Reads for the Relocation

imageBefore I moved to the U.A.E. I wanted to get an idea about what I was getting myself into. Middle Eastern and Emirati history, their culture, and their religion. However I wasn’t able to find many options, but I started reading what I could. Once I moved here, I’ve found more and was recommended many more as well! I still have a lot more reading to do, but this may get you started. Please post any others you think I should add to my list!

What I Have Read:

The Princess Series

By Jean Sasson

This series follows Sultana, a Saudi Arabian princess as a child, young woman, wife and mother while living in an extremely conservative Muslim country. While not the U.A.E., it gives a tremendous amount of information about the culture and their religion. A must read, especially for single women! Written by an American woman who was told the stories by the Princess herself. I will say that by the time you read the last two, you will feel a little jaded. The main character annoyed me. But it did give good insight.

Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia

Princess Sultana’s Daughters

Princess, More Tears to Cry

Princess Sultana’s Circle


Mother Without a Mask: A Westerner’s Story Of Her Arab Family

By Patricia Holton

An American-born, British wed woman is adopted into an Emirati family as she helps to raise the sons. This is not long after the U.A.E. was founded and she documents the changes the society goes through as they try to merge the old traditions with the new and the Western influences.


Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity

By Nabeel Qureshi

As the title alludes, this is the story about a Muslim man who converts to Christianity. I wanted to read something that would compare the Muslim faith to that of something I was familiar with. It compared the two in how they have many similarities and also differences. This gave me some great insight into their religion and how to better respect the locals.


The Tribes of Jordan

By Ghazi bin Muhammed

This is a quick read that gives a good look at tribal Bedouin life in Jordan. It focuses on their laws and how they are similar and differ from Islamic Law. Understanding tribes and how they work is essential as families in the U.A.E. are still connected in a way to their family tribe, although no longer nomadic. It was very interesting to read.


Islamic History: A Very Short Introduction

By Adam J. Silverstein

Another quick read, but one that I intend to read a few times through. It s a very detailed overview of Islamic history, what it is, how it started and spread, the study of it and finally how it affects people, both Muslim and non-Muslim. I really found this to be enormously helpful, of course this is published by Oxford University, so the factual evidence is academically based.


The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice

by Zak Ebrahim

This was a heart-touching story that only took an evening to breeze through. It was as if Zak Ebrahim was sitting there talking to me. He is the son of an extremist but he shows how he chose to lead a vastly different life than his father. It is a fantastic reminder that people are mostly good, an opportunity to have faith in humanity restored.


The To-Read List:

Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World

by Shereen El Feki


The Haj

By Leon Uris


Islam: A Very Short Introduction

by Malise Ruthven


Excellent Daughters: The Secret Lives of Young Women Who Are Transforming the Arab World

by Katherine Zoepf

The Situation

I have now lived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for almost seven months. The honeymoon stage is over. I figured I would stop thinking, “Wow, this is your life? This is amazing though!” But I haven’t. I am really content with my life here, both professionally and personally.

I have started to see the positives and the less positives, as anyone would when they move to a new place and accept a new job. For this reason, I specifically did not post anything to this blog because I wanted to not simply gush or vent over the small things as I acclimated to life here. I wanted to show a well-rounded opinion of everything.

My Work and Living Situation:

I was assigned to a school in The West! The placement letter shocked me. I remember reading the words “Al Gharbia” on the sheet of paper. The Unknown washed over me faster than a waterfall. My job placement was in the western region of Abu Dhabi, out in the desert, the dunes, lots of camels. I couldn’t even find the school or the city in Google, and Google never lets you down. I was a bit worried at that time.

More than likely I was placed in Al Gharbia because I’m single and without children. If I had a family, then it would be difficult for the children to be in a school. Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC) considers this and places those with spouses and children in Abu Dhabi City or Al Ain.

After a few hours of research I was finally able to find the small town where my school was located. Only being about an hour from Abu Dhabi, I wasn’t too worried about moving to my area of the West. I knew ahead of time there was the likelihood of this happening and I had signed up for an adventure anyways. I would make it work whatever happens.

Others were not so accepting. I witnessed one young woman sitting on the floor like a petulant child balling her eyes out due to her placement. This to me was not only unprofessional but also immature and showed either her lack of research or her true inability to roll with the punches. I was embarrassed for her sitting among hundreds of teachers, in a line full of others who were also placed in the West, and she, just blubbering away. From what I heard, she did not end up staying to take her placement.

