Thursday, December 30, 2010

Last Day of the Semester

Most students know that the last day of classes don't usually have big assignments, so they don't bother coming to classes. Since Travis has to still go to class to teach, he figures they should have to come to class, so he offers and incentive. If they come, they get to meet his kids. Not a bad deal, and those who show up are glad they did. Here is Leoni seeing how she likes being a university student.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

On display

So, the furniture that was provided in our villa has lots of room for displaying things. Unfortunately, we don't have a lot of display items and could use more "out of sight" storage. Some things we have, though cute, aren't exactly display material...or are they?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

National Day

December 18th is Qatar National Day. It is one of the biggest celebrations in the country. Yes, the day (or an observed day) is given off work and school. There are festivities all over Doha with Camel Dressage, poetry reading, and other events. The big parade the morning of the 18th is a huge draw, so we decided to brave the masses and participate this year. Here is a little of what we saw.

Dhows (fishing boats) sailing in the harbor

It seemed that every branch of the military and public service was represented in the parade. Most took place on the street, but our pictures are from further back, so it is harder to make out the tanks, horses, camels, filing down the street. There was plenty to see closer to us in the harbor and the air.

Military helicopters

Qatar Airways sent a huge jet to fly by

You may wonder how we traveled to the festivities. Well, we went by car and then took a bus from a designated parking area to the parade route. On the way home, we enjoyed the views of other transportation.

Cars with elements of the Qatar flag

Shrink wrapped in scenes that include images of the emir and heir apparent

If you forgot to put a flag on your car, they were available everywhere from street "vendors"

And, no, one flag is not enough

Nor is one sticker

And, if you car isn't normally white, like so many, but you want to do the Qatar flag thing, just spray it white

Big flags get more attention

Who needs seatbelts, besides, they don't put them on the roof

Just to be sure your flag can be seen, stand on the roof and wave it

It was a warm beautiful day, and everyone seemed to be in good, patriotic spirits. We had fun watching all the locals and expats celebrating and having a great time together. Some things I probably would not do myself (standing on my car waving a flag), but it reminds me a lot of the 4th of July. Noisemakers/firecrackers were heard throughout the day and night, and there was a huge firework show in the harbor that night as well. I hope we continue to take part in this tradition while we are here in Qatar.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The "Singing" Sand Dunes

We were able to go with a group of "friends" to the Singing Sand Dunes for a Christmas celebration. Although hardly anyone I have met claims to have actually heard the sand dunes sing, they were in full force that night...aided by the ward choir.

Everyone had fun hiking to the top of the dunes

Football & sliding down the face of the dune were favorite activities

Dad & Leoni watching the sunset

Leoni LOVING sliding down the dune
(If there had been more light, I would have had more pictures. It was dark at this point, but I was able to catch this one with the flash)

Leoni enjoying time with Dad & her friend "Boom"


Friday, December 10, 2010


Two great families we are friends with are moving away from Doha. There was a going away open house that we attended, although Travis wanted to boycott. He ended up going, but he feels like not enough was done to try to stop these moves. Even though everyone (who we got pictures of) is smiling, we are sad to see them go. Obviously, from the smile, Leoni has no clue that we won't be seeing them every week.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Out Walking In The 'Hood

Our exciting days normally include at least one walk around our compound (neighborhood), at least when I can get Leoni to put on her clothes to go outside. There is no play area for children, so we do exciting things like look for stray cats and walk up and down the ramp our neighbor has for their car to pull up onto the area next to their house.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Doha Book Fair

There are often exhibitions that come to Doha that we decide we want to check out. There was a Book Fair with international publishers, so we went over one morning. There were hundreds of school groups there, but there were also lots of books. Most books were in English or Arabic, but if you have children needing English books over here (or games, toys, etc.) they were definitely set up for that. We just looked around, and Leoni was admired by many of the school age girls. It was also right before the World Cup announcement, so there were these girls dressed up and being filmed by the news. Their signs say 2022 Qatar (in Arabic). And, you can't tell, but the girl second from the right is in a dress that is a burgundy and white Qatar flag inspired waterfall of ruffles.