Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Abu Dhabi Days Are Passing

This picture - of a setting sun near my home in Abu Dhabi - seems to capture my mood of late.

Perhaps it's the shortened days as we approach the winter equinox. Maybe it's that Christmas is two weeks away, and soon it will be the end of another year.

It could also be due to a discussion about family life I enjoyed yesterday in my home, an experience I know I cannot duplicate in the U.S. It was during my book club. I was one of two Americans in a group of nine women.

"We are both from Africa," my friend from Sudan said to my friend from South Africa when they were introduced. There was also a friend from Switzerland, one from England, two friends from Wales and one from Jordan. It was terrific.

Whatever the reason, I'm increasingly aware that our time in Abu Dhabi is going fast. Before I know it, next summer will be here. I'll be standing in a room full of brown boxes, sighing as I think how bare the walls are without our prints hanging. We'll be moving home. This is something I long for and dread at the same time.

Last weekend my eight-year-old was accidentally hit in the head with a hockey stick. When I first saw his handsome blond face, his nose and mouth bloody, my heart did a leap. I thought the skin under his nose was cut straight through to his mouth.

I get strangely calm when my children are hurt, but as I wiped his cuts and discovered they were not serious, alarms still rang in my head. I wished we were home. I've made two visits to emergency rooms with my children thus far in Abu Dhabi, and the care was excellent both times. But I still wished I were in my own country.

Of course the main pull towards home is missing friends and family. Recently, too, one of my best friends back home experienced a tremendous loss. The distance between Abu Dhabi and New Hampshire was heart-wrenching. These are the times I long to blink my eyes and open them to see pine trees and snow.

Most days, though, I like Abu Dhabi so much I know it will break my heart to leave. When my ten-year-old tells me about the nice boy from Yemen he's made friends with, or my 16-year-old arrives home, as he did yesterday, energized by a school competition in Cairo, I think I could stay forever. Posted by Picasa


Anonymous said...

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,
Dr. Howdy

P.S. Here's some blogs & videos
that I found of interest as
I negotiated my way through

Every Student
My Blog Video
Religion Comparison
Avoid This Place
Danish Cartoons
Arabic Cartoons
Muhammad or Jesus???
Answering Islam
Is Jesus God?
A Short Look At Six World Religions
God's Word in different languages...
How to become a Christian
Who Is Jesus?
See The Word
Watch The Jesus Movie
Spanish Cartoons
German Cartoons
Chinese Cartoons
Italian Cartoons
Greek Cartoons
Japanese Cartoons
Portuguese Cartoons
Around the Well
French Cartoons
Hindi Cartoons
Russian Cartoons
Little Girl
Get Saved?
You & Sin City
Mysterious Disappearance
Evolution Video
The Departure
You Need To See This
'Thought & Humor'

Tell me sometime what your
thoughts are about all this:O)

Land-Frau said...

Hi, Frances,
I know the feeling, if you live away from home and also like it, you get to be a bit like a wanderer between two or more worlds, but in the long run it widens your horizon and makes you more open for other ways....G.

Any said...

Frances....when would u leave Abu Dhabi. It's too bad. We're still planning to seek opportunities to live there. I have an emirate friend there. May I know ur email address ?? Thx.

Frances Gunnison said...

To Professor Howdy,
I agree - all things have their time and nothing lasts forever. It will take a long time for me to check all the blogs you listed...Regards, F.
To Gisela,
While I believe strongly in having roots in a community,I can also see how people could go from country to country and never settle down. Living (not traveling)in foreign countries is so interesting. Regards, F.
My email address is flowersinthesand@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Dear Frances,

Thank you for appearing in the ether with your blogspot and your frankness. I love the mosque pictures and just reading about your feelings. I am preparing to come and live and the uae with my family and hope to built a stable life. Here in Amsterdam, the Netherlands,it does not feel home anymore..I suppose home resides inside oursleves..where ever we are.
Best Wishes, Nadia Rose.