After a week of talking to ADEC and other veteran teachers, I ended up choosing to live in a larger city about 50 minutes away from my school called Madinat Zayed (MZ). Here I have an extremely comfortable villa (2 bed/2 bath) and a large expat community to hang with. The city has a small mall, a few different grocery stores, restaurants and even a Starbucks. If you can imagine living in a small town where you’re from, this wouldn’t be much different. I do have to make the commute every day, and it does bother some at my school, but not me. With carpooling, I only drive once or twice a week and I’ve discovered podcasts and listening to audiobooks whenever I don’t sleep. Back home I travelled a lot for my last job and used to commute over an hour to my old schools anyways. I haven’t ever NOT had a commute, so it’s not a negative thing for me; it’s the norm.

I only live about an hour and a half from the city which allows an extremely easy drive if I want to do something fun on the weekends. I go in to Abu Dhabi a few weekends a month and end up crashing at friends’ places.

(If you’re in the city and have friends in The West, then you let them sleep on your couch, it’s a given.)


My School Situation:

My school placement was in a smaller city in Al Gharbia along the coast. My school is a cycle 2 and cycle 3 all-girls school. I ended up teaching at the cycle 2 level (middle school) and overall it’s a great place to work.

There are challenges, but there would be those in any school no matter the country or culture. They are just different challenges because of the country and culture.

My teaching hours are more than some, but not more than back home. The endless paperwork and politics back in the U.S. is not something really seen here. I do have to make and submit lesson plans, I do have to take student attendance. There is professional development and parent meetings, but not to the mind numbing level that is required back home. I am able to use the ADEC curriculum and my experience to do what I think would show the most student progress. There are teacher observations and hallway duty. It’s a school.

This job has really helped me to separate my off hours and my work hours. I have seen countless teachers intertwine the two. There is nothing wrong with this; it creates impassioned educators who would do anything for their students. But in Florida, to become that sucked into the job is draining since so much is out of the control of the teachers themselves. It’s like that in many places. I found my job exhaustive and something always happened that made me become more and more frustrated. This led me to look at teaching jobs out of the country in the first place. I didn’t want this to be repeated when I moved here.

Here, I do have a separation. I work at work. There is enough time in my schedule to get the lesson plans and grading done. I can do research and prepare activities there. Occasionally I may bring things home to grade if it’s a larger project or if I want to plan for something more extravagant. But I set that as a goal for myself before moving. I wanted to, once settled, no longer live to work. Instead I wanted to work to live. I love my job, I love teaching and I love the kids. My job makes me incredibly happy, but I don’t just have that as my only source of happiness. I work this job and focus on other things that also make me happy! The current situation with education in Abu Dhabi is more teacher and student friendly than politician friendly, as it is in many Western societies. This allows for teachers to actually live a life separate from their job.

I am not saying those that work to live are not doing as they should, I commend them for their work ethic and passion for their profession. For me personally, this was something I wanted to change and moving to Abu Dhabi gave me that change.

How I Feel about my Situations:

I feel fine! Like really fine! Living in The West has been a great chance to experience the culture and way of life in the U.A.E. that people living in Abu Dhabi City just wouldn’t experience. People that live further west of me may have other thoughts, but my situation is fantastic. If I had lived in the city I would end up eating out too much, spending a lot shopping and going out every weekend. Plus the extra travel stipend for living in Al Gharbia basically covers my car rental every month. I carpool, so I save gas money. I cook a lot, so I save even more. Ultimately I save to travel, paIMG_3467y off debt and to have fun! So overall this is a good situation financially!

There is a nice teacher community here in MZ, they have rooftop parties, dinners and activities which makes living out of the city completely awesome! Plus I tend to watch Netflix as much as I do back home, so my evenings are pretty chill. The social situation is decent in the West and we have a stronger camaraderie here than people in the city do. We depend on each other and help each other out. When I went to the emergency room, two other teachers where there, one came with me, the other showed up within minutes. People I have only known for a few months, made sure I was okay. We look out for one another. Those are the kind of people you want in your life.
While my new life in Abu Dhabi is only in the beginning stages, I am thrilled with it so far. I’ve travelled more in the last seven months than all my years before. I’ve made connections with people I never would have, had I not moved and experienced so many interesting things that I know will change me in the future, for the better. It’s just the beginning, but it’s a pretty swell beginning.


A Quick Update!

