other kids have. Hopefully by the time his name pops up, it will be sorted.
We stayed at the Hilton for the night and the kids had a ball.
November 10, 2008
I was naive enough to think that living in a Arabic country we would have somewhat of a less commercialised Christmas this year… boy was I wrong!
The Halloween decorations came down to make way for the Christmas ones! Everything is over here including trees, cards, decorations Xmas books (the list is endless). Most shops are already decorated and one shop even had the carols going already!
On a completely different note, here are some photos of ‘my little locals’.
November 2, 2008
Yes Halloween is an American tradition but it seems to be somewhat of an expat one too! As a result the kids had their first ‘real’ taste of trick or treat on Friday night.
There has been a big build up to it, lots of shops are decorated (one a tad to scary for Charlotte and she refused to go in) and everywhere seems to sell costumes, candies and all the associated paraphernalia.
The kids have been talking about costumes for a couple of weeks and spent most of Friday asking if it was time to get ready yet! Our complex has 10 streets and most had the pumpkin picture on the door letting the children know they could go there. Most of the kids in our street walked around on mass, but we only did 3 streets, by then the kids were ready to play and had enough candy and chocolate to last them till next year!
This was one of the first houses- as you can see Lachs was straight into it (he is ringing the door bell). Charlotte was a little hesitant at first and hung back until she realised she got chocolate then there was no stopping her
While we were trick or treating Clint stayed at home to hand out candies to the kids who came to our house… although we returned to find all the Dads sitting on the street having a drink with the candies next to them so they didn’t have to get up and the trick or treaters didn’t have to ring the doorbells!
The kids then took over the job, Lachie and Charlotte had a ball handing out the treats to other kids.
Some of the kids in our street… it was hard to get them to stand still for a photo!