Sunday, September 30, 2012

Roller Coaster Emotions

I have completed three weeks of teaching here in the UAE.  I can't quite say I've successfully completed them unless you consider making it through each week a success.  I also don't know if I can quite put into words what the experience here has been like so far.  Those who are on year two of their two year contract have told me, "You can't tell anyone.  You just need to experience it."  But the writer in me at least wants to attempt it.

Here goes..

It's like a roller coaster of emotions and recurring belief/disbelief.  You are always looking for someone to turn to and ask "Did that really just happen?  Really?"  Things like the mother that could not calm her absolute bawling first grader who clung to her abaya with no remorse to the point where the mother repeatedly hit her child on the arms - bone on bone.  Disbelief.  Shock.  I had to slowly back away because it is a perfectly acceptable thing here as long as it is Emirati to Emirati.  A Westerner would be fired, jailed, and/or deported.

The boys with the wheeling backpacks (why does this country not seem to have wheeless backpacks?) who zoom through the corridors with a reckless abandon only seen from wild animals in their natural habitats.  Boys who will then wheel the backpacks in dizzying circles and climb aboard to push each other down the hall.  On top of the backpacks.  And the racing, thumping, racing down the stairs with the wheeling backpacks while you say a silent prayer "please don't hit me so I tumble."

Then there is the older sibling who rushes up to you one day after class to inquire about her sister and gives you your first nose kiss.  A high honor reserved for those within their tribe.  I was glowing and grinning from ear to ear from such a strange thing as a nose kiss!  But it really made my day.

And the days where my students are so comfortable with me that they rush me for a classwide hug and cling to me as I try to enter the classroom.  Much like when I was little and stood on my dad's feet as he walked.

Today was a good day so my roller coaster has been climbing.

Part of my commute

The road to work

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...