Thursday, September 6, 2012
Meetings, Meetings, Meetings, and Still in the Hotel in Abu Dhabi
September 5, 2012
Arrived at the second day of new teacher orientation at a model school in Abu Dhabi today. The school is indeed beautiful, well supplied, clean, airy, and sunny.
School where had orientation and where we stopped up the toilets..
As soon as we were seated in the auditorium, all of us western teachers immediately received instructions on where to dispose of toilet paper (and it’s not in the toilets) and instructions on how to use the “butt sprayer”.
Seems the influx of Western teachers yesterday stopped up the toilets in the school with our strange habit of flushing t.p. The UAE doesn’t have the necessary underground sewage system to handle flushed toilet paper, so after people take care of business, so to speak, they squirt their behinds and other “parts” with a small sprayer affixed to the wall next to the toilet. Then they pat dry and dispose of the t.p in a small t.p receptacle/trashcan next to the toilet. We received rather detailed step-by-step instructions on the fine nuances and skills it takes to actually use a butt sprayer. My friend, Suzanne, insists that her past experience in yoga has assisted her greatly in perfecting the butt sprayer technique.
First time I attempted the technique today I missed a bit and ended up spraying my leg because I was holding up my to-the-floor skirt with one hand (the stall floor was wet from the sprayer) and trying to position said sprayer with the other.. Kind of hit and miss (literally), but I shall practice and I shall persevere. I am going to sign up of for yoga classes once I am moved to Al Ain.
example of a butt sprayer
At 4 p.m, when the orientation session was over, I, along with more than a few other teachers, rushed outside into the 105 F temps. The school air conditioner was so cold that my feet were starting to turn blue. The scorching heat outside hitting my skin was almost a blessed relief. I didn’t know that an air conditioner could be set on such low temps.
Tomorrow morning we are meeting in the lobby at 6:15 a.m so we can board buses for the hour and forty-five minute ride into Al Ain to attend a regional meeting, and hopefully have a chance to see our schools. The other teachers and I are keeping our fingers crossed for the furnishing allowance to arrive in the next day or two and for ADEC to move us into hotels in the cities where we will be teaching.
This entire experience is indeed a “process” and does much to help teach patience, or drive one insane. I am still waiting to see which will claim me…
P.S Look at the huge figs I found at the grocery store!!!
September 6, 2012
I tried to post the above entry last night but the internet at the hotel kept going down. We did not receive our furnishing allowance today and I wasn’t able to visit my school. Maybe the furniture allowance will be in Saturday. Insha ‘Allah.
Went to regional meeting in Al Ain today by bus. A long, hot, dusty ride in which I passed the time chatting with other teachers and gazing out at sand dunes, sand dunes, and more sand dunes. Saw more than a few camels on the way.
All of the Al Ain teachers (including me) at the hotel still don’t know when we are being moved to Al Ain, and that was just reinforced today at the meeting. School starts Sunday and we were told that we might be in Al Ain by then, but if we aren't, then that information would be relayed to our principals and we would not be required to report to our schools. Who knows? I could be in Abu Dhabi one more day or for five more days. I don’t have any control over this.
It was still a productive day at the regional meeting in that I was able to meet a few other teachers who live in the same apartment building as I will be living, and I was introduced to the other EMT (English Medium teacher) who is at my school. She is young, enthusiastic, and seems full of energy. After lunch there were a lot of us who ventured outside to get warm.. This school was cold too, although not as cold as the one the previous day.
Western teachers trying to warm up from the cold school.. it was 104 F at this time.
So now it is six p.m and I am back in the hotel in Abu Dhabi. I am exhausted, but I have tomorrow to sleep late, watch movies, and do nothing, because Friday is the holy day in the UAE, much like the United States Sunday. Now I just have to decide if I want potato chips for dinner, eat in one of the hotel restaurants, or actually want to get a cab and make my way to one of the malls and hit a food court.
Yes, they have The Colonel. He just forgot to give them the secret recipe.
Subway is here too!
Sidenote and observation: Just because a person keeps insisting over and over again, “I am culturally sensitive”, does not make it true.
Posted by Liti