dark skies
The sky at noon on Day 1 of the storm.

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here, and not because I’ve been leading a boring life. I’ve been so busy enjoying all the little adventures that come with living here, that I haven’t had much down time to write about it all. Just this school year alone, I’ve been to five countries (with three more to visit before I go home this summer), on top of all the fun things I’ve gotten to do here. I’ve made new friends, found new favorite hangouts, bonded with new colleagues and grown with my students. It’s my own version of what my school calls “Journey of Discovery.”

Part of that journey includes experiencing wild weather, which wasn’t part of the deal last year. We had some serious storms this past week, which provided us with two unexpected days off. My neighbors and I huddled on my balcony to watch the most damaging storm come in. Within minutes our road turned into a raging river. Luckily, my apartment didn’t flood, but my neighbor across the hall had some issues, so we helped her clean up the mess and then ate and played games together.

Basically, I think the key to thriving here is what my neighbors and I do so well —- embrace the storms, make the best of it, and then move forward — sometimes at a much slower pace than we’d like, but hey we’re moving along, and we’re genuinely happy while doing it.

The school year started off a bit rough, but it all smoothed out by October, and now I’m soooo enjoying working with my girls. We’re learning our way forward, and I will miss every one of them when they graduate in May. In just a few weeks, we will be in our third trimester and everything will go by too quickly and before you know it my time with them will have ended, and that makes me a little sad (while at the same time being excited about seeing my own children again this summer).

I cannot believe it’s already also nearing the end of my contract. Didn’t I just get here? The good news is I plan on coming back next year. Originally, I thought I’d try to transfer to Abu Dhabi City after my contract expired, but I really like my school and my neighbors, so why change that? As I’ve written before, this has become my other home —- with all of its challenges, triumphs and everything in between. And, I’m so enjoying all of it (okay the challenges are still tough, but I like how they work out eventually).

Here’s to plenty of more time for discovery!

About Bettina Bennett

Bettina Bennett is currently a Cycle two and three educator here in the UAE. She is also a Teach UAE Magazine Blogger and Guest Contributor.