It’s been some time since my last post. I was recommended by multiple people to NOT write about the job for a few months. The UAE does not have the Freedom of Speech right that is given to many of us in the West. This has given me a chance to learn more about their culture and how to be respectful and still informative. I will be honest and post about my overall life, including my job though! Have no fear!

As a summation of my first trimester the only overall statement I can really make is this: I love my life!

In all honesty this move has been an absolutely amazing opportunity. I’ll get into each individual thing about my awesome life as I get back into my posts. I am extremely happy with my decision to halt my professional progress back home and uproot myself to a completely different country located in The Middle East.

Not everyone feels that way, teaching is hard, moving is hard, all of it is hard! I could never fault an individual for not staying here. At times things have been difficult, but everything is completely doable. For me, it has been a wonderful experience so far.

I will be posting in the next few weeks about some of the following things:

  • The process of moving to new country to live in, not just visit
  • Living in a Middle Eastern country for a sassy, independent, American woman that I am
  • Misconceptions in general
  • Teaching info
  • Down-time and breaks- by country
  • Reading and Research lists I recommend

If there are any specific questions you might have, send them to me and I can try and answer them in the next few posts! I have had an amazing 6 months so far! I can’t wait to tell you all about them!

Read More

Packing Insights

Now that more travel is in my horizon, the need for strategic packing is evident! What to buy? Which bag is the lightest? Which is the strongest? What about the size? Which method for packing really IS the best? Where do I start?

I am a researcher by nature and I desire EVERYTHING to be organized. So I want the best bag, for the best price but it also needs to have cool sections and compartments that serve a real purpose as well! MAN, am I a picky woman!

With high expectations danced through my head, I knew that I had to find the PERFECT packing… stuff. Last year, I began to prepare for my first backpacking trip. Two weeks in England, staying in hostels, riding trains and buses… my initial research period began. I read articles and asked advice from other travelers about what they have that works. After some good pointers and some failures on my part I have now accumulated some great packing pieces!  Below are my purchases and strategies for this move abroad and the travels I am planning to take. Please comment if you have any questions.

The Carry-On:

For my carry-on bag, I did the largest amount of research I have ever done and that includes my graduate thesis. I wanted a backpack-style carry-on bag since I wanted it to be my sole backpack during my backpacking trip. That way I would not need to check it and have the potential of losing it in-transit. After weeks of research and reading thousands of reviews I found the bag below. TheBagsis eBags bag is phenomenal! I have used it for my two week backpacking trip through England, for weekend trips out of town and overnight stays at hotels. There are so many compartments and everything has its place. I especially love the bag divider and the hidden laptop zip area. The link is here. Check it out, watch the video. It is phenomenal. I shared this bag within the Facebook group of teachers heading to Abu Dhabi and many of them purchased it as well. This will be my carry-on bag as I head overseas, but will also serve as my main bag as I holiday too.

The Checked Luggage:

I have spent many days in the luggage departments of stores rolling, dragging, unzipping and lifting luggage trying to find The One. I obviously want something light, so that the real weight will be of my belongings and not of the bag itself. I want durability, the bag is going half-way around the world. I also want the ability to store it easily as space may be an issue in my new home. Do they have closets in Abu Dhabi? Who knows! Upon recommendations, I found this Walmart Protégé duffle bag. It is 32” in size, around a pound in weight and very durable. The best part is the price: at $15.00 you just can’t go wrong! Now it is not the maximum of the checked baggage limits, it does fall under those measurements, but sometimes too big can cause more problems than not. Which is why I like this bag. Many who get the larger bags later struggle with weight issues and have to end up throwing things out at the last minute since they are Protegeso OVER the weight limit. With this bag you can fill it and be about on-point with clothes and shoes being the weight. I purchased two of these as ADEC will pay for two checked bags to head over there. When I packed all of my clothes and shoes (I am a girly-girl, which means that I have a lot of them!) I still had 16 pounds in both bags that I could add more things AND the space to do so! That is amazing! Obviously this means more shoes and purses! The Protégé Duffle bags are found here. I have already moved out of my condo and am living out of these bags now. It’s not easy living out of a suitcase, but these bags make it a breeze! They have wheels on one end making the dragging process all the more easy. The best part is when I unpack them, they zip up and could be stored in a drawer or easily under the bed! Check this bag out!

