Tonight I attended a meet and greet party at a teacher's apartment here in Abu Dhabi. I was able to talk to quite a few teachers who have been here awhile. Even met a Alabama gal named Jo who hearts the Florabama and says "y'all" too. She teaches in Al Ain, the city where I will be living. Jo advised me on the best place to get a pedicure and even offered to give me the Al Ain grand tour and hang out with me awhile. That good ole Southern hospitality is a trait that even moving over seven thousand miles from the deep South can't erase. Her mama raised her right..The hostess for the party isn't Southern, but she must have some Southern heritage lurking in her bloodstream; she served mint juleps! Such a supportive group. It's amazing really.
It was a good day, but I still have quite a lot to do: go meet my principal (have no idea how I am supposed to do that since I don't have a car and my school is about two hours away from the hotel where I am currently being housed), clean my apartment (it is new and there is construction dust everywhere), order my furniture and arrange for delivery (once furnishing funds hit the bank), arrange for hook up of internet service, rent a car (will not rent it in Abu Dhbai.. must be in Al Ain before I do that), and I have to find some more long skirts and tunic like tops to wear to work. I am hoping that ADEC (Abu Dhabi Education Council) will get all of us teachers moved to our regions shortly. Would be so much easier to get things done if I weren't an hour and forty five minutes from where I am going to live.
Going to the bank tomorrow to pick up my bank card. After that a lazy day at the hotel pool sounds good... Real good. I think it will be the last day of rest for quite awhile. All of next week is taken up with meetings after meetings, a la conference style.
Talked to Mom tonight and dad is doing well at the V.A. They are waiting on a nursing home placement to open up. He did okay at Emory, but the minute he came home, things got pretty bad. Mom hadn't been able to arrange for in home assistance before he came home and within three days she realized that she couldn't manage it on her own. To be fair to her though, in my small hometown there just aren't a lot of resources available to families of Alzheimer's victims.
Mom says she doesn't mention my name to dad because he cries whenever he hears it. He has become very emotional, but the tears never last for long because his memory is almost nonexistent. Some part of him knows that I am gone. I really miss my dad. My real dad. The one who used to talk to me about history shows he had watched on t.v. The one who used to grill hamburgers on Fourth of July. The one who would quietly and furtively push a ten dollar bill into my hand "for emergencies".
Dad and my daughter, Lara: circa 1998
I think maybe I can sleep now. I have GOT to get on a better sleep schedule. School starts September 9th. And I don't think they hired me to teach night school...