Monday, January 31, 2011

Feeding Baby Bear

Leoni has demonstrated what a great big sister she will be with Baby Bear.
She makes sure he is fed.

And that his food is seasoned


Please notice the swim diaper he is wearing, as well.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Off to the Races

We finally made it to the horse races. They are held quite often, and remember we are in "Arabia" so thoroughbred "Arabian horses." The day we happened to go was the Heir Apparent Sword race (or something like that). It was a prestigious race, nonetheless.

The races are completely free to everyone, so there are a lot of workers who come for a little free entertainment. Everyone also receives a coupon booklet when you enter that is for a type of raffle. They don't gamble, so instead, they have a raffle with prizes to fill that anticipation. I think this may be another reason a lot of workers attend, hoping to win big. Being a big race, it was quite full.

So, there are a lot of pictures in this post because I found some things interesting, sorry if you don't.

Foreign media guy filming the race right near us. Check out his very European fashion.

Leoni checking out his fashion choices

And being slightly confused by it

Before the race, the various teams of jockeys (I am guessing they are teams because they all had the same uniforms) met together maybe with their owners?

The horses were brought out and walked by the crowd by these handlers before they were taken down to the starting line

Horses headed out to the starting line far to the right

And they're off

The finish

Talk and congratulations

I am guessing this is the Heir Apparent (Emir's eldest son and next in line). If not, he is some other royal who was there for the presentation of the sword

Waiting to congratulate the winner--and texting

Then a call

Here come the jockeys

The winner and his boss

All the while, armed guards were stationed throughout the crowd

On the way out, we stopped by to see some horses

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Light It Up

Every so often, you see a house covered in lights here in Qatar. It isn't any particular day to you and me, but it looks beautiful. My understanding is that for big milestone events (births, weddings, etc.) families cover their house in lights for the celebration. I keep intending on taking a picture of one of these houses, but I always forget and then they take the lights down. Here is a truck either on the way to set up lights or returning from taking them down. A little different than your few bags of Christmas lights.

Asian Cup 2011

The Asian Cup (soccer for those not in the know) took place in Qatar this year, so we took the opportunity to attend a few games. This was very exciting as a forerunner to the recently announced World Cup 2022 that will take place in Qatar. There was a lot of time and effort put into the Asian Games, but I think they learned there will be much more to prepare for 2022.

Because of Travis' background in Japanese, we chose to attend an earlier game with Japan playing. They played Korea (red) and are pictured below in blue (fans to match). The two crowds were very entertaining with drums and bull horns galore.

You see that though the picture above looks very full, the stadium was much more sparse in other sections (see below). You will also see the line-up of photographers. If you had a large camera, you better be sure you were down in that row wearing a fancy orange vest. Otherwise, you could be questioned and have your camera confiscated. I am not sure if they were concerned about pictures being taken of local women, but we watched this happen to a very innocent seeming Japanese man with a giant lens sitting in front of us.

Leoni got in on the fun as well.


Beating the thunder sticks

We saw the mascots at Souq Waqif during the games. They looked like rats to me, but we later found out they were actually a desert rodent. There were five, all representing different regions of Qatar as well as characteristics of athletes. If I find our program with the info, I'll scan it and add it here.

We attended another game (Saudi vs. Qatar) with our friends the Priedemans. It was a very cold and rainy (uncommon) game, so attendance was pretty low, but Leoni enjoyed it. She mostly enjoyed the mini Reeses cups the Priedemans brought with them.

Travis also attended a semi-final game with the YM between Australia and Uzbekistan.

I love this abayaed woman (below) getting into the spirit of the game.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Belated Christmas Gift

With some of the "green" Christmas gifts we received, we purchased some fun memories of Arabia. They aren't from Qatar (made in Turkey), but they still have the flavor of the region.

A Serving Bowl

Salad/Ice cream bowls (side view)

(top view)

A really great plate w/ Arabic, which Travis got a long explanation of, but I am not sure how much he'll actually remember

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Getting more caught up

Today I posted a LOT of posts through the beginning of December. (OK, so I left out Travis' family reunion in Kanab & Italy). Feel free to browse. If you don't want to see lots of pictures of my kid or have an aversion to unedited photos, don't bother.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Feathered Friend

We headed out to Souq Waqif for the New Year. It is sometimes just fun to walk around and take in the ambiance. While we were there, a young boy with his pet falcon let us take a picture. We was happy to show off this prized pet and probably would have let Leoni hold it on her arm, but we felt she was a little young for that (and skittish about touching animals).