Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sleepless in Dubai

Hello from Dubai!

We survived the 2 + 16 hour plane ride. Only Emirates Airlines could pull off such a hellish trip. Of course, I have to admit that my kids are pretty well behaved. Then again, Bassil is a game/tv junkie and Jennah is immobile, so that just leaves Aziza as the well-behaved, lol.

The jetlag was absolutely horrible. The kids were waking at 3 AM and would fall asleep around 4 PM. It took a good 7 days for Bassil and Aziza to recover. Jennah, on the other hand, is a whole different story. She maintained her Seattle hours to the tee. Slept from 9 AM to 6 PM and awake the rest of the time. I have been on no nighttime sleep for over 10 days, I kid you not. I am exhausted. These past 2 nights, she is finally sleeping for some consecutive hours and awake during the day, but now I have insomnia. I am so exhausted that I cannot sleep and it makes me want to scream, but I'm too worn out to do so. Not to mention that we are still in the midst of fasting for Ramadan. I don't even want to count the number of days we have left.

Nonetheless, it is kind of nice to be home! The kids are back to swimming in our pool at night between dinner and bed time. But it's hot. True there is A/C everywhere, but for those 10 seconds when you're running, or should I say dragging yourself, to the car, it is hot. Like turn-on-the-broiler-and-leave-the-door-of-your-oven-open hot. Then there are the extra things that make you extra sweaty like trying to get all the kids buckled in and always wearing at least 2 layers of clothing to be hijaab appropriate. That said, I couldn't wait to get my hijaab back on! It's amazing that it's so easy for me to wear it ... I remember telling Issam long ago that I would probably never wear a hijaab unless it was in a mosque. Go figure ...

Today was Aziza and Bassil's first day of school at GEMS Royal Dubai School. Aziza has previously attended "Induction Day" where they new students to the school are sorted into Houses. Siblings belong to the same House, so we knew she would be joining Bassil in the Windsor House. We had a really great experience with Royal Dubai School (RDS) last year with Bassil, so I'm glad Aziza is going there this year. She was previously at the American Academy for Girls, but the single gender environment was just not working for us. Not to mention that there were just too many local Emraties (natives of the UAE) in their Bentley's and Hummers and a lack of cultural diversity. RDS has not disappointed us so far with diversity, although their emphasis on Arabic could be better. We also get privledged parking when we arrive with Miss Jennah in tow! This was such a great gester on RDS's behalf to allow us to park directly in front of the door in a spot that is normally coned-off.

First day of school is out of the way and things are beginning to return to normal. We have yet to resume Jennah's therapy as she recovered from the jetlag, but hope to do so soon. Ramadan is also going well and I hope to reflect a bit more on the holy month in the next blog. But experiencing it here is certainly different than in the U.S. I do appreciate all the non-Muslims doing their part in avoiding public displays of drinking and eating, although I disagree with it being a law. It's friggin' hot outside. I find myself subconsciously following water delivery service trucks while driving ...
Thanks for reading!