Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Travel A-plenty....

Sorry it's been so long... not too much to talk about here as far as new Qatar news goes.
I did, however, FINALLY make it to S. Africa!!!!
http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=197114485398&id=299184330507#/album.php?aid=299764&id=752845005

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=197114485398&id=299184330507#/album.php?aid=299768&id=752845005

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=197114485398&id=299184330507#/album.php?aid=297939&id=752845005

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=197114485398&id=299184330507#/album.php?aid=297449&id=752845005

click the links for pics of SA....

I have lots of rambling musings i wrote while on my trip there... just have to get motivated to reread them and put them here.... next post....

Then I went to India!!! Gosh, I had forgotten how much I love India!!!

http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=197114485398&id=299184330507#/album.php?aid=325940&id=752845005

pics from India....

this post is lame, other than to give you guys the pic links...I am sooooooo Tired!!!!

OH< I have a pup...
I ordered a pizza and got a dog.
Left my door open to get the pizza and when i came back in there was a small white doggie sitting on my sofa....
guess he knew i needed a man in my life...
so now i have a blind cat named Ray Charles,
a gimpy cat named Ally
and a stray dog named Hank Moody....
CALGON TAKE ME AWAY.....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

an adventure within an adventure

Hi all!! Sorry it's been a while.. "Someone" kept erasing the history on my computer thus erasing certain cookies therefore leaving me having to guess how to get into this blog account....and it took a while as you can see, but no fear, I remembered where I hid the password info and here I am..two days before I leave for South Africa for August.
I KNOW!!! I am almost as excited for me as you are!!!! I remember looking into volunteer trips to SA 8 years ago, and finding a company that I thought I'd like to sign up with. Unfortunately things never worked out, and that co. seems to have vanished.
But being here, I thought if I passed up the opportunity to do this, I would never forgive myself. And not really having any clear cut idea of how long I am going to be here, it's now or possibly never.
I have added a link to the website of the group I am going with. The packages I am doing are Siyufunda Bush Experience and Noah's Ark Rehabilitation Center in Namibia.
Check them out.
I'm also thinking about a trip to Morocco in Nov. Anybody want to join?
Ok, so a brief update...Len was here...and now he is back in NY. We went back to NY for a wedding and I stayed about 10 days. We knew we were taking him back and he was going to stay for the summer, but I didn't know I was going to question whether or not to have him back here with me.
Needless to say, as you can see by my last few posts, Ozzie and Harriet we were not....lol
but this leads me to a question.
What defines a "RELATIONSHIP"? What creates a lifelong, mutually beneficial, loving partnership? What really is love? Is it the fullfilment of all of your expectations by another?
Is it not being able to go more than a few days without hearing that person's voice...even if there are other people in your lives...(you know what I mean)...
is it being able to count on someone being there for you when you need to lean or is it knowing that you can do the leaning?
At what point does a person say, well, I may not be getting a,b and c that would make this a traditional parnership, but in a traditional setting I wouldn't get d,e and f....
Ok so I'm ranting.. I figured if I wrote out what I was thinking I could make more sense of it... but nope..I was wrong...lol
So here I am in Doha, and I am finally going to realize a goal of mine...SA!!! Volunteer style!!!!!
Animals!!!! Learning about conservation!!!! It really is exciting to know that whatever I put my mind to I usually accomplish....now to just picture that wedding....lol
(and that salon I will own one day)
So I am off on my adventure....I will post more when I get back...wish me luck that I stay injury free...

I will say this...everyone needs to get out of thier comfort zone for an extended period of time to really see who they are and what they want. I think when you do the same thing day in and day out you loose sight of YOU. Sometimes it takes going to a country you have never heard of to find yourself again.

Oh..and while we are at it.. if I write it I will do it...so, when I get back from SA, barring any injuries, I am joinging a kickboxing dojo as well as yoga. And I will start riding again, even if it means I have to get up at stupid-o-clock to do it!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

You need a little country in what ever country you happen to be in!!!

A good time was had by all







DJ Glenn

































Dance lessons...Having fun?




















Me and Len...Proof that cowboy hats make ANY man look better











So, I finally did it! I had my country night... two in fact. And I have to say, I am very proud of myself.
Birthday party at Cowboy Up











The first night was May 9th...sold out at 80 ppl. The dance instructors were great, and at one time we had over 40 ppl taking the dance lesson. The food was great and everyone left smiling...even if they didn't exactly walk out...lol (stumbled is more like it...)


The second night was last night...and it was great too...a few less people, which is to be expected, this was a big weekend here in Doha. Three or four different events happened, as well as a lot of people being out of the country right now. But all in all it was a pretty good turnout. Mostly new faces, so I'm getting the word out there...We are going to be doinbg it agian at the end of July.


