Friday, January 25, 2008

MD Anderson and St. Luke's in Dubai

I had the opportunity to take pictures at a neuroscience conference that was being held in Dubai. Doctors from MD Anderson and St. Luke's in the Houston Medical Center were brought in as speakers. Since Michael had a neurosurgeon for one of his doctors and I'm from Houston, it felt like old home week. The staff from MDA were so excited to know I was from the Woodlands and lived in Dubai. I had an instant bond with many of them. Although I didn't understand half of what the doctors were saying and the slides were very graphic (especially the brain photos), I enjoyed listening to the seminars. One thing Dubai always does well is food and this conference was no exception.
A highlight of the conference was a visit by the Minister of Health. I didn't realize how important this was until the "other" media showed up. Kinda felt like I was in a rugby match. Many cultures don't understand the concept of personal space. I did manage to capture a shot of the minister and a few of the doctors.


When I first thought of doing this blog, I wasn't very busy so I had plenty of time to mess around with it trying to figure out what was going on. Since my first post, I've been on the go for the past few days and too tired to figure things out when I got home. So, until I'm proficient at this my posts may be a few days apart. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to get english tool bars instead of arabic. I've pretty much pressed every button I can. At least the dashboard is in english.

CBI had a golf tounament on the coldest day of the year in Dubai. That may not be cold compared to Illinois cold, but it is compared to Dubai hot. I couldn't even feel the club in my hand for the last couple of holes. It started out as a great day so I can't complain. I wasn't even sweaty at the end of the round which has NEVER happened to me before. Our team didn't win but we weren't losers either. My partners were 3 of the nicest guys at CBI.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In the beginning...

I'm just trying to keep up with you younger people out there so you may need to cut me some slack as I learn all about blogging. That explains WHY I'm blogging, let me explain some other things. The title - someone who lives outside of their own country is considered an expatriate, an expat for short. The main purpose of the blog is to give family and friends an idea of our life over here. We've only been overseas 7 years so it's about time you know what going on. The template for the blog: it's called snapshot - what else would a photographer use.

Frank doesn't have school today - it's raining. I know strange as it may sound, school is closed because of the rain. It has been raining for several days now. You see, Dubai is set up to handle sand and it does that very well. Since it only rains once every several years, the drainage system, or lack of one, is not set up for rain. So, streets flood, people drive like it isn't wet, roofs leak, windows leak, sewers back up, etc.

This is the second day this week school was cancelled. President Bush visited Dubai on Monday and Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, declared it a holiday and most everything was closed. Needless to say, Frank has had a great week. Friday/Saturday is our weekend so he only has one more day of school this week. I've benefited also. Steve takes Frank to school but when he's traveling, I do it. Since Steve is in Saudi Arabia, Amsterdam, Rome and Milan this week, I had to drive. Thanks to Bush and the rain, I had 2 days off just like Frank.

Our new villa handles the rain much better than the old one - at least so far. I've only discovered a couple of leaks and they are bearable. Along with the rain comes lower temps which is nice except there are no heaters in the villas. So we are running around in robes, sweatpants (only have one pair), hoodies and socks trying to stay warm. I'm trying to be content and not complain because I know if a few weeks it will be hot again and I'll be wishing for more rain. There's alot of things I need to work on but I'm going to try the content thing at least while the rain lasts.....