Training School

Week 1 of Training College!

All I have heard about it is that it’s intense.

And even though I have (officially) only finished the first day, I already feel like I tooootally get it.

I’m so glad tomorrow is my “Friday” !! Yay!

Special “overalls” we wear when inside the simulators.

Day 1 ~ Induction!

Early start this morning, with the bus picking us up at 6:30!

But I woke up at 4am, and could not fall back asleep.

So I skyped the fam 😉

I was so excited to see Renee! (finally!)

We met up as we waited for the bus in the lobby, and picked up a new friend named Hisham.

He’s funny. And he looks like Justin Timberlake.

Anyways, before I actually made it down to the lobby, I was innocently walking down to the lobby B of Building 4, only to find out that the bus picked everyone up in side A.

Up the elevator I went, flying down the halls- high heels in hand- making that annoying huge loop that I am starting to know reeeeaaally well.

(the security guard down at the lobby had tried to give me directions through the parking lot – but I was too afraid I would get lost and MISS my bus for day #1!)

Turned out the bus was late, and I had ten extra minutes to spare. Phew!

After reaching HQTRs, we were assigned name tags, a brown bag, a huge envelope, paperwork, and a little (but thick!) book.

And that was when Renee and I realized we were going to be in seperate training batches! So sad 😦

At least Hisham (aka Justin) was in my group!

A long day followed of speakers and presentations, paperwork filling out, and a couple group activities.

I really enjoyed it.. except for maybe the last two hours of the class when I was trying not to zone TOO much. (the 4am adrenaline rush had finally died and went away.)

Justin (teehee), Renee, and I went to go make copies of our stamped visa copy they had given us (Justin is brilliant). And the following ten minutes involved us trying to figure out where Justin had seen the copiers the day before – and trying to work them.

Very confusing even thought it shouldn’t have been.

But we were able to get our copies and hop on a bus back to Sarab!

(thank goodness Justin joined our posse, or else Renee and I would’ve been so lost!)

After a 40 minute freshing-up/trying to catch up with the fam-time passed, Justin, Renee, myself, and the new girl (we still dont know her name) took the next bus out to the Emirates Mall.

My first time in downtown Dubai!

So exciting.

It was really fun. But I still need to see the fountains.

(the ones that are outside the mall, synchronized to music!)

Our entire mall- trip started outwith us in the food court, eating & laughing.

Ski Dubai! Ski slope inside a mall. So cool.
“look! snow! in the middle of the desert!”

And then we shifted gears to trying to find some black trouser pants for Renee and NewGirl, without having it cost 200 dhs (roughly $70).

They needed it for class tomorrow.

And the night ended well.

They found some pants for 120 dhs  ($40) and Justin and I got some much needed groceries (I have dental floss now! YAY!).

We managed to make it on the last bus back to Sarab.

Thank goodness for my apartment having shopping carts available for our use in the lobby. There was no way I would’ve been able to carry the two packages of water I bought, along with the other random groceries.

And now its time to call it a night!

Another early start tomorrow!

PS I still miss my fam bam.

Sarab Building

I was so nervous about the place I was staying at! I had thought I had seen a picture of it on the internet, and it looked like it was in a such a random place.

And when we passed the same building that I had seen pictures of (and had thought I was staying at), my heart stopped. It looked abandoned and creepy. My stomach was in knots as my driver tried to figure out where I was staying.

Thank God  the Sarab Building where I was staying at wasn’t where I had originally thought – or I might’ve gone home right then.

I walked into the much more inviting building and picked up my keys.

After the elevator ride, I started the long walk to my room.

It happened to (practically) be the farthest room from that elevator.

 I felt like I was walking down a ward in a hostpital. The only thing I could hear was my luggage rolling and high heels clicking; the light above me buzzing. Kind of creepy.

After finally finding my room, the challenge of unlocking it came next.

I was given four keys, and none were opening my door. I was getting desperate. I did NOT want to have to walk all the way back to ask why I couldn’t even open my door. Dumb.

I finally realized I needed to turn the key upside down, and I unlocked my door and walked in.

I wasn’t nervous about who my roommate was going to be until I was trying to open my door. I was hoping she wasn’t sitting in the living room, wondering who this person was that couldn’t even figure out how to open a door. But she was nowhere in sight.

Probably the most stressful part about all of this was when I thought my room had someone in it already.

Each room is marked by a letter, “A” , “B” , or “C”.

I found my room, “B”, and right by it was a scheduled taped to the wall.

I was confused,  it wasn’t my schedule, and I hoped that someone wasn’t in my bed!

After having more difficulty unlocking the door (I even considered sleeping on the couch), I finally got it.

And luckily no one was in my bed!

So far this night had really been stressful and nerve-racking for me! Plus, I was tired from being up for so long, emotional from missing everyone, and feeling incredibly lonely.

All I wanted to do was communicate with someone from my family.

But there was no wifi.

The next thing I felt like doing was collapsing on the bed and crying .

