Archives for April 2011

Miss this face?

I thought so.

Flying in to PDX on July 14th.

(Flying back out August 13th…but let’s not think about that quite yet.)

xo, jill

Instant Burj Al Arab & Giveaway Winner!

Thanks for playing!This weekend Mike and I ran off to Dubai. We rode a carnival ride and snickered at our Arabian themed hotel. On our way out of town we stopped at Jumeirah Beach right next to the Burj Al Arab.

But more on that later. Let’s get to the winner.

Strangely enough, the winner of this year’s giveaway won last year’s giveaway! Congratulations Shauna! Some (hopefully) delicious snacks will be on their way soon!

xo, jill

Off the charts.

The behavior chart, that is.

It’s not a secret that student behavior is one of the challenges of teaching in the UAE. I won’t say too much, but I will say that it’s hard to stay engaged when you are listening to someone speak in a language you only partially understand. The expectations for students have changed and they are slowly adapting to a new style of teaching.

Managing my girls can sometimes be a real emotional strain. I can not imagine teaching boys. Especially when I see photos like this from Mike’s class.

Just a typical day on the playground.

That level of energy I do not want to deal with.

xo, jill

PS. Giveaway ends April, 29th (tomorrow) at 12pm Abu Dhabi time.

Heritage Day

Another day, another party.

My school does not miss an excuse to celebrate. Last week the occasion happened to be Heritage Day, a time to celebrate the traditions of the UAE. I haven’t been able to confirm if this was a nationally observed day, or just something my school chose to focus on. At least one other school celebrated around the same time, but it wasn’t widespread.

The girls wore beautiful traditional kanduras (dresses) with gold jewelry and head pieces. The dresses are tailor made and feature amazing fabric selections. Since I don’t show too much of my students, I thought a textile mosaic would be fun.

The celebration began with the eating of traditional foods. I am all for upholding tradition… but seeing throngs of kids eating communal food with their hands (and licking them!) doesn’t do much for my appetite.

After devouring the food, the girls played traditional games, identified traditional items (such as a dallah), and sat for a presentation in the library.

I love how parties make the day and the week go by so much faster.

xo, jill

PS. There are still a few days left to enter the Giveaway!

100 days of school.

Sort of.

Back in March, we had a school wide celebration to mark the 100th day of school. It wasn’t actually the 100th day of school (that was the week before), but no one seemed to mind.

In true Emirati fashion, the party included:

Dancing in animal costumes…

and eating copious amounts of sweets.

We also played “100” themed games like Sarah’s “Race to 100 Milliliters” and my “100 Unifix Cubes Challenge.”

There was even a strange looking cake that we collectively cut as a staff. That was a laugh!

I could not be happier that the end of the school year is just around the bend (at the end of June.)

xo, jill

Kiva Loan: April

4 down, 8 to go!

This morning an email from Kiva informed me that all three of my previous loans are paying back on time. I had $4.90 worth of credit to put towards my April loan. How exciting! I love this system.

April’s loan goes to Sos Mary, who lives in Cambodia. She buys and resells motorbikes, as well as the yams she grows. Is that not an awesome business dichotomy? Motorbikes and yams!!! She plans to use her money to purchase yams in bulk to grow her business.

photo from Sos Mary’s Kiva posting

And have I shared this TED Talk with you yet? It’s Jessica Jackley, Kiva’s co-founder, talking about why she formed Kiva. My friend Paul passed it over to me a few months ago. Jackley is very eloquent and her words are thought provoking.

How are your loans doing?

xo, jill

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