It's cool, I'm here only 6 months, but I have the opportunity to do something I could never do in my other life. I am adding something to the lives of the people here.


After both of the country nights people came up to me and thanked me...thanked me for bringing something new to Doha. Thanked me for creating an event where they felt comfortable.. but most of all, thanked me for bringing a little taste of home to them here... in the Middle East, where, although things look similar, nothing is familiar. That was my intention with this night. Not just so that I could have a place to dance, but to answer a need. One that we all have here. To have a bit of home with us. Even though we all chose to move away from our homes, we are all still looking for something familiar. Homey.


And nothing says homey more than BBQ ribs...lol




I came out here to start new. Begin again...no, that's not even right.. not begin agian... but,


to find a new path. Let's see if I can make that happen...


Hope you enjoy the pics... I know this post is lame, but I'm tired. Had a big night last night...lol




Oh I have a new Vonage number... 516 913-4231


you can call me on this number and it's just like calling NY. No international charges and if you are in ny there are no long distance charges either.






Oh yeah, I can't believe I almost forgot. Len and I went to Dubai the other day. We stayed with my friend Lee (you will remember him from pics from earlier postings)


We went to Atlantis and the Atlantis aquarium.


It was kinda cool. Def nice to get out of Doha for a day or two. It was def more humid in Dubai, but it was much more familiar looking. A proper city. Proper roads. Shinier. Cleaner. Less...er...sand.























Line dancing Doha style....



video

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Long road ahead, even longer road behind...so DON'T LOOK BACK






















Hi guys~!! sorry it's been a while since my last post. I have been busy...my computer was hijacked...lol and well... i haven't really had anything profound to talk about. Ok, that's not true. I have had alot to talk about, just not sure it should be posted on here...lol












Ok to start I had a wonderful Bday party that I threw for myself at the W hotel. I can't believe how many people I know here already!! I feel very lucky to have made the friends that I have.












We basically closed down the joint!












I can't believe i am 39 years old. I have been battling back and forth between feeling proud to have gotten to this age and experienced the things that I have, knowing that there is much more ahead for me. I am def. feeling a bit more grounded and comfortable in my own skin. I actually have a future goal in mind...can't disclose that yet, but I am so much closer to realizing my full potential and who I am meant to be.






On the other hand, I lookin in the mirror and think, how can I be almost 40, never having been married, no children, never even been offered an engagement ring. And all I have to do is look in that mirror long enough to see that that path was created by me... my choices... my decisions.






I'm happy with those decisions, to a point. If I had chosen any other path, made any other choices, I would not be the person I am. And I think I'm pretty great. However, I am ready for a new path in my life. One that includes a partner. One that includes commitment.






As scary as the paths that I have chosen have been (moving to Inda, Doha, Europe, etc) the scarier path is the one I have chosen to avoid. I know I am ready for that now.






And it feels good, and sad, all at the same time.






I guess so far this blog is all about recognizing the choices we make...and accepting that everything that happens to us, we created. (well as far as paths go...i'm not talking about a plane landing in your livingroom or anything like that...lol)






This blog is about everything going on in my head....about everything being a paradox in life.






You can't move forward while looking backward, but you can't know your moving forward without know where you came from.






Things here in the mid east are a paradox as well. On the one hand we all have the notion of what it is like to be Muslim...and a woman. It must suck. The oppression, the slavery, the condemnation.






But that is only one side of it. I was speaking with someone who is very knowledgeable (not muslim) and got a totally paradoxical view... that in the privacy of their own home the woman is the "king"...lol






Really what she sais goes. She doesn't cover her face in public because she is made to, but becasue she chooses to...it actually adds to her allure...






Like I said in a previous post, the outside of things here are plain, beige, black, white... but look just inside, just below the surface, and the opposite is true. Colors, vibrant and rich.






The Qataries, the few I have met, on the surface, when "covered" seem bland and without much personality. But speak with one or two of them for a few min (especially the women) and you will find them quick witted, curious, proud.






paradoxes....





There is obviously alot going on in my head.... being here in a Muslim country, not being religious myself in any way, am finding a pull for something... more... spiritual.



I won't find it here, but perhaps this is the first step in my road forward to finding that path..

I am already thinking about my next journey.


I am constantly re-reminded that if I put my energies and thoughts into focus... and focus those thoughts toward a goal it will be reached... no matter what.

With coming here, with relationships, with ...ooh that reminds me!!

My dance nights are going to happen!!! I am hosting a country dance night and a swing dance night at the Marriot here in Doha!!! Never been done before! I KNOW that if given the proper amount of time these nights will be big! I am going to try to attach the flyer... if you see it.. it worked.. if not.. then i will have to try again...

But I digress...

Sometimes the things you focus on are only going to keep you on the road...looking back. It's a tricky thing to know where you came from but only look ahead... I haven't mastered that yet....


