Sunday morning we got up and headed to the airport around 7 am. We arrived in plenty of time to have a coffee. The flight was delayed to Belgrade which made us miss our connecting flight to Abu Dhabi.
We were rerouted thru Frankfurt and then got the call that our first flight would be delayed, meaning we would not make our connection. So try as we may, we could not get anyone to switch our flight to the one going to Rome. In the end, after much conversation and some yelling, we were put up for a night at the Crown Plaza, free dinner and breakfast, and got an upgrade to business class to Abu Dhabi, a 6 hour flight. I’ll take that. However, I did miss a school day, which wasn’t in the plan. I’m sure they were fine without me. But to be honest, I was ready to get home to Stuart and the kids.
We checked into the Crown Plaza, took our bags to our rooms and came down for dinner. It was total crap, but it filled the hump. I then went to my room and took a shower. I got into bed and fell asleep around 10 pm. I woke up just before 4 am to try to explain to my principal why I wouldn’t be at work on Monday. She wasn’t terribly humored, but it was out of my control so I had to just let it go.
I didn’t ever go back to sleep. I finally turned the television on at 6:30 am. I just laid around for an hour or so. I had some coffee and then headed to breakfast at 8 am to meet up with Gina and our new Irish friend, Clodagh, who was in the same boat as us. After breakfast we all went back to our rooms and packed up. We met downstairs at 9:30 to catch the bus to the airport.
Once we were at the airport we checked in and went to the business class lounge. Did I mention because we had all kicked up such a fuss we were upgraded to business class? I thought I might have done so. We had a coffee and waited for our flight.
Once we boarded the plane we were given a beverage and a hot towel. The plane took off and I put my seat back. It’s like sitting in a recliner. I now hate economy class. We had dinner and I watched two movies, very comfortably, might I add. We had a lovely, plush blanket and a pillow that didn’t feel as if it was stuffed with paper. The flight was epic. We landed a bit early and I got a taxi to Rania’s, where I had left my car.
I drove home, unpacked my bag, started a load of laundry (of course), took a shower, set up Elfvis for the following morning, went to the kids’ rooms to hug them, and then went to bed. I thought I would be more exhausted, but I really wasn’t.
I was up and ready for work on Tuesday morning. We had been told the previous day that once students were finished testing, we could dismiss at 11 am for the rest of the term. With so much testing, this only makes sense to me. So once the students were finished testing on Tuesday, they were off to their homes. The teachers scored their exams for the rest of the day. Teachers were not allowed to leave early, but at least students were not in school. After a morning of testing the kids seem to lose control, so it was a wise decision by the powers that be.
After school I finished up my shopping for the Winter Festival to be held at the rugby club on Thursday evening. Jack and Millie had choir practice at school. Their little group will perform at the Winter Festival. I’m sure it will be cute. They are excited about it. Stuart picked them up from rehearsal and I was home shortly before we had to go to rugby training. I unpacked the things I bought and off to the club we went. The kids trained while we sat and talked with other parents. After training, Scott and Clare met us at the club for dinner. We didn’t get the kids home until after 8 pm, but they went to bed rather easily. I followed, you know, after I had a nap on the sofa. Ha!
Wednesday I monitored the grade 5 boys’ math exam. While the students were testing, one of the boys was being exceptionally mouthy. I got down to where we were looking in each other’s eyes. When I told him to stop, he tried to slap me across the face. I was stunned. I reacted by moving back so that he didn’t actually hit me. It was crazy. Needless to say, his English teacher came in after the exam and escorted him down to the social worker to make a call home. It frightened me just a touch. He is a big boy and could probably hurt me.
I left school shortly after testing to go work with some other Heads of Faculty and continue creating assessments for our teachers for Term 2. We are hoping to avoid confusion in Term 2, if that’s possible.
Wednesday evening my friend Lara came over and helped me wrap sweetie bags for the winter festival. She stayed much longer than intended, but we had a couple of laughs and got the Santa gifts all sorted. We made 100 bags and thought that would be plenty. How wrong we were.
Thursday I monitored an English exam, which was much too difficult for second language learners, but we pressed on. I left school to get something to eat and also to buy Millie rugby boots as hers had come apart at practice on Tuesday, and the youth tournament was at the weekend.
After school I went to buy my new iPhone. I had way too much to do, and really should have waited, but I didn’t. I got home and went directly to the club to decorate for the Winter Festival. When we first got there not many people were there. By the time the choir started to sing there must have been 200 kids there, way more than the amount of sweetie bags we had. Oh, what to do.
Millie is next to bow tie guy and behind curly hair guy.
Sean dressed as Santa and came in on a Harley. We had told Jack and Millie that the real Santa had asked Sean to help out. I’m pretty sure this is Jack’s last year of believing. Once Santa arrived, the little helpers starts handing out the bags and then, fortunately, the club house manager had purchased more candy. So Santa’s helpers started just putting candy in plastic cups. We ended up having one plastic cup left over. There were Winter stalls where people sold handmade goods and we even had some crafts for the kids. The evening was phenomenal and was deemed the best Christmas party ever. I felt very proud. We went back to our house for tea before turning in for the night.
Our Al Ain family, including Santa.
The Al Ain rugby tournament started Friday, and because we are both committee members now, we had to be there both days. Friday we volunteered, helping set up and keeping the time for the matches. It was a really long day for us and the kids. Fortunately, Jack was taken away by Scott to hang out with Henry, and Millie went to her friend, Ciera’s house. They love the rugby club, but three days in a row is a bit much for them. It was definitely a busy weekend.
Friday evening, Stuart had a match as well, so we were literally at the club ALL day on Friday. Unfortunately, Stuart’s team didn’t win, but he played his hardest game of rugby and was wiped out. We headed home and knew the following morning we would struggle because of being so tired.
Saturday, 6 am was not my friend. The matches didn’t start until 9 am, but we were at the club to help at 7 am. Jack was on pitch 3 all day and Millie was on pitch 5. Some of their games were at the same time so I stayed with Millie and Stuart stayed with Jack. Millie’s team didn’t do so well, but Jack’s team got to the semi finals of the cup, the highest award. In the end, they lost by one try. Jack was heart broken. He HATES to lose. I totally get it!
Here we are at Millie’s match. I think I was video taping. This picture was taken by the club photographer.
Millie is the one in yellow and black.
This is Augustina and Millie. They hate having their hair brushed, equally!
I had a bit of a run in with one of the parents on Millie’s team. I was standing at the try line and he was sitting, talking to his wife he was facing me but her back was to me. I heard him say, ‘Rugby is not suited for Millie, I think’. And then he kind of put his head in the air while saying, ‘You know, she’s kind of like do to do’. So naturally I walked over to him and said, ‘Who did you say is not suited for rugby?’ And then he said, ‘Millie.’ I said, ‘That’s my daughter and what you just said was rude!’ I was so flabbergasted. I could not believe I stood there and actually heard someone talking about Millie, and his daughter was sitting right beside them. He came over to apologize. He said, ‘Hey, sorry about that, but I just said the same thing about my own daughter.’ I told him that he could say anything he liked about his own daughter but I didn’t appreciate him speaking about my daughter like that. I told him I would never speak ill of his child, especially in public where someone might hear, like the child’s mother. So that was that.
On the way home Stuart dropped Jack and myself off at Abela so I could get Jack’s hair cut. We got home and both kids showered, then we headed to Scott and Clare’s for dinner. We took the dogs because they had been trapped in the house the last two days.
Dinner was lamb stew. It was a bit chilly outside and definitely time for stew. The kids showered again at Scott and Clare’s, then it was home for all of us. And it was bed for all of us as well. What a week!
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