Monday, June 23, 2008

Last Week in the Land of the Sand...

So, here is one of a few updates in the next few days. Things are winding down here. The moving company is downstairs packing up my things to take back to the states. Friday will be here before you know it. I am going to write about a few things that happened in the last month, and then I will start to finish the trip for you.

On June 6th, we had a very cool Pittsburgh type party. I was one of the main planners, and it was fantastic. John’s wife Mary Lou Catered (she makes AMAZING food). I had a friend of mine DJ. Plus I tried to finish out all of the beverages that we had in my house. It was a great night of partying, dancing, etc. Some people, including yours truly, ended up in the pool. The party had a good mix of Local people and Pittsburgh people. The theme of the party was ConFarWel. Congratulations for Mary and Dave. Mary is our project Educator, and she got hitched to Dave a few weekends ago. The Farewell was for myself and Carol. The welcome was for Conlen, Bryan, and John, 3 new employees. Great times.

June 8th I was invited to John’s house where Mary Lou was cooking yet another dinner. (mmmm) The surprise was that Connie and Jacque came back early to see Carol off. She was leaving on the 9th. Myself, Dennis, Carol, Connie, Jacque, John, and Mary Lou had a fabulous evening with some amazing shrimp pasta.

Last week, in a effort to welcome the 3 new guys to the neighborhood, Marlene and her Husband invited Conlen, John, Bryan and myself over for wing night. It was a random weekday night and I love not having to cook. We stayed for a while, however I had to get my stuff ready to get packed up. They just got back from Kenya and had some Amazing photographs. Africa is definitely a place I would like to see.

It seems I have been doing a lot of eating, huh? So one more for you. This past Sat. John once again invited the entire staff to his place for dinner. Our new project director and a nurse and his wife came to get greeted. We had good American food such as bacon cheeseburgers. They did a little presentation during the dinner and I received a very nice glass statue of the county of Qatar, thanking me for my participation to the project. I also received a Picture book from our current project director. It was very nice.

The 2 new guys are getting settled in. Conlen and Bryan will both do OK, as far as I can tell now. Conlen really understands how important these relationships are and Bryan is slowly warming up to it. I have taught them all I can and tried to show them everything I could, along with some common pitfalls and other problems. I think they will do fine, plus they have the summer season while many are away to get ready to go.

I will update you more in the next day or so, as my TV has been shut off and many other things are going to as well. I will be in limited contact the next week or so as I transition home. I am lucky enough to have my flight routed through Holland, where I am going to visit Chad and Suzanne who recently moved to the country. So thanks to my job, I get a free weekend in Europe. No airfare or hotel stays, just the normal food and train fare…which is only a few Euros as Rotterdam is only about 45 Minutes from Amsterdam. It is going to be a great transition home! Talk to you all soon.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Another Update

So, I know it has been a while but I am going to try and give some brief points to update you.

· After arriving back from Europe, I think I got some food poisoning. We went to a restaurant the week after getting back and that night I woke up with some major stomach pain. Needless to say I did not make it to work the next day and thankfully, I was able to get in the next day. All I could think of was Carrie the time she ate the egg and how much pain she was in. I probably felt similar, but I am in Doha and not Morgantown and I KNOW what the hospital is like…so I let my immune system handle it.

· We had a lecturer here from Pittsburgh who was on the Board of Directors. She actually called me before she came because she had heard about my leadership class and wanted to make sure she had the same message. How cool is that. She was a great instructor, however I could only attend a few hours because I was teaching as well. She and our administrative manager invited me to the Ritz for drinks so I went up and had a great conversation with both. I especially wanted them to know that I had applied for that fellowship.

· Can I tell you how much I hate this culture sometimes. Now, I preface this with the fact that I think anybody should be allowed to do whatever or worship whatever they want. However…read on. So we went to spinning on Monday night as usual. Myself, Mike, and Carol. We arrived and a class that used to have 5 people in it now has about 25 show up at starting time (or after). (There are 2 times in Qatar. Western time (on time) and Qatar time (add about 20+ minutes). So after we start about 10 minutes into it, this group of guys come in and of course they have not been there before, so the instructor has to continue to run the class why trying to get them set up. About 2-5 minutes after she is done setting them up…they all get up to leave and go pray. Are you kidding me? Then, one has the nerve to come out and ask the instructor to turn the music down. Really? I mean, you know Prayer Time is at 6:18. Can you not pray at 5:55 or 6:45? You know, God says it’s OK to miss if you are doing something worthwhile. Like working EMS, etc. So then they came back and got on the bikes for the last 10 minutes and cool down. Wow. That was a tough workout, eh guys. I am sure they talked about how much they worked out and how much they do, but that kind of crap just makes me mad. Common sense. Take the 7:00 class so it does not interfere with you.

· The 2 guys that are replacing me arrived last week. (YES! What you are thinking is correct! It takes 2 people to do the work that I can do myself!...I wish….) Anyway, I am now in the role of teacher again trying to get these guys up to speed quicker than I did. I knew nothing and no one. These guys have picture reference sheets with names to help them while in the field. I take them and explain stuff to them, which is something that no one did for me. Anyway, they are getting adjusted and I think they might be a decent fit for this project. We will see.
That is a quick update for now. I am working on getting so much done plus looking for jobs that I need to space out my posts. Don’t worry I have plenty more where that came from. Talk to you soon.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Short Update

OK. So I know it's been a while for any real posts, but I promise one in the next few days.

For Now...I will give you an update of my reading list.

Yeager - Chuck Yeager (Autobiography)

How Toyota became #1 - David Magee

One Minute Manager - Ken Blanachard

The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwed

Married to a Bedouin - Marguerite van Geldermalsen

I am trying to finish about 2-3 more before I leave. Let's hope. Cheers!