The universe is funny. What you put out to it, it will return to you...if only to teach you a lesson.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The day you stop running is the day you arrive....just enjoy the ride
















I don't feel as if I am fully embracing my new experience. I sit here at this cafe at the Souk Waquif and look at all of the poeple who are here...and think...am I allowing myself to accept this great gift of an adventure, to learn about a new culture.. .to learn about myself...to absorb all that I can?





They are from all walks of life, every part of the globe. Some LOOK like tourists, some LOOK like natives. Some look shell shocked and some look relaxed. I wonder what I convey to those who are looking at me.





A man walked past me a moment ago (which is what promped this musing). Obviously not from here. Western dressed... jeans, red t-shirt. He looked like he was Hawaiian from South Cali....very artsy and surfy all at the same time. And just from the way he carried himself... his vibe... you felt as if "here is someone who SAVOURS his experiences." Now, I could be totally wrong with my assumption, but that is the feeling I got... and it made me envious.










I feel like I am the consumate outsider. Always searching. Never really at peace with where or who I am.





I woke up the other morning asking myself "why do I always seem to be dissatisfied...not fully content". Always looking forward...sometimes backward... but rarely, very rarely, able to be in this moment, right now. SAVOUR it. Taste it. Commit it to memory...all of the colors, smells, emotions of this one, singular, unique moment in MY life.





Sitting here, in this place, the Old Souk, which was originally built thousands of years ago...in this modern cafe, reflecting on the past...looking to the future.... I am trying to savour THIS ONE MOMENT...and to be at peace.















Last night a friend of mine introduced me to a song... and for some reason the words have been bumping around in my head...










They shut the gates at sunset





After that you can't get out





You can see the bigger picture





Find out what it's all about










You're open to the skyline





You won't want to go back home





In a garden full of angels





You will never be alone










But oh the road is long





The stones





That you are walking on





Have gone










With the moonlight to guide you





Feel the joy of being alive





The day that you stop running





Is the day that you arrive










And the night





That you got locked in





Was the time to decide





Stop chasing shadows





Just enjoy the ride










If you close the door





To your house





Don't let anybody in





It's a room





That's full of nothing





All that underneath your skin










Face against the window





You can watch it





Fade to grey





And you'll never





Catch the fickle wind





If you choose to stay










But oh the road is long





The stones





That you are walking on





Have gone





'





With the moonlight to guide you





Feel the joy of being alive





The day that you stop running





Is the day that you arrive










(Chorus)And the night





That you got locked in





Was the time to decide





Stop chasing shadows





Just enjoy the ride





Stop chasing shadows





Just enjoy the ride





Monday, March 2, 2009

Yup... this IS the middle east

CENSORSHIP SUCKS

and I believe that is all I will be able to say on that subject.......

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Best Day EVER....followed directly by a shitty mood....

who would have thunk it... Matthew McCaunaghy in Doha!!!! Ahh to be 24 again.....
talk about two different worlds colliding...
nice guy...(he was the police overseeing the function)

outside of the zoo... again...worlds colliding...(bad pic of me though....)


hi Mama



me and alan.....zoom in on the pic... people everywhere... regardless of country or religion, enjoy much the same things... spending time outside with family... surrounded by nature...




now THAT'S a face....





nope...that is!!!!






BEST PICTURE EVER!!!!







pretty face








the entrance to the Doha Zoo...and the round thing is one of the monkey cages









this is Rick's...just turn your computer on the side so you can see it










Alan and Paul...a brit, an aussie and a small town american diner in Doha











Why does that always happen? They say you need evil to know good, you can't have light without dark, so I guess that follows suit with having the best day in a new country followed by the worst mood ever the next day.
























Ok so yesterday...THE BEST DAY EVER. Woke up late... YEAH












went to RICK'S KOUNTRY KITCHEN....OMG!!! just a like a small town diner-ette. I FINALLY had a real breakfast... blueberry pancakes, eggs, grits!!!!(ok, the grits sucked but you can't have it all right) with two great fellas... Allan you already know about... and now Paul... cool kid. 27 from Australia...(man thay make 'em hot down under)












nice guy, loves his gf... even if he did leave her in Aussie land, totally into fitness. We were talking about kite surfing and he is willing to help me out with the learning process. He even went so far as to check online for a beginner kite for me. Keep your fingers crosses I don't kill myself... lol
























So after a hearty meal the three of us traipse down to the Doha Zoo....












