Thursday, October 17, 2013

Katara Eid Celebration

We headed over to Katara for their Eid celebration, which included a presentation of Alibaba and the 40 Thieves with giant puppets (more here).  We left before the fireworks since our kids find them far too loud.  Instead we headed to the gelato shop to cool off from the heat.

The Arab man & horse puppets in the background

Almost full moon

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

At the Beach

Since it was the Eid holiday, we headed out for a day at Dukhan Beach with several members of our ward.  We had a later start than everyone else, and I didn't take pictures like I planned, but we enjoyed the breeze and fresh sea air.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Another Year Older and Wiser, Too

We celebrated Travis' birthday, and this year, he actually got his cake ON his birthday, probably because I had such willing helpers.

Dinner was french toast, as requested

Finished off with cupcakes

...and a singing telegram?

Monday, October 7, 2013

At The Ballet

I braved an outing with all three kids alone to the ballet.  I thought it was crazy myself, but Leoni really wanted to go.  Katara had a Russian ballet school performing a special version of the Nutcracker for children, which was just over an hour long.  It is traditionally Christmas-y, but not being a Christmas celebrating culture, October seemed right I suppose.  I didn't know what I would do if we had a meltdown, crying, etc. because my kids are too young to leave alone while I take another out.  I was surprised at how well they did, especially when there were 15+ kids running up and down the aisles right next to us.

Before the performance

Treats afterward

We were also part of it

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Muddy Moment

On a very busy Thursday, where we were going from one thing to another, I was grateful for a small reminder to let go and have fun even if it isn't the most convenient.

The moment Mom walked into the fun

Not sure how to react and a little confused as to why Mom is shooting pictures

Pure joy...

...and elation

I wasn't thrilled that the afternoon baths in preparation for church the next day were null and void, nor did I love that the mud stained Leoni's clothes (including brand new shorts), but at least they will have a memory that their mom did allow them to just be kids, at least I hope they remember it.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Under the Big Top

It was no Ringling Brothers, but we went with some friends to the circus here in Doha.  Even with the A/C pumping, it was pretty sweltering inside, but it was fun to do something different.  The kids were enthralled by the acrobats, feats of strength and anything involving fire.

A little acrobatic demonstration during intermission

The littlest tightrope walker

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Live Here

I have been thinking a lot lately about the fact that I LIVE in Qatar.  When we moved here in 2009, most of our friends and family had never heard of Qatar let alone knew where it was.  When we arrived, we heard about how much Qatar had grown in the preceding few years.  That growth has increased even more, and four years later, the population has nearly doubled.  It seems like so many more people know someone who lives in Qatar, and this small little country has been brought into international news several times recently due to the World Cup 2022 announcement to the political involvement in the Middle East.  I have learned more about Islam than I knew previously, and I have made friends from all over the world.  I have a greater appreciation for my own life and the blessings that I have had.  Here are a few pictures of my city, Doha, Qatar.

A view of the Doha skyline & dhows

Doha at night

Mohammad Bin Abdulwahab Mosque (the State Mosque) at night
see a video of the inside here

A view at night from above

Camel Crossing

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Katara Eid Festivities

We headed out to Katara for the last day of Eid festivities.  They were holding a special water, laser, firework show.  Our kids were not too thrilled with the firework show although we made sure not to position ourselves by the speakers this year.  The gelato, on the other hand, was a hit, which was no surprise but welcome since there was actually indoor seating,

Part of the amphitheater

The Golden Mosque

Eating hot dogs

Checking out Ramadan/Eid lights

Saturday, August 10, 2013


Just a reminder - parks are not for biking, playing, walking your dog, or having a cookout.  This has been a public service announcement from your Doha Park & Recreation Department.

Really, this is a sign found in most parks here.  Don't worry, however, they sell ice cream and hamburgers in many of the parks so you won't starve.  You just can't exercise off the calories.

Public Phone Booth

I am not even sure that phone booths exist in the US anymore.  Most of the phone booths I knew of were being removed a few years ago.  It is the same here, but we found this one in the park, and it actually works.  We had to take pictures to show the kids one day that they saw some of the last remaining examples of this extinct object.

Heritage Village Eid Festivities

We headed to Heritage Village, which is based on a traditional Qatari village.  It was built in 2001 and is only open for holidays and festivals, and we have never managed to visit it.  We went for their Eid festivities.  We took a picnic to the neighboring park, and we were quickly drenched in summer sweat.  

The kids were more impressed with the swings and sand than the people dressed up as Popeye characters dancing on the stage of the heavily air conditioned tent.  There were also kids performing traditional dances, but we didn't watch for long.

From the rotunda on the little lake where we ate

In front of the dhow model carver

Other traditional handicrafts

Enjoying  the swings

A dhow

Along a "street" in the village

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Cannon

“The method of firing the cannon was to announce it was iftar time, because at that time there were no watches on hands and clocks in houses,” said Dr. Mohamad Ouedi, professor of Modern Arab History at the Institute of Diplomatic Studies in Saudi Arabia. “Also, modern technology, such as devices that amplify sound, did not exist at the time.”(see full article)

In many areas of the Arab World, including Doha, this tradition continues, so we went to participate.  We arrived about 20 minutes before sunset.  There was one family there, but many others arrived very quickly, and within 10 minutes, quite a crowd had gathered.  There was a group of military there in charge of the event.  They were passing out candy to all the children.  It was gummy candy, which Burke thought was vitamins, or he thinks vitamins are candy.  Hmmm... Travis was interviewed by a French journalist, who asked why we were there.  As he stated, we want to expose our children to the culture we are living in so that they can be aware and appreciate others.

The cannon

Uncooperative attempts at a picture

We were the mean parents who didn't let our kids climb onto the cannon.

But we did let them play in the dirt.

Loading the cannon

There was a gun fire first to signal for the cannon to fire.  I found this picture from the Gulf Times showing the firing of both.

I was glad I had the kids plug their ears.  I didn't because I was taking pictures, and my ears were ringing for a few seconds following.

This was actually the first picture Travis took.  The lens fogged up due to 75%+ humidity.