Philadelphia to Doha, Qatar

It will take about 12 hours and we will arrive the next day.

This picture highlights the trip I will take in less than 3 weeks (picture courtesy of Google flights).   I received my flight itinerary and we are actually booked to leave on August 17, not August 19 as originally told. We are taking a straight flight from PHL to Hamad International Airport, Doha.  It will take about 12 hours and we will arrive the next day.  It is a very long flight.

I also received a copy of my visa.  My kids and husbands’ visa has not been approved yet. My husband’s visa may be rejected.  If that happens they will resubmit the paperwork and try again and again.  Worst case scenario, he won’t get it before we leave and will have to go on a visitor’s visa.  After 20-30 days he will have to leave the country and re-enter.  If it’s not approved by the end of year 1, we will not get a flight allowance for him to come back home.  But they will keep trying until it’s approved.  Apparently, they are very hesitant to approve a man’s visa whom is being sponsored by his woman. LOL!  I’m getting very excited.  I’m done shopping and just have to pack, but before that, I’m going to Jamaica with my sisters and nieces next weekend. (picture courtesy of Google flights)

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The Serving Leader

… because if you’re not serving what are you doing?

Two months ago, I attended my son’s new job dedication.  He’s working at a new Chick-Fill-A store not too far from our house.  One of the things said that stood out to me was Chick-Fill-A motto which is To Serve.  It jogged my memory of a book I read when I was working as a Center Director of BSA: The Serving Leader by Ken Jennings.  BSA had sent me thru this training, I can’t remember the name of it, but I remember that book.  There is a bible scripture in Galatians that mentions “serve one another humbly in love.” I explained to my son that life isn’t about how much you do for yourself but rather how much you do for others.

In the 10 years I have had in many different aspects of education, I have had the privilege of serving many families, adults and children.  And now I will have the privilege of serving families in another country.  To serve is truly rewarding even if you can’t see it.  I know that I have touched several people and inspired some.

Last week I received an unexpected call from one of my former students, Jacylah. She was calling to say hi.  She was one of my students for Kindergarten and First Grade.  Now she is going into 4th grade.  Her mother and I had a rocky start but we ended on such good terms by the end of year 2.  I have to admit she was one of my favorites.  I drove to her house and spent some time with them.  Yesterday I took Jacylah swimming with me and to lunch.  We had a good time and great conversation.  Jacylah says she wants to be a doctor.  I told her, she could be whatever she wants to be with hard work, practice and self-confidence. She asked me would this be the last time she would see me, because she didn’t want it to be.  I told her it didn’t have to be.  She touched my heart.  She is the second one of my students (from two years ago) who called me this summer.  My year 2 and year 3 of teaching was my favorite.  I loved that class.  I am going to look deep inside myself to find out what kind of teacher I was those two years, because that is the kind of teacher I want to strive to always be.  The memorable one, who inspires and serves.  The one that builds personal relations with her students that they will never forget, because I will never forget them. The Serving Leader type!

Have you served today?  Leave a comment about how you are leaving your mark on this world because if you are not serving, what are you doing?

 

Blue Monday

We are 29 days away from our tentative move to Qatar, and today I received my last 3 attested documents that I’ve been waiting for.  I am officially done with all the paperwork and while I should be super excited my emotions are all over.

Monday night was very blue.  My little dog, Zoey, was killed when she ran in the street and was hit by a car.  So while I should be celebrating, I can’t because a part of my family is gone and my heart is broken.  My household is quiet and somber.

We had finally found a home for her with friends, but had decided that it would be too painful to give her away and so we were going to keep her.  Unfortunately, that is not to be and it’s very difficult to accept.

We will miss Zoey very much.

New Friends

You never know when you might need someone.

Last week my boys and I hopped on a plane to Raleigh, N.C.  I rented a car and drove to Fayetteville where we met up with Tokitha and Cameron.  Tokitha will be relocating to Qatar too.  We met through a FB group and kind of clicked.  She was kind enough to allow us to stay with them during this short trip. I thought it would be good for the boys to meet so that they would have someone there that they knew.  Since Tokitha and I could relate to each other with this whole move thing, I also thought it would be a good idea for us to meet as well.  It was a nice little getaway.  While there we also stopped at another friends’ house, Vernice.  She and I were at the Qatar interviews together and she also lives in Fayetteville.  She will be teaching in Abu Dhabi.  I hope that meeting new friends will help to make the transition easier.  If you are attempting to relocate, I highly recommend befriending others that are in the same boat.

You never know when you might need someone.  I am looking forward to making new friends.

Freedom

“I’ll tell you what Freedom is to me. No fear.”

Last week I was feeling really apprehensive about going to Qatar.  There were several bombings that were occurring overseas.  There was one in Turkey, Bangladesh, Baghdad and Saudi Arabia.  This was during Ramadan and one of the bombings in Saudi Arabia happened in front of a Mosque.  These left me very confused.  Isn’t this one of the most sacred holidays for Muslims?

But…within the last two days my apprehension turned from going to Qatar to living here in the U.S.A because just yesterday the 508th Black Male was killed by a Police Officer. Aren’t they supposed to serve and protect?  I am so confused.  I am more afraid to stay here, raising two black boys and loving a black man.  I am afraid for their lives and mine.

The other day I watched a documentary on Netflix about Ms. Nina Simone.  One of her quotes stuck with me.  She said, “I’ll tell you what Freedom is to me. No fear.” Will I ever feel freedom?

I embrace this move and I pray for Everyone including Muslims, Police Officers and Terrorist.  I pray for Freedom.