I was worried about going... I thought I was going to want to set all the animals free, cry about their inhumane "care" or otherwise just be disgusted... I was none of these things. Although I have to admit I am not a big fan of zoos at all, I wasn't horrified by the state of this one. I was concerned about the overcrowding in some of the areas, like the monkeys or the deer, and for the most part the enclosures were too small for the occupants, but that's the way most zoos are... even the ones in the States. There was proof, despite this, that the animals were feeling pretty good though...AHHH SPRING WAS IN THE AIR!!!lol












yup... oh irony. Here we are in the middle of a muslim country where even a light kiss on the lips between the sexes is editied out of movies in the theater, many many randy animals were putting on their own little porno shows. There should be a few baby panthers, lions, chimps and more than a few monkeys in the coming months.....I have to say, we were incredibly lucky to see the animals so active and...so close!! No where in the states would they have the lion cage just inches from you. I was getting a kiss from the giraffe... The elephant could have touched me with his trunk. It was truly amazing to be soooo close to these guys!












So, after that wonderful display of love, and the three of us "adults" behaving like silly 3rd grade children with the giggling and pic taking, off we go... and I went to the Texas A&M Boot Scoot!!!












Jeans, boots and my cowboy hat!!! A little two stepping and throw in Matthew McCaunaghy for an appetizer and I was one HAPPY GIRL last night!!!!












So why am I so DAMN GRUMPY today??????
























Sorry I haven't written in a while. My camera finally gave up the ghost and i had to go get a new one. I love it!! It's the Olympus 1060. Great pics...
























It's starting to heat up here...ugh
























Oh.. so here is something fun and exciting!!! I am going to host a country night and a swing night at a restraunt in the Marriot!!!! I am so f'n excited to see if I can get this off the ground!!!!












They have given me two nights per month to promote and if I can give them 50+ people I might get more nights or a bigger venue.












I really think this could be something that is needed here. There is a HUGE community of people here from Texas, Oregon, Oklahoma, etc... who have no outlet. As well as a large group of 40+ ers who don't want to go to the clubs, and the bars are just not what they want. So for them 50's swing... Any ideas or thoughts on this? Let me know!!!!




































Miss you all and thanks for keeping up with me.
























Monday, February 2, 2009

For such a slow pace everything moves so fast here....





















look very closely at the pic above... can you see who is driving???





me and Diane







and John








melissa, cheryl and me...(melissa is on your right and cheryl on your left)









So I have just experienced my first Doha loss.... and it is dawning on me that this is just the first of many...










Living in an expat community bonds are formed, tight and deep, very fast. I think this is for a couple of reasons. One, everyone is in the same boat...far from home, family and friends. Far from everything familiar and safe. So in order to regain some feeling of home and safety you reach out to people who "remind you" of people you have known. Gather around each other... safety in numbers. And if you feel close to those around you you feel protective as well as protected. More so than even at home with the best of friends.










And two...the knowledge that time here is finite. People come here for work and when the contract is up, or some before, they pack up and head home or to the next destination.










It seems I came in just as most contracts are coming due. I have quite a few people whom I have come to think of as my support system here who are reviewing their options...to renew or to go...










One left the other day. And as I have only known him a short time we became good friends. The other friends I have here I have known even longer(in my whole two and 1/2 months)...and as this is my first goodbye here it is hard...and I can only imagine that the next few will be even harder. Strange really. I have alway been able to just pick up and go...knowing that I can always go back, so the goodbyes don't sting as much. But living the expat life...when you say goodbye you never know if you are going to see that person again....although I hope that the friendships I have made here so far and have yet to make will not only be lifelong in thought but also in practice. But you never know. It's tough to have friends located all over the world and get a chance to see them...




















I started to think about my time in Nepal the other day. I had made a friend by the name of Sharad Thapta. We met at JFK heading for New Dehli. He was on the plane with us and we offered him free passage through to Nepal if he would be willing to translate for us and generally be our guide. He and I became very close friends very fast...as only teenagers can do.










We left him in DillyBazzar...heading towards an unknown future, an angry family and an unwanted bride. He left me with his blue striped shirt as a token of our friendship.










We never spoke again...a letter did find me many many years later...I tried to reply but am almost sure he never got the letters I sent him. I still have that shirt. In fact it's here in Doha with me.




















Although he and I never spoke again his friendship has shaped a part of who I am. It is lifelong. Even if not in practice.




















pics that go the the blog below...

sorry kids my computer took a nose dive for the past few weeks... so here are some pics... the one above is in a dune buggy... zipping up a huge sand mountain in the dark...
the gauges on the buggy....

this owuld be the tent we errr "camped" in


sheesha and sofas... best way to rough it



Simone... going Quatari




the girls on NYE... the one in the middle is Melissa...and my redheaded sister in training is on the left....





the desert at sunrise... yup...that's where we "camped"







me in the buggy...after i decided i was tired of eating sand....







NYE....Cheryl, Ray, Me and Mel.....











this is me and Diane... the lady in red....










this is what i would look like with a kid.... did you all fall off your chairs?????












NYE showing some leg.....













yup cat's and kitten's this is me... in the middle east... at Garveys......on Jonny Cash night....