Sunday, 30 November 2014

A Nordic Christmas on the beach

Today we went to Dubai and the Jebel Ali Golf Resort together with Pia and her girls, for the inaugural Nordic Christmas Event, organized by the Nordic Business Councils here in the UAE. Swedes, Danes, Norwegians and Fins were invited, and more than 600 people had signed up to take part.

It was held on the beach, in a beautiful setting. We arrived pretty early, so the beach was still empty and the Christmas trees still bare. As the day went on, all the kids could craft their own Christmas decorations, and some of them ended up on these trees:

There was entertainment on the stage, and Lucas went swimming for a little bit:

Pia and I enjoyed the first 'glögg' of the season!

Face painting:

Of course there was a camel!

And look - guess who arrived in a sea plane!

Can you see him, Santa, waving out the window? :)

The huge crowd waiting for Santa:

Then it was time to dance around the Christmas trees! The biggest 'ringdans' I've seen in a while!

The afternoon continued with games. The kids competed nation against nation in a tug-of-war. Unfortunately Sweden lost out (narrowly!) to Finland in the final, even though Lucas gave his all..!

As we left, the children received big bags of gifts. Remote controlled toys, drinks, candy and sponsored souvenirs from Emirates. Great loot, thank you!

Before heading home we took a little detour into the Green Village, to see do a quick catch-up and see the new house of our Brunei friends the Wards. Alex and Linnea used to be in the same class in Brunei:

We had a lovely Thai take-away together before we had to pack up and go back home as it had been a long and busy weekend, and today was a school night after all.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Our first Thanksgiving Dinner

Yesterday we were invited to our American neighbours for our very first Thanksgiving dinner. I was rather excited, I like experiencing new things! Although I wasn't quite prepared for Chad's deep fried turkey..!

After the initial preparations, in it went... and out it came! Looking tasty!

There was an immense amount of food! We did our best and filled our plates, some even twice - but there was no way we were going to even get close to finish all that food...

So, so yummy!
Kristen had told us to bring our "fat pants", lucky that's all we have at the moment! :D

Lucas found some friends, big and small:

Nathan enjoyed some pecan pie for dessert, together with another of Chad's specialities - bacon ice cream..! Ehm, I wasn't too sure but he assured me it was delicious.

What a great afternoon/night!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Harlequins team photos 2014

The kids had their team photo shoots at rugby last night.
The U11s, Lucas in the middle in the middle row:

The U12 Girls, Linnea in the middle row, furthest to the left:

Thursday, 27 November 2014

RIS National Day Celebrations

The UAE National Day is next week on 2nd December, and we are off school for an extra three days to celebrate it. They certainly don't do anything by half here, there are flags, banners and other decorations EVERYWHERE! People hang huge flags across their villas, decorate the compounds, their houses, their cars etc. Everything is red, green and black - and I love it! The patriotism is so strong here, very joyful and very inspiring.

Today they had National Day celebrations at school, and all the kids were asked to wear the UAE colours to school today for this special day. We managed to find some green, white and black clothes in their wardrobes - and added some accessories that I had bought especially:

They had a special assembly at school this morning, with speeches, traditional dances, Quran reading and much more. Us parents were invited to join the children the last hour of the school day and there was so much going on across the school campus! Horse and camel riding, henna painting, a military band, face painting, sand art, falcons, other sales and crafts and an exhibition of the history of the UAE. Amazing effort!

As we live in the desert, we don't just do pony rides obviously... This camel was very popular during lunch time!

As I said, they don't do anything by half..:

 Lucas and his friend had got some odd-looking "tattoos":

As we left school, so did the camel!