Marhaba

Hello family and friends. This isn't really a traditional blog, we just aren't very good at group emails and didn't know which of you were looking to waste time at work, so we are now going to update this blog and let you guys check the content, rather than bombard you with/forget to send you emails. Please continue to email and call us but feel free to post comments here as well. Do not feel free to make use of the "report inappropriate content" feature – even if you stumble across awful photos that only Roary knows how to post. (see for reference too close photos of Jenny, or pics of car that she would never have posted). One note, feel free to share this site with anyone who is related to us but please do not copy content from this blog to share with others or give others this address. These are the letters home we aren't writing and our crude internal dialogue, if you'd like to share them, please ask us first. Best. Jenny and Roary

Monday, January 11, 2010

Contrasts

Whew. I’m having one of those “it’s all too much” days. I think most of you already know but our college friend Elizabeth was killed in Afghanistan last week. It has been a weird week of private mourning between those of us who will dearly miss her and public discussion because she died in an attack that is receiving so much publicity.

I’m working on a memorial scholarship at Colby so those Colby grads out there should stay tuned as I’ll be shortly asking for money. As I was sitting with my boss at work this morning, discussing Elizabeth, she got a call that her former colleague from the Mirror in the UK was killed embedded with the Marines in Afghanistan. Too much.

And it is a super crappy news day in the UAE. The member of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi accused of torture for the videotape that ABC aired, was acquitted because his medicines made him “loose control”. And a British woman celebrating her engagement in Dubai with her fiancĂ© was raped at the hotel she was staying at by a waiter when she got too drunk and passed out in a bathroom… when she went to the police station to report it, she and her fiancĂ© were arrested for illegal drunkenness and premarital sex because they were sharing a hotel room. The cops gave her a blood test to prove she’d been drinking but did not administer a rape kit until a British embassy employee showed up and demanded it. Yikes. I’m sick of all of this.

On the flip side, Roary and I had just been talking about how happy we were to be back. We are over awful jet lag (read here: Freya is sleeping more than 3 hours at night) and the weather is super beautiful. We spent Friday at the beach building sandcastles and rescuing a non-lost Lebanese child (I even called the cops to report finding a lost girl only to have her parents wander over 45 minutes later to pick her up before they left the beach…) and Saturday night with Freya’s playgroup parents, who we really like, sitting outside having dinner at a restaurant at the local golf club where the babies could run around screaming on the grass and we could take turns chasing them and enjoying Pims (a really lovely British addition to beverage selections). I know in my heart that all places are full of these juxtapositions but it feels pretty stark right now.

Work has asked me to go full time when my temporary contact is up at the end of March because they need to make the position official to be able to keep paying me, so that decision is coming up. Roary is hopeful that he’ll get staffed on a more permanent project so he may start travelling soon. What else… we have a beach BBQ planned for next weekend and Roary is on a running kick to do the wadi run to Oman again this year… it really is an odd combination of very sad and very happy right now.

I’ll end this on a good note with a big shot out to my brother-in-law, Steven Farr, who has just published his first book for Teach for America… which you should all buy. Follow the link to the fab article about the book in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/201001/good-teaching
He is a super star.

5 comments:

Kristin said...

Hey, keep us posted on the Colby bit - we are ready to do what we can to help out. K

Kristin said...

Just saw the email - it would help if I did things in order...

PB said...

Just found your blog referenced in the LA times online when I googled articles on Sheikh Issa. Yes there seem to be alot of contradictions in the UAE and any member of the royal familys is beyond prosecution. (Sheikh Falah's trial is prime example.) This trial was just for show for the US as Issa had paid his victim off years ago. This should have ended it, as they had agreed as such. This tape and event has cost Issa more than the $5,000 grain deal ever could. Will Issa's kids ever be able to Google his name and not see "Torture Prince" in reference to their father? Has he learned his lesson or is he still surrounded by people who would do him harm in order to profit from his wealth? I in no way condone his actions, but think wealthy people should think about who they trust. As for the merchant he assaulted, he should have thought first about who he was cheating and the repercussions of it.

As for the British woman, I would think that the UAE government would make premarital sex between non-residents a non-issue and why is it any of their business any way? Don't the police have better things to do than harrass tourists? They are the bread and butter and what has brought Dubai to their current standing. This woman should have been listened to and not persecuted. If you invite westerners to your country, you should also accept their differences and premarital sex is common in the west. I doubt that any of the royal princes were chaste on their wedding nights, though they expected their wives to be.

Sorry to hear about your friend. My nephew is being deployed to Afghanistan this month and we pray for his safety and the end of Osama's control over this country.

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