Saturday, June 11, 2011

We've Moved!

Gosh I don't even know what to write about that...we've moved to Abu Dhabi. I must say, first impressions I don't like it so well. We seem to be out in the middle of nowhere. We've found one gas station and one grocery store in this area, everything else is about 20 minutes away. Nothing is as convenient or handy as it was in Dubai. I love the villa, just don't care for the area. The villa is about 4000 sq ft with 5 ensuite bedrooms, a small maids room and bath, plus a nice laundry area, two half if you're counting, that's 8 toilets total, there are 3 showers and 2 tubs total. There are 2 family rooms, 1 formal living room, 1 formal dining room and a large kitchen with a huge center island. Why is it no matter how large a kitchen there are never enough cabinets? I don't get that. Quite honestly if there were more cabinets here I would likely never find anything. I might need a map now. We have a private garden and pool. This complex is on a golf course, it has a large community pool, sauna and steam rooms, gym with equipment, a small grocery store, a nice cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner courses along with coffee and pastries. There are some meeting rooms in the clubhouse too and all of that is just 4 villas away from me. Very convenient just remember we're in the middle of nowhere! I've hired a maid service for 2 days a week and for the moment have a friends maid with me for a few days. So helpful....the floors and dust here are a constant problem and I'm too old for all of that...or at the very least my body is too old.
The move certainly pointed out a few things to we're too old for this stuff! two it's a lot of work and three I really need to downsize. I've been doing my best to toss with wild abandon. As you all know I quilt, that seems to be the worst of the boxes and moving mess...sigh...I will definitely downsize all of that fabric and those books and supplies. I've begun the process. For now I need to concentrate on packing to come home for the summer...oh much to do.
This is the outside of the villa...a small garden is in front along with a garage, then two kind of narrow walkways to the back, one on either side, then a nice sized pool in the back...large enough to get some good exercise and thus far we've found early mornings and early evenings to be quite enjoyable...sort of like taking a warmish bath...the pool is about 5 strokes long...not bad.
So the maid service I have (never had that before) is a man and his wife...they are so sweet, Sri Lankans....he does gardening and odd jobs and will wash my car too. They have a 4 year old daughter who comes about 1 day a week. She loves to draw, she's at that I've bought her an easel and thus far just the magic pens and a roll of paper...there is also a chalk board and one of those magic wipe boards on the easel...I can't wait til she comes again and plays there. She's the same age as my grand daughter and though it's not exactly the same, it's kind of nice just having a little giggler around now and then. Her parents are just marvelous, fast, efficient...lovely cheerful people. They will look after things while we're gone nice. They were very highly recommended by a colleague of Tom's and they actually live with them, though they needed extra they come here twice a week for about five hours...perfect for me! Also gives me company. Our other friend is in the states for a month so her maid agreed to come and help me for a few days...she's staying with us in the guest room though, those maids rooms are only about the size of a small walk in closet and would only hold a cot...I can't have anyone sleeping in my house like that! She's also lovely...very beautiful Ethiopian girl...she works at a nice steady pace. We have actually been working together to get us settled in here. I briefly showed her how to single crochet this am and told her once we quit for the day, after supper, I will help her begin a project...she's so excited, she's beside herself. How grand is that? Typically at the end of her day she just goes to her room...I don't know if she reads or writes or anything...some of these folks live such a sad sad life...this beautiful child is only 25 years old and has been here as a maid since she was 16, she sends all of her earnings home to support her mother, father and two sisters and a brother. We hear this story all the time...for us as middle class Americans it is just unimaginable how these folks live every single day! My heart cries for them. This weekend we packed her off to visit her cousin here and as we were preparing...I looked at her and just went and hugged her...then hurriedly walked away so she could not see the tears. Just giving her extra work makes a huge difference in her life, also the other maid/gardener/handyman couple...same thing. Most American's have no inkling how truly fortunate they are...these folks are a daily reminder for me and I treat them as I would want to be treated and i work right along with them...until I wear out then I quit and something in them just keeps them going...they are truly amazing.
A couple of books worth reading....The Help by Kathryn Stockett about maids in the deep South during the mid 60's...shame on those senseless folks who employed them, also The Island by Victoria Hislop about the Spinalonga leper colony off the coast of Crete the book goes from modern times back to WWII...amazing what those folks endured.
I have much to do....will post pictures as my progress increases...I'm done with three bedrooms, l/r d/r f/r 1 and all the working on my sewing room. After the curtains are in I'll take some pictures and post them.