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I love maps!!!

As the navigator of the family when we have traveled, I have to say I love maps.

I remember driving as a kid and reading the names of the places and the counties of where they towns were. It was interesting to read the town names.

That love continued as an adult. I now however have competition! There are maps on the blackberry and maps on gps dohickey majobbers the talk to you with a funky British accent. I have a tendency to argue with them which can be interesting in its own right.

However may favorite is maps that are on the internet... especially ones like this. We are headed to Fujariah UAE, which is on the Indian Ocean... So now we have fantastic directions as to how to get to the hotel. Should be a cinch right???
NOT!!! Click the picture to check this out.... ???


Curve Balls or Serendipity?

I have to admit, I did know that this was going to be an unexpected adventure from the time Doug came home and told me we were moving to the Middle East...

So today when I got home from a coffee and he said he had gotten his 30 day letter, I guess I was not surprised. I am thankful that it is due to him working himself out of a job (7 months and under budget for a 2 year project), but it still hit home. There are so many people out of work that are leaving to go to their home countries. Not because they worked themselves out of a job, but because the project they are working on is closing down.

Even though I knew this day was coming, I was still hit by the reality of it all and how fortunate we really are.

There are still so many things I want to do and see while we are still here, and I do hope that Doug will find another job here. I really do not want to leave.

We have been so many places and done so many things that we would never have had the opportunity to do back in the states. I have become so much more aware of how fortunate I have really been, in life. I have met people who make 1000 AED per month (~350usd) who send most of that back to their families in India. People who support extended families on less than a single person spend on their monthly food budget in the States. Women who are willing to risk everything (including being beatten and raped) to come here. So that they can send almost everything back to their families so they can have a decent standard in life. These people are happy to make these sacrifices. I wonder how many of us westerners would be willing to undergo such hardships to give that kind of hope to our families?

Being here has certainly changed my outlook on life. I believe it is for the better. I hope I am a better person because of the people I have met and the things I have done and the experiences that I have had.

If we continue to be fortunate enough to continue living here in the UAE, I hope that I will continue to be able to make a difference and that I will be able to make more of an impact on people lives by helping them.

What ever happens, I am so fortunate to have been here these 6+ months. If we are able to stay, and serindipity intervenes, I know that I will continue to try to make a difference for people.


4th of July

I have to admit that it really doesn't seem like the 4th of July. The year has gone by so fast that it hardly seems like it should even be summer. Yet here we are.

This 4th is very different from the past 21 years in Idaho. There was always a huge parade with great floats. Celebrations in neighborhoods and by the river. Then there were the fireworks. WOW every year Melaluca (sp) would sponsor a huge fireworks display.

I can forgo the parade, but it is the fireworks that I am going to miss. It was always fun going down to the river and watching them.

This year there is a celebration of sorts at one of the "American" bars, but we are choosing to be with good friends and celebrate with them. Jerry and Janet are from Florida and absolutely the best you can find in friends. We always have such a great time with them, weather it be going out to dinner or just goofing off for the day. (I have mentioned Janet before as my walking buddy... )

We are taking the potato salad and the desert (cherry cheese pie).

In the past we have had burgers or steak with fresh corn on the cob, chips, salads and watermelons.

Happy 4th to all of my American friends reading this...