Hello Glam; Bye July

I love to go to parties….especially when they are with dear friends and at the Emirates Palace. We entered on the red carpet last night to the glorious glam evening, under the gilded gold domes.

Entrance into the Moroccan party
Entrance into the Moroccan party

 

From the buffet line, I saw sequins and sparkles light up the room. There were gorgeous children dancing, eating and playing.

children playing

Music videos on big screens showing off the lovely Morocco culture, people and traditions.

All of this on the occasion of the 17th Anniversary of the Enthronement of His Majesty Mohamed VI, King of Morocco. Our generous friends, Julie and Bernie, included us; and we had a ball. We also saw our friends Christine and Stephen there.

IMG_6733 IMG_6739 IMG_6771 IMG_6774 group shot

These are the extraordinary joys of my expat life. What will August bring???

Aloha,

Denise

Framily (friends you choose as family) while you’re an expat

Sharing meals, parties, stories, and beach days are the best part of expat life. Of course there are struggles, heartaches and unknowns… That’s when it is great to surround yourself with framily. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: friends are the family you choose when you’re away from traditional family.

I have chosen some amazing friends to share my expat life with, from the UK, Australia, Canada, Lebanon, Africa and the USA. I am so fortunate to share special moments with them; and I am fully present in all of those moments. Here’s a snapshot from a beach evening/anniversary celebration from last night… I hope you can see the joy in our faces..my heart is full.

Aloha,

Denise

My Texas girlfriends at Yas Kite Beach, Abu Dhabi
My Texas framily girlfriends at Yas Kite Beach, Abu Dhabi

Solar Impulse 2 lands in Abu Dhabi

I heard about this adventure when it began and have followed it, with great interest, to its completion yesterday. I also created a miracle around it….I wanted to see the plane.

I declared that I wanted to see it (in person) aloud = public authenticity.

I made a promise I didn’t know how I’d keep.

I remained in integrity.

That is how I was able to talk Mark into going with me to the airport where it landed; ask our taxi driver, Mr. Khan to wait for us (I did invite him to come in to see the plane and after declining, he came in and was so happy); speak to a police man at the hangar where the plane was (in my limited Arabic); tell him I wanted, only to see it and snap a few photos of it, and then I’d be on my way. He said, “okay.” Then I asked him to escort us in. He had another Arabic exchange with three more guards (my heart stopped for a moment) and we went in. The plane is gorgeous, streamlined and HUGE.

Tip for the day: be unreasonable (don’t let reasons floating around in your head stop you)!! Thank you, Annette Gilbert and Mark Schnitzer!

Aloha,

Denise

Solar Impulse 2 lands in Abu Dhabi
Solar Impulse 2 lands in Abu Dhabi ~ I took this photo!

New friends in, established friends out…

As is the life of an expat, I said, “Hi! Nice to meet you!!” yesterday to new friends Sulaiman and Ghanwa.  They moved here in May and are learning the proverbial ropes of our adopted home. We shared, over coffee, our experiences, our favorite places and lessons we’ve learned. They shared too.

Then, later in the day, we met established friends, Leon, Christine and Steven, expats who have been here six and two years respectively, for a movie and dinner. Our conversations are different: current events, history of the world, repatriation, etc.

Tip for the day: When you’re in a new place, greet the day with smiles, wonder and grace. Always surround yourself with people who have walked in your shoes and offer comfort and ease.

Does this resonate with you?

Aloha,

Denise

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 12.12.49 PM

Just ask!

When you can’t reach something in the cupboard, just ask!

When you need directions, just ask!

When you need help, ASK!! There’s no shame in asking for help!!! I need to remind myself of that, for sure. I saw Brené Brown’s presentation on Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions ( http://www.supersoul.tv/supersoul-sessions/the-anatomy-of-trust# ) and it was brilliant!

When I need to chat, vent, laugh or whine, I call on my friends. Thank you, Therese!

Remember, we are here for each other!

Aloha,

Denise

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 8.09.17 PM

Share and Be Happy

I was on the bus last night, heading home, when a lady in a medical outfit boarded and sat next to me. I offered her to put her shopping bag behind us in the bag-rack. She declined, showing me her paper bag had a broken handle. I reached around to the bag-rack and took groceries out of one of my bags and put her broken bag into my now-empty-and-available plastic grocery bag. She was grateful….and became more chatty.

As our bus smoothly continued on, she and I chatted about her life: she’s from the Philippines; she’s a re-hab professional; she lived/worked in Ireland for 14 years; and now she’s living/working in Abu Dhabi. She exited the bus, smiling at me and that was it.

I chose to share and that made me happy. How have you shared today?

Aloha,

Denise

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 8.25.37 AM

Compare and Contrast

All the things in life yield choices. Chocolate and vanilla. Hot and cold. East and West. City and suburbs.

I’ve lived in the city and in the suburbs. I like them both. Until recently we lived  in, what I call now the suburbs, Khalidiya. We were in a 12-story building overlooking the Corniche and the Arabian Gulf breakwater. Now, we are in a 20-story building in the center of the city, overlooking more buildings. I like both environments: lively, delicious and convenient.

The suburbs have more trees and wider streets; while the city offers many more walking neighbors and cultural sites. Both have easy access to great restaurants, malls, petrol stations, small shops and general resources. I must admit, I love both lifestyles.

What about you? Where do you live? How do you like it?

Aloha,

Denise

we create the reatlity in whch we live

Breath ~ Engage ~ Love

Pay attention to where you place your energy. Prana (breath) is life-force. Breathe in and out deeply and slowly. Engage your lungs by taking a deep, slow breath in, hold at the top of the breath, then exhale slowly. Repeat a few times. Love your self. Fill you up with love and life.

Aloha,

Denise

IMG_7072