Packing Cubes:

Those that don’t own packing cubes will never understand their awesomeness. Packing cubes are (other than being the greatest packing accessory ever) soft-sided, zippered containers. There are different sizes and brands. The small is great for underwear, socks, tank tops, sandals, cords, etc. The medium is the best size in my opinion. I use this size Ebags cubesfor my tops and bottoms. The large size I use for jeans or thicker sweaters and jackets. The whole points of packing cubes is to keep your bags organized as well as save on space. They constrict slightly to fit your clothes in and when you combine the rolling technique and the packing cubes, a miracle happens. I had one small, one medium and one large packing cube for my eBags backpack during my backpacking trip and they kept everything separated and easily located. Find this brand here. After I learned how to properly roll my clothes, the wrinkle factor disappeared. I learned to bring a few dryer sheets and place them in certain sections to keep the packing cubes and my clothes smelling fresh. As I neared the middle of my trip I made the medium bag my “dirty clothes” cube and it kept my clean and dirty clothes separate! It is not all about organization though, I can’t stress that enough. You roll your clothes and stack/stuff them in and zip closed as you fill it, they are the most amazing thing in the world. See this technique here! I don’t use elastic or rubber bands since I put them in the cubes and they keep my clothes from unraveling. Google other videos to become a pro!

I started off with just one set of the eBags packing cubes (small, medium and large). I love them. They are sturdy and handy. I used these on weekend trips and overnight trips as well! They make it so easy to pack a whole weekend in the medium-size packing cube and then go with a simple tote bag. I amaze my friends at the lack of baggage I need since I am able to fit so much into my small bag with these cubes! However, when I needed to move out of my condo and I had to fit all the rest of my stuff into the above mentioned luggage (PEmbark cubesrotégé Duffles) I needed more packing cubes. EBags is online and it would take a few days for me to receive more, so I did some research and found Target had some comparable ones made by Embark. You can see them here. I headed straight there and got three more sets. Target also had the small, medium and large size sets like eBags. The Target packing cubes were the same price as the eBags packing cubes, but unfortunately they are not as nice as the eBags. Plus the eBags packing cubes are a bit deeper and sturdier. Ultimately they do the same thing, but the Target ones don’t seem to stretch as much and only have one zipper, making strategic stuffing a bit more difficult. However, the Target ones are decent and get the job done. In the future I will be purchasing more of the eBags if needed! I now have a total of 12 packing cubes (4 small, 4 medium, 4 large) and they almost fill my two Protege duffle (checked luggage) bags.

Furthermore, I do like the bags that you can vacuum the air out or roll-up to reduce their size by pushing air out. However, if the bags are checked, the airport security will cut the bags to see what is inside. Even if you buy the bags that you roll-up to shift the air out, the bags will still get sliced. No airport security will take the time to roll-up you clothes again. Then if things cannot fit easily back within your luggage, things will get lost. This has happened to people I know! I do not recommend them for travel due to this! Perfect for storing winter clothes in the attic, but international trips, they can potentially be a downfall. Opt for the space-saving packing cubes!

Cosmetics Case:QVC

I love my make-up and I couldn’t imagine moving without taking all my girly products. I found a wonderful make-up organizer after doing some research and I ordered the Ultimate Cosmetic Organizer Case from QVC. Find it here. It is small enough that it fits in my carry on bag (eBags) and I use it as my every-day organizer and have taken it on weekend trips. There are a few different colors and a video made by QVC. I had many followers and Facebook Friends that wanted to see mine. I made a video and it’s here. I made it on a whim, I use excessive hand gestures and seem to say “umm” and “like” a lot, my apologies. Since this video I have added two more eye shadow pallets, three mascaras and three make-up brushes and still have more room to go crazy at Sephora before I leave.


I wear a lot IMG_2739of earrings. I have no excuse here. I don’t do too many necklaces and my rings and bracelets are pretty simple, but earrings… I have a ton of them. I found cool earring holder ideas like here and here. But they cost a ton of money and would not hold all of my earrings unless I ordered like three of each and then space-wise, it defeats the purpose. So, I decided to be crafty and I made my own earring holder. It cost almost nothing and it is amazing!

