When the group arrived last night, energy was high and I was one of the first to go to bed …. at 4am. Needless to say, we didn’t set alarms and I ended up waking up at 1:30pm. It was one of those panicked moments; how did I sleep until 1:30pm!
It was then that I realized it was Saturday – graduation day for my classmates back in Columbus. It feels weird not to be there celebrating with everyone, but the program was about more than just the ceremony. I’m glad to still be living the experience for a few more months, but for now, here in Dubai.
Our next adventure on this side of the earth was to help the rest of the group get their SIM cards and then migrate to the beach. The area we are staying in is tourist filled and even more so than other parts of Dubai, westernized. On the mezzanine level where our condo is located is a whole district of shops and restaurants. As we searched for the Du mobile store, one of two wireless providers in the UAE, their website took us down the way. However, we didn’t find the store were the website told us, so we started asking. When you ask questions here, I’m noticing that a lot of times you get pointed in all different directions. This was no exception. We circled around and finally found the store, 400 yards from our condo. Oh well, we got the job done.
After that adventure, we moved over to the beach which was directly across the street. If you can visualize with me, we are at the left side of the base of the palm island (on the main land). We all went on the beach and dipped our feet into the Persian Gulf water – never thought I would say that – and it was like bath water. I guess when it sits in 100 degree heat all day, the water is pretty warm. Another interesting thing we saw was the opportunity to do a camel ride on the beach. I have to say it was strange to see a camel walking the beach with the gigantic buildings of Dubai Marina right behind it.
After hanging out in the condo a bit, we went along the Marina Walk to find dinner. We found an Arabian place called Reem Al Bawadi which was great. The only exception was that the tomato tasted like Chloroseptic (spelling?). Ironically, no one else had tried their tomatoes either until I said this. Accordingly, everyone else tried theirs and agreed.
We are also trying to figure out what else we should do the rest of the time in Dubai. There is talk of heading to India for a weekend, doing a safari/camping excursion in the desert, and heading to the observation deck at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 2,700+ft.
Tomorrow is our first day “on the job” and we’re all excited to keep moving forward with our project.