Thursday, June 6, 2013

Divided but not conquered

A view of Al Ain
It is possible to have too much space.
Well, this picture basically sums up how I feel. Although I admit to having a bit of an ego, there's simply not enough of me to fill this place up especially now that the furniture's all gone. I've got about two weeks before I leave Abu Dhabi and I am a mess of conflicted feelings. On the one hand, I'm really looking forward to getting back to North America. I miss green...a lot, and the pictures that Julie's been posting on facebook have only served to stir that longing even more. I miss friends and family. I miss seasons that change with the year. On the other hand, I am really going to miss a lot about Abu Dhabi. I feel that our family has grown in ways that we simply couldn't have anywhere else in the world. What I'll miss most is the people. It's been wonderful to work with and meet people from all corners of the world here and I'm grateful for the ways that has broadened my perspective and helped me to redefine my place in the world. I'll miss the generosity with which my family has been treated by too many people to name and I'll miss being a witness to a country that continues to grow and contribute. In the short time we've been here, I feel like I've seen changes both in the country and in the students I teach and I am humbled by their ambition to make a difference in the world.

Yesterday, I taught my last class and I really feel like I'm going out on a high note. I have really enjoyed working with the students here and their consideration for me and my family has had a real impact on me. When my students learned that my family would be leaving six weeks ahead of me, some of them got together to get me some new ties to wear to work. It was a much appreciated gesture.

We're going on just over three weeks apart now. Thanks to the wonders of the internet and modern communication, we rarely go a day without speaking. It's not perfect, but it helps. Julie has been a real marvel getting the whole crew from one side of the world to the other with missed flights and sick kids. Everyone's in Idaho right now and they've been taking full advantage of the weather and the beautiful outdoors. I'm so glad that they've had the chance to spend this time with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. Three years is a long time to go between visits.

Miranda making the most of the outdoors

My kids missed the snow. It's a point of disagreement for us.

With family
See what I mean about the green?
I've been kept pretty busy with work, sorting out the selling of our stuff and plugging away at my studies. Right now, we've only got a few odds and ends to part with and then I'll be on a plane to Gainesville for a week of study. Then I'm on to Idaho and after that, who knows? I'm sure my kids would like a little more definition about our future, but really, wouldn't that just make things boring and predictable. What some people might call precariousness, I choose to think of as suspense, and who couldn't use a little bit of suspense every now and again.

There are a few pics below of what we've been up to the last few months. It's flown by.

Yas Waterworld

The Al Ain Zoo
Miranda and some Meerkats

Lucy and Liam at the Middle East Comic Con


Ichabod said...
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Christina said...

I'm digging the beard and long hair. Very professorial, or is that professional?
We miss you guys, and we're excited to see you soon!

franklyentertaining said...

Maybe we'll get to see you sooner rather than later!

Julietta said...

Hey love! Great post! I love the picture with you in our apartment. Kinda painful though. Man we miss you!
Love love love you!

Mom said...

apartment looks a little sad.Am trying to figure out when we will next see you,if you have any dates for AZ let me know.I will be at Sarah's July 19th if that fits into the suspense.Good luck in your travels.Love you