Wednesday, February 5, 2014

We made it to Abu Dhabi {Airsickness, Jetlag, ER, Meetings and Placement}

They weren't kidding when they told us to be ready because when the tickets finally come things start moving FAST!
7 of the 8 bags we checked...we also had a personal bag that we carried on

We left Phoenix, Arizona at about 10 am (about 40 min late) on Saturday, February 1st. We flew American Airlines and it was an typical no frills flight. We had a nice tailwind so we were still able to land in Chicago on time at 1:45 pm.
Phoenix airport waiting to board.
Monkey and Unicorn
Daddy and Ladybug
In Chicago, we had a 6 hour layover so we ate some dinner at Chili's, and then headed to the international terminal. Since we had to leave security to get to the international terminal we were able to meet up with Hubby's sister who lives in Chicago. We spent a good hour or so catching up with her before we headed back through security to wait to board our flight. This flight also left a bit late due to the weather in Chicago. It was a LONG flight but the kids did well. Monkey slept almost the entire time (he wasn't feeling well), Ladybug and Unicorn watched movies and ate and slept. While the flight crew was nice and everyone had their own TV it was still a bit cramped. We also had quite a bit of turbulence which eventually caught up with Ladybug, she got a bit airsick just as we were getting ready to land. Even with they delay getting off the ground we landed in Abu Dhabi on time. We were greeted by the travel agency and 5 other ADEC teachers. The travel agent helped us all move through customs and baggage claim very quickly and smoothly and got us set up with transport to our hotel.
Ladybug really liked the sleep kit they gave out on the flight
Once we got to the hotel, we checked in. Here came some disappointment. We were only given one small room for the 5 of us and the room was was so small that there wasn't any room for an extra bed or anything. We requested some extra bedding and the kids were awesome and made the best of sleeping on hard wood floors.

On Monday, many other teachers had orientation but those who came in late Sunday night didn't have to go. Instead, we made inquiries into our room situation and took Monkey to the emergency room. Considering it was an ER visit it was actually not to bad. There wasn't much waiting and we paid $65 for the Dr. visit and the prescriptions. Monkey has an upper respiratory infection and now has antibiotics and cough medicine. After we got back from the ER we got a call from the hotel manager. Apparently, we had been booked in under Monkey's name instead of Hubby's name (they both have the same first name) and since Monkey doesn't have any dependents we were given 1 room. Well, we now have 2 rooms and we are sleeping much better!
The original room, now Mom, Dad, and Monkey's room
The additional room for Ladybug and Unicorn
view from our windows
view from our windows
view from our windows
Tuesday, the teachers had to get up bright and early for their medical exams. They had to meet in the lobby at 5:45 am to leave by 6 am! While hubby was off being poked, prodded and x-ray(ed) the kids and I hung out at the hotel and explored what it had to offer. Since Monkey is still not feeling well we didn't do much exploring. Hubby and the other teachers had to give blood (to check for HIV and TB), urine samples, have a chest x-ray, be weighed, measured, and have a general check-up. Since hubby missed the orientation on Monday, the other teachers were released and he and a small group had to go set up their bank accounts and take care of paperwork that the others did on Monday.

Once he got back to the hotel we hopped in a cab and went to a local mall for dinner and to grab some food for our hotel room (to help save some money). Also today, Monkey started to eat again. He hadn't eaten much since we left the states and it is nice that he is starting to feel better. After dinner, Hubby had to fill out some paperwork for our housing.

Wednesday, Hubby had to get up for an orientation with ADEC and other school officials. We were all awake when he had to leave so we all had breakfast together. The kids and I hung out at the hotel again. Around 10 am Hubby called to tell us he won't be back until around 2:30 and that we got our city placement! We are going to be in Al Ain! This is where we were hoping to be. Other interesting news is that he is going to be a "reserve" teacher for the rest of this year. While we don't know all the details of that we do know that it is similar to be a substitute teacher but he will get paid whether he has to work everyday or not!

Hubby, Ladybug, and Unicorn seem to be adjusting to the new time pretty well. Monkey is having trouble (mostly because he slept so much being sick and all) and because he is struggling so am I. Each day is better than the one before!

Not sure what the rest of the day holds for us but I think we will start with Monkey's medications and some lunch...then maybe some swimming in the hotel pool!

UPDATE: Yes, it has only been a few hours and I already have an update. Looks like we will be moving to Al Ain TOMORROW! So much for the pool here...time to re-pack!
Monkey eating Fruit Loops ( least he is finally eating)!

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