Authentication Complete

Check it out–my documents arrived from ProEx!  This is a good day!

I’ve scanned copies of each sheet, including the stamps from the UAE embassy, and e-mailed them to Teach Away. Furnished with these documents, Teach Away will now work with ADEC to get visas and such underway.

For the time being, these documents are safely in an envelope on my office shelf.  When I leave, I’ll take the authenticated documents as well as originals.

This hurdle jumped, we can now return to waiting for more information on departure dates, etc., etc.

Firsts and Lasts. Installment 1.

I’ve had some firsts and lasts lately.  Worth recording?  Possibly.

I packed our first 3 boxes.  Books.  There are going to be at least 3 more boxes of books, I suspect.

Went to see an optometrist for the first time in the USA.

Check out my new glasses: 

Had my last dental cleaning at Dallas Dental today.  For the first time in my whole life there were no new cavities.  Also, I had to say my first good-byes related to this Great Move.

Friends

I posted about things I’ll miss a little while back, and you should know I was largely joking. It’s true that I’ll miss hopping on my bike and going for a spin, but really and truly, all the things I’ll be leaving behind are just, well, things. Except for friends. I’ll definitely miss my friends. Life is all about relationships, after all. A good relationship can make even the most difficult situation easier to deal with.

Snakes!

This afternoon finds me doing a bit of research on wildlife in the Gulf region.  It’s always a good idea to have some familiarity with the critters where you live (or are going to live soon), after all.  I went to this site, The Environmental Atlas of Abu Dhabi, to learn what I could. Particularly, I wanted to learn about the region’s poisonous/venomous snakes.  I’m not afraid of snakes, but I want to be well-informed about any dangerous ones.

As it turns out, the Persian Gulf, like the east coast of Africa, has several sea snakes which are very poisonous.  Here’s an illustration of one, the beaked sea snake, from Wikipedia:

These suckers are a lot like eels, but they have scales.  While sea snakes are highly venomous, they are also are not aggressive.  In fact, I read about one species which often gets into fisherman’s nets and when the fishermen pull the nets from the sea, they untangle the snakes from the nets and toss them back into the water with, as the site said, impunity.  So that’s nice to know.

Another venomous snake that lives in the Gulf area is the Sind Saw-scaled Viper, which has a broad, arrow-shaped head and a thick body.  There is a forum called Venomdoc, where I found this image, taken in Sharjah, of a Sind Saw-scaled Viper: As you can see, this guy is pretty distinctive, and while he’s relatively small compared to some big snakes out there (around 3 feet), he’s aggressive and dangerous.

Finally, I found a nifty PDF of an old Air Force guide to poisonous snakes in Europe, Africa, and the near east here: http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/727709.pdf.  The guide takes a while establishing that, with a few basic precautions, the chances of getting bitten are very low, and chances of death from a bite are extremely low.

I learned something.

Mindset Change

We went to Columbus yesterday, because I was sick of Cuthbert.  Groceries, Vitamin Shoppe, Thai food, and shopping were on our list.

I walked into maurices (my ultimate shopping destination), picked up several cute shirts/pants and… hung them back.  You see, while I can totally rock this shirt Image in Georgia, it will be kind of a faux pas in UAE.

So, I continued the search, chanting “not sleeveless, not high above the knee” , and found some really cute pieces. I wish I could afford them all 🙂

It is interesting, I think, how the mind, the habits, the everything, have to readjust.

Shopping for a swimsuit will be a little more trying, though, I imagine.

Playing the Waiting Game

All my documents are still in DC with ProEx. I’m at a virtual standstill with everything now. There is one important thing I’ve been able to take care of, though, in the interim. I went to the Board of Education yesterday and requested the confirmation of employment letter that ADEC will need when I arrive in the Emirates. Now it’s back to waiting.