Steps to my Homemade Earring Book Holder:

  1. Go to Michaels (use Teacher Store Discount if you have it!) and pick up four pieces of felt and a box of large-size brads ( You will only use one, but you need the large size, and they only sell them in boxes.) I got some fancy weathered metal ones, just because.IMG_2740
  2. Fold the felt pieces in half within each other, creating a book-like appearance. (Yes, some of the edges are showing because of the fold. You will fix this later.)
  3. Grab a pair of scissors; poke a hole on the upper spine corner, leaving room on both sides (this is where the brad will go.) Repeat this step with each piece of felt as you go through your felt-book.
  4. Then feed the brad through the hole. It will be tough to get all pages onto the brad. Really smash them in and then close the brads.
  5. Use the scissors again and cut the edges along the sides to even them out.
  6. Your Earring Book Holder is complete! Add your earring in as you please. Get little plastic stoppers for the dangles too, just to keep them in place at all times.

IMG_2741  I made one page my stud page and then my short dangle and then a couple for my long dangles. I also left a blank felt-page in between earring pages.

So there you have it! My carry-on, checked baggage, packing strategies, make-up organizer and travel earring holder! Hopefully some of this will help you in your travels and let me know if you find some other cool way to organize something for travel! I am always open to suggestion there!

So a Florida man dogged his employers, a U.A.E.-based company on Facebook while vacationing back home. When he returned to the U.A.E. to work, he was arrested for cyber slander.

(Cyber slander. Yeah, it’s a Thing now.)

Anyways, after a few months of headache, the charges were dropped.

When I initially read about this on CNN I started to thinking about a few things. First, did this man not research the country he was going to live in? Did he not realize that this country has laws that are different from America and how he will have to follow the laws of the land when working there? I understand that he was on U.S. soil when he wrote the negative and racist comment on his Facebook page, but did he not consider that this comment would backfire? Apparently not!

Research is so important when you travel the world. Just because we are American doesn’t mean that the American Rights cover us all around the world. Research is key and this man admitted he didn’t even know he was committing a crime in the U.A.E. at all!

Second, why post the comment anyways? It was super negative and completely racist, a bit uncalled for in my opinion. (but that’s just me.) I understand the digital era has given people a more lax view on communication and allows many to voice their ideas and concerns more so than in past years. While I love technology, the internet and the ability to connect to others digitally, I have always monitored myself. In America we have the Freedom of Speech so there can be the most heinous topics mentioned and nothing can come from them. But just keeping yourself in-check is not a bad thing to contemplate. Don’t whine so much somewhere (like Facebook, Twitter, etc.) that people can find it and use it against you. Instead, use that lock-and-key diary that one weird aunt got you for your 12th birthday to write those thoughts in. Personally I think venting to your close friends or family members is the best route to go. Get it off your chest and then its just a person who can point fingers. (Check ’em for wires before you start to gab- Just kidding- but seriously!)

My job has geared me to stay more mute on voicing my complaints. I’m a teacher, which puts me above the law and mandates that we show extremely ethical practices. According to the ethical agreement of my school district I should not drink, smoke cigarettes, dress provocatively or engage in loose behavior. Teachers in the U.S. have gotten “let go” because there were pictures on their Facebook page showing them out with friends and drinking a beer. Apparently having friends and having a drink is a horrible thing for an educator to do in his or her free time. Instead we should be in our house knitting socks or something.

Another teacher in the U.S. who took a summer job as a JC Penny’s model was fired since she wore bathing suits in the catalog. In case you missed part of that sentence… JC Penny’s… not Maxim, not Playboy… JC Penny’s. So the pictures would be pretty simple and not risqué. Whatever the medium, she was fired from her teaching job as this was an ethical breach of her contract.

Whether it is (right or wrong), it’s still a concern we have to think about. In America, we supposedly have freedom of speech, realistically teachers do not have these freedoms without extremely negative consequences in some cases as seen in some of the examples above. I have become accustomed to this and my friends now know that certain things don’t get posted to my page and they refrain from certain topics to keep me in the Safe Zone. My job is my life and I would not want some stupid comment I made in frustration to ruin my career or in the U.A.E.’s case, take my freedom.

Which leads me to a general question: Do we as a societal group not have control? Why are so many of us unable to keep our digital voices in-check? I choose what I will say and when I will say it. Every time I hear about someone posting something and getting in trouble I ask myself, “Why? Why did they feel that this specific comment was necessary? Was it exceptionally insightful? Did it prove a point that was vital to everyone’s life? What was the absolute reason for them to say this?” Most of the time it’s something that is so trivial and unnecessary, (as well as showing poor spelling and punctuation- sorry English teacher) that I laugh because WHY POST IT AT ALL!?!

