The End Of An Era

When we made the decision to move to Texas in late February I knew that leaving Doha was going to be hard on all of us. However I don’t think that anything could have prepared us for the emotional roller coaster the following months and weeks brought. 

The going away parties, get togethers and play dates started in early May. It seemed like every hour of every weekend was  booked, that everyone wanted a little piece of us before we left and to be honest I wanted to hold on to every last piece of Doha that I could. 

When we arrived in Qatar almost seven years ago it was the last day of Ramadan. It was after midnight and as we walked off the plane with our three small children we were greeted by a wall of heat and the soundings of our new life. Over the next few weeks we learnt to navigate the city, how to entertain small children in 52 degree heat and to never leave your house with out a bottle of water. We had to learn to communicate with people who didn’t speak English as their first language and figure out which products in the grocery store resembled those from home for our fussy children. There were days even weeks when I wondered if we had made the right decision moving to the Middle East. 

However the following months and years brought about amazing friendships and we found a sense of community in the school and organizations the muppets were apart of. The day to day struggles that we faced in our first few weeks here became a normal part of everyday life and the muppets adapted to their environment. 

We created our own family which we shared Thanksgivings, Christmas’ and Easters with as well as the occasional Thursday night BBQ. They became our emergency contacts, shoulders to cry on and the people we could count on no matter what. We fell in to a comfortable routine of spending the school year together and saying goodbye for 8 weeks every summer as we all traveled to different countries to visit friends and family. 

Over the past few years we have watched good friends leave and move on to exciting new countries and jobs. Some people we knew that we would see again and others we weren’t sure. But we knew that this was all apart of expat life. 

Yesterday we said goodbye to the place we have called home for the past six years. The walls have been stripped bare and the only thing that remains is the markings my husband made of the growth of the muppets from year to year. 

You realize that once you have downsized your life in to 10 suitcases and a 20 foot sea can that all of the stuff we have accumulated over the years doesn’t really matter and we can probably live without. 

The things that truly matter we will take with us where ever we go. 

Tomorrow we leave the place where my children have spent half their lives. We say goodbye to our life here and move on to something new, exciting and a little scary. 

We have been truly blessed to have had this experience, as a family we have traveled to 8 different countries, had many adventures and made some amazing memories. We are all sad to leave but Doha will always be apart of us, because it has given us so much and we will take a little piece of it where ever we go. Off we go on to new and bigger adventures! 

So long Doha it’s been a slice! 


Snow Day?

Document4Some Photos Taken Around Qatar During the Storm

Yesterday the Muppets enjoyed trying to get everyone with April Fools jokes, they thought it was hilarious that they could trick their teaches, friends and Mother and not get in trouble for it. In the morning while we got ready for school the oldest Muppet told me a that in the middle of the night he and the other two Muppets snuck out to the neighbors house for a dance party. I was so consumed by what I was doing I had to actually stop and think about what he was saying. Before I could question what he had told me he laughed shouted April Fools and ran down stairs to tell his brothers. Before I put them to bed last night the middle guy told me that the principal was moving to Paraguay tomorrow and that school was canceled. I caught him and said “April Fools, right?” he smiled his cheeky little smile and said “No Mum I’m serious we don’t have to go to school tomorrow.” As I tucked him in and kissed him good night he whispered in my ear “April Fools, mummy too bad we have to go to school tomorrow.”

Around 11:00pm last night Lucy started barking like crazy, I could hear the wind outside howling, and all or the doors were shaking. I walked out of my room to the landing at the top of the stairs. I could barely see the neighbors house across the street there was so much sand blowing around.  I made my way down stairs to make sure that all of the windows were closed and that the doors locked, the last thing I needed was a beach in my living room in the morning. With the sand storm raging outside I settled the dog back down and we both feel back to sleep. When I woke this morning I opened the weather app on my phone to see what it was going to be like today. The forecast was 25 degrees and dusty  and when I opened the window the wind was still blowing and there was a strange orange glow everywhere.

After having a shower and getting ready I made my way to the kitchen to make breakfast. You could feel the sand on your feet form the tile floor and taste it in the air. Our counter top had a thin layer of fine dust on it so before I could even think about breakfast I needed to wipe everything down. When things were a little less dusty I put the kettle on and opened Facebook on my phone. The first article that popped up was  about the schools being closed because our the storm and with in minutes I had a text from the school saying that students had the day off.

In Canada we would consider this a Snow Day but I guess in our case it is a Sand Day! I walked in to the living room where the three Muppet sat playing on their iPads. “Guess What?” I said smiling “There is no school today!” The three of them looked at me dumbfounded and the oldest guy smiled and said “Oooh I know, April Fools, right Mum?” I laughed and told them that because of the weather that school was canceled. The three Muppets cheered and made their way to the kitchen for breakfast.

The middle guy grabbed my hand and said “See mum, I told you that we didn’t have school today!” I laughed and told him that his wish cam true and that they would have an extra long weekend. Everyone is saying that this is the worst storm that they have seen here in Doha, the city is quiet and I think a lot of people decided to take the day off. My muppets are happily enjoying their first Sand Day.  Unfortunately my day will not include drinking hot chocolate, cuddled on the couch watching movies like a snow day, there will be lots of dusting mopping and sweeping going on.

Happy Sand Day Doha!