I would love to be able to tell you all that my life is glamorous and filled with new adventures. However, that would be a lie. Now that our new move has happened and we are beginning to settle in, our life has become quite mundane. Although I love our new life, the UAE lacks a certain mystery I have experienced in other foriegn countries. Perhaps this is due to the westernization of the UAE. Part of me loves the fact that I can visit a Baskin Robbins or a Starbucks whenever I desire, while another part of me wishes we were deeply immersed in a new culture. However, the avaliablility of so many of the modern conveniences of home have helped to make the transition much smoother.
I had reported in a previous post that we found the perfect villa. Since then I decided that that particular villa would not work for us. Since making that decision we had been on a frantic hunt for the perfect place. During that process our highly recommended realtor became quite frustrated with our needs and decided she could not help us anymore. We asked around, drove around looking for signs, and searched the web and finally our prayers were answered. Some new friends from church happened to send us an email with the name of a realtor for a villa that was way out of our price range. When I actually contacted the realtor he had many availabilities and led us to the perfect place. Our new place is 3 bd, 4 bath plus a maids room (not that we intend on getting a maid but all the places have one), has a large garden (not yet landscaped), and is situated in a complex which includes a fitness center, pool, cafe, and many parks. It also allows for easy freeway access for Pete's commute to work.
Our realtor has so graciously negotiated the installation of all the light fixtures before we move in. It is not uncommon to move into a place and be expected to buy all your own appliances (stove, refrigerator, dishwasher), complete any landscaping yourself, and install all the light fixtures. I don't think they understand the term rent (we don't own it, you do!). It is also expected that the tennant pay 1 year of rent at the time of the lease signing. I can imagine that this is not an easy task for the common person. On average monthly rent ranges from $7,000-$10,000 US dollars/month in Abu Dhabi. Anyways, I will stop complaining and move on to bigger and better things.
We have been blessed with the best church community here. Although we have only been to church 3 Fridays so far, we have met so many wonderful people. The other day Pete watched Izzy while I went to lunch with a few of the women from church. We had a great time of fellowship and it was so nice to get a break. It was also great for Pete and Izzy to have some father-daughter time. He took her to the park and I think they even found a few geocaches.
I have also started going to the mommy's group. I have met so many wonderful women who allow me to pick their brains for information about life in Abu Dhabi. God has been so good to us during our transition.
We have also welcomed a new addition to our family. Lucy was abandoned in front of our current residence. Our roomate rescued her and the rest is history. I have been training her with some help from our roomate who is a well known dog trainer in Abu Dhabi. Lucy is a good girl but she's still a puppy and is very playful.
Well, I hope this finds you all well. Keep in touch. XOXOXOXO