Saturday, January 24, 2009

Burning Man....Bangladeshi Style

I have gotten to know 2 bangladeshis who work at the pool. Its a country I knew nothing about except that its to close to India and seems to have lots of floods. I have a had a great time getting to know these 2 guys, Ali & Afsar. They constantly crack me up with what they say.
Because of the big change in US politics this week, they have been very excited about Mr. Obama. The day after he took over, Afsar kept saying "today, Mr. Obama work and Mr. Bush sleep". Ali thoughts on it were "good job mr. obama, happy day for world".

Anyways, this bit of information is out of the Burning Man newsletter but in honor of my 2 crazy broken English Bangladeshis I would put it out here.

About Bangladesh--The Bangladesh Festival begins on January 29th and lasts one month. The theme is freedom and features a conference on Nelson Mandela and Noam Chomsky. This is an important event, as Bangladesh has suffered enormous repression in recent years and the EXPO is really oriented towards social commitments, peace, and political harmony in the world. Bangladesh is about 95 percent Moslem and used to be known as East Pakistan. Freedom of expression will be an important part of the expo and Burning Man certainly represents a unique opportunity to demonstrate that. Bangladesh is kind of out of the way. There's very little tourism and travel there is not so easy, but I invite people to come and see it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

a bit more Cayman

the closet was pretending to be the fireplace so we had a place to hang up the stockings.

Southern Stingrays

Seven Mile pretty!!!

This is Rum Point and where we spent Christmas Day

Greg representing Qatar!

dad & greg fish

dont let the snorkel vest fool you, mom was out there kissing the stingrays!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Scuba, Sliding and Skiing in a Snow Globe!

Just returned from a fun filled vacation where I got to scuba dive, play on the water slides and snow ski! All 3 of my very favorite things.

Spent the first half with the family in the Cayman Islands. We swam, snorkeled, played with the sting rays, scuba dived, ate and drank well and really just had a great time. Christmas Day on Grand Cayman

great to dive with my brother!
The diving in the Caymans is nice...very healthy coral, great conservation laws, mellow and easy. No insane currents, great visibility...made it hard to get lost underwater, no hungry tiger sharks....seriously easy. Not once did I get back on the boat just thankful to be back on the boat and also that the boat was there. I guess it takes some crazy and super difficult dives to appreciate the easyness of diving in the Caymans.

After a great time in the Caymans I came back to the middle east. I spent 4 fun filled days exploring Dubai.

This is the Wild Wadi Waterpark which was really really fun! They have this slide that connects 11 slides together, so you are sliding for a really long time.
In the back ground is the Burj Arab which is the worlds only 7 star hotel. Dubai seems to have some sort of world title on just about everything.

Wild Wadi has 2 of these flowriders, so you can practice catching waves.

Dubai has some insane shopping malls, in the "Dubai Mall" there was a very HUGE aquarium that had everything I had just seen diving in the Caymans and more.

Ski Dubai!!!
Why not go snow skiing while in Dubai. This was really amazing, the "mountain" is in the shopping mall and very much like skiing in a snow globe.
You seriously just cut through the food court and you are at the ski area. I had seen it on TV so thought I would just check it out, but once I got there I knew I had to try it out first hand. Then I thought I would do 1 run....well 2 hours later I was racing up and down the hill as fast as I could to get in as many runs on my lift ticket as possible.

After you get your lift ticket, you move to the next line and they give you your ski suit which is pants, jacket, socks and gloves. Then you stand in the next line for boots and skis, they set your bindings while you stand there and then you are out the door. You ride an escalator with your gear to the entrance and collect your poles. Then you leave the warm desert air for a cold mountain slope.
My favorite was seeing the local Arabs skiing in their long gowns with a parka over them. pictures of that.
The mountain had 2 quad chairs, a poma lift, rope toe, inner tube hill and a snowboard park. You could get off at mid mountain or go up to the top for the "steeps". Good times!!!

I am back in Doha now and think the next adventure will be a safari in Uganda in March....stay tuned.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

little local

This little guy was all business!

He was all dressed up and on the phone. I think he was about 3.