We need to think before we act or … (dun dun dun)… bad things can happen. Don’t post the instant you think of something or the moment you are upset. I have learned that I don’t respond to an email when I’m irritated because it will probably come off snarky. I’m naturally sarcastic and even more so when frustrated. If i’m upset with a friend I let myself simmer a bit, think about what I really want to say and the real reasons for my thoughts. Then I respond. Most people do these kinds of things every day so they don’t emotionally blow-up on loved ones. Why are we not doing this digitally?

I am not trying to be preachy, but what made me upset was this Florida man’s comment about not knowing the laws of the country and using the American Constitution as an excuse. Add on that recently there have been so many people getting caught posting something cruel or inappropriate and getting called out on them. Maybe we all need to think a little before we actually click “post” next time, especially if you are posting about your job or… I don’t know maybe… A RACIST COMMENT! Geez Louise!

I don’t think this will be a problem for most of us. Those that want to travel and work abroad realize that we need to do our homework  to see what is illegal as well as taboo so as to not ruffle any feathers, but situations like this make Americans look bad on a global-level!

Read one of CNN’s articles on this situation here.

via Emirates and Etihad to have two in the cockpit at all times | The National.

This is very good to hear! I do not have a fear of flying, but I won’t lie and say all the media coverage in the last two years hasn’t made me squeamish. There are so many airline issues and mistakes due to pilots being brought up, but I don’t think this is the whole story in any way. Just like any other issue, the news is only focusing on the negative. How many airplanes take off, fly and land without any issues AT ALL? Thousands every day, all across the world.

Recently I was on a plane that had faulty landing gear that was only identified during decent. When the nose of the plane went from pointing down to pointing up, I knew something was not right. The pilot and the flight attendants immediately relayed information to the entire cabin and everyone knew that we would be okay. An extra half hour of circling above the airport as the pilot troubleshooted with those on the ground led to a safe decent and flawless landing.

So even when things aren’t perfect, most of the time, they get worked out by the professionals. Read the article above for more insight!

via Art House Cafe’ Abu Dhabi – Poised In Print™.

This seems like a place I have to visit! However, I think I will be skipping on lunch!

The never ending paperwork! Get color copies of your passport page, color copies of you degrees and teaching certificate. Get them all notarized, send them to your state, get a unicorn to lick them and make sure they get to Teach Away by yesterday.

Okay I am slightly exaggerating, but only slightly.

Basically everything under the sun must be Xeroxed and scanned. However the most tedious is the process of getting the documents authorized. I went to my local UPS store and had them notarize my degree and two teaching certificates. Then I mailed them to the Florida Department of State. These two steps were not too expensive and pretty simple. I did have a small snafu when the lady at the State Department kept trying to tell me about getting my documents an apostille. I know that there is a difference since Teach Away specifically said that an apostille would not work, AUTHORIZED is the key wording. I eventually got transferred to the right person, so stay diligent.

I then held on to the documents while I waited to hear about the job. This was only about a week or so. Once I heard I had the gig (YAY!) I called ProEx. ProEx had a great reputation and they also had the quick turn-around capability. Teach Away wanted my authorized documents within three weeks. So I called and talked to the lady and she was unbelievable helpful! She emailed me the form and step-by-step directions for what I needed to do.

Now ProEX was pricey! I ended up shelling out about $350 for three documents to go through the final two stages of the authorization. I felt comfortable having heard so many good things so I had no worries when I mailed my documents to them.

ProEx then took my documents to the U.S. Department of State, had them give this snazzy form with John Kerry’s signature on them and then packaged them up for the final step: The UAE Embassy. At the embassy the UAE stamps their approval and also kept my black and white copies of each document on file. Then Proex mailed them back to me. The whole process took about two and a half weeks! Not bad at all!

IMG_2541 IMG_2543Having read on other’s blogs and Facebook, I knew not to unattach the pages but I had to scan them to Teach Away as they are needed for my Visa process. Scanning documents that have been stapled in the corner and attached at the top was a challenge, but I ended up with the pages scanned. Unfortunately my scanner made each page a different document, so each of my three documents had six pages total that was eighteen pages total.

I did some research and downloaded Adobe Acrobat IX Pro (the trial version) which gave me the ability to merge PDFs. This was super easy and then I attached the three PDFs and emailed them to Teach Away. I received a confirmation of receipt stating all was well. Now I just get to wait four months for the Golden Ticket to Abu Dhabi!


Check out this Buzzfeed! It’s hilarious and awesome at the same time! I can’t wait to experience some of these things. Food delivery, yes please!

Isn’t this amazing! What a cool view of the city!

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