But I still had one more piece of luggage I had left at the main desk .

And heeeere are my last mistakes of the night…

When I left to go back to the lobby, I had only grabbed my room key, ( not the building key ) because I figured I wouldn’t need it.  I wasn’t going to leave the building! Just go back down to the lobby and pick up my suitcase.

And, I thought I had smartly figured out that my long walk to my room was due to the fact that I had turned right instead of left after exiting the elevator. So I had made an entire loop! I turned the corner and found the elevators. Much nicer then the large circle walk I had originally done.

But when I reached the lobby, there was a different guy at the desk – and no sign of my suitcase!

Desk-man gave me directions back to my lobby. And I thought I knew where he had said to go.

One little problem.. I didn’t bring the building key. And the way he said to go was through the parking lot.

And once I realized I didn’t have a key to open the door, I couldn’t find my way back to him.

And that’s how I ended up wandering the parking lot, embarrassingly laughing to myself. I couldn’t believe how my first night in Dubai was going so badly! And I hadn’t even left the apartment buildins!

Some kind soul who worked there found me, and led me to where I needed to go.

I grabbed my suitcase and booked it back to my room.

Too much adventure for one day.

I hate being new.

And this was when I found myself, standing in my room, homesick and almost hysterical.

I NEEDED to talk to someone from my family!

So I took off the heels, threw a sweater on, and went BACK downstairs to the lobby to ask about wifi.

My night ended with talking to a cute boy as we rode the elevator down together, meeting a nice girl in the lobby who helped me figure out the wifi (it is only in lobby), and after making another round trip to the room and back, I was able to skype da sister on my laptop!

And see my baby.

So happy.

First Impressions

I don’t like carrying two large bags. They were extremely heavy, horribly annoying when going to the bathroom, and by the time I made it to the “Marahba” desk to find my shuttle ride, I was sweating!

The airport agent that led me through security was really rude. She liked to walk 10 feet ahead of me, watch me as I struggled with all my luggage, and barely spoke a word.

The only thing we talked about was Obama, and how I didn’t vote for him.

He was from her hometown: Kenya.

So I was really on her blacklist.

Needless to say we both weren’t very sad when I reached my destination and she left.

I was able to facetime my sister as I waited for my ride.  Yay!

 

Emirates Plane Ride!

Going through security and reaching my gate went surprisingly well.

(except for the TSA agent who yelled at me for taking my ring off and putting it in the bin to go through the xray machine.)

(And the fact that I was trying not to bawl my eyes out after saying farewell to my family.)

 

I did have my 2nd experience with the body scanner, which was annoying but surprisingly not as traumatic as the 1st time.

 

The Emirates flight attendants went through security the same time as me, and I watched them like a hawk. And its crazy to think that in a few short weeks that will be me.

 

After boarding the plane and squishing into the middle seat (why do I always bring two large carry-ons, and hope that they will fit under the seat in front of me? ), I checked out the entertainment selection.

 

So many choices!

 

They had 100s of movies, it was amazing.

 

But probably my favorite part was the planes camera system. I was able to watch, from the planes nose POV, as we took off. Ummmm, really cool.

 

I normally don’t like to sleep on plane rides-I never want to miss anything. But this time I actually would’ve loved too. Unfortunately the middle seat does not have the best options for sleeping, and I had to prop my head up with my hand and doze.

 

The low of the plane ride was when I ended up standing in line for the bathroom for 20 minutes. I have no idea what that person was doing in there, but 10 minutes in an airplane bathroom cant mean good things. And also thanks to older Arabic women who seem to think they don’t need to follow the line system, my bladder was truly tested.

 

After surviving the 15-hour flight, the easy part was over.

 

I am emotional.

Well, I made it to Dubai!

Such a rollercoaster of emotions…

I have realized I am the kind of person that does not think about a situation – or how I will feel in a situation – until that situation is happening.

….I miss my family.

So. Much.

I know it sounds silly, but I hadn’t even given myself a second to think just how miserable I would feel. And now that I have actually left – and am all alone in Dubai, is the full realization hitting.

Ouch 😦

A facebook friend sent me the MOST encouraging  message. Although I have never met her, she knew exactly what I would need to hear!

Sometimes when we get plucked from our comfort zones, like home, like USA, God has the chance to get our FULL attention. He shows us things we would have never noticed because we had everything up in our face distracting us and moving us. But now, you’re going somewhere new, and HE is the only familiar thing you have so you will draw SO much closer
 

Reasons.

Reasons why I love my niece.

1. She helps me study all of my Flight Attendant terms.

2. She likes to eat fingers

3. She sleeps with one hand by her head. Always.

4. She makes the best “Oh” face.

5. She’s super cute. And she wears hats.

6. She likes to pose for the camera.

7.She’s such a happy baby.

8. She has a cute momma.

9. SHE’S A DINOSAUR!

10. And my favorite reason why I love Avie, is because she’s MY niece.