Thursday, 28 February 2019

Big news!

I recently reworked my CV for the very first time in a long time, as there was a position opening in my field which I was really keen on going for. I didn't expect even to get called for an interview, as I didn't fulfill all of the requirements, but I thought I'll give it a shot anyway.

I was so excited to get called, this is me on the way to the interview, and you can probably guess where this position was at..?

But I must have had something they liked, because they wanted me on their course!

So the Louvre Abu Dhabi have both a few in-house guides, and also a group of guides from a separate company working there. Now they wanted to further their pool of guides by educating a few external guides. There was eight of us accepted on this course.
For the week long course, we got to visit the all the galleries with the in-house guides, we were educated by the curators, watched movies and of course we were handed an immense amount of material to self-study.

Here is our group, from Russia, Turkey, France, UAE, Sweden, Estonia and Japan:

After the course itself, it was time to study and study, and practice and practice, over and over. To be honest, I didn't really do much else than study, read about art and history, and study some more, for the following weeks. One of the reasons the blog has been rather quiet during most of January and February...

As the narrative of the museum covers the history of humanity from 10,000 BCE until modern times, there is quite a lot of information to absorb, and the more you study, the more you realize how much more there is to know..!
Actually, you will never be DONE of course, learning is an ongoing process, but one that I am looking forward to. My interest in the arts have certainly been awoken, and I have already bought my weight in art books from the museum shop, ha ha!

One day I met up with my friend and colleague Aleks, and we practiced bits of the practical tour on each other:

So a few weeks back I did my practical exam, one morning before the museum opened. It was just me and the examiner, walking through the empty galleries.

We have also done two written exams, one essay type and one time-limited one with over 120 questions about the museum and the galleries. The last few weeks waiting for the results have been sooo long, but today the email came and - I passed!

I am now a licensed Louvre Abu Dhabi Tour Guide! Wii-hoo! Yay me!

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Annika & Ulle

This week we are having visitors again, an old Skara-friend of mine, Annika, and her best friend Ulle. The eagle-eyed might have spotted them in some of my photos from International Day.

It's the first time for both girls in this part of the world, so they are really eager on exploring and experiencing every part of UAE living. During their first days here they have already done gold coffee at Emirates Palace with a bit of city sightseeing, International Day at school, dinner at Amerigos, some shopping at Yas Mall, spent a day in Dubai, been to the beach and done a Ladies Night - and they are only half-way through their holiday!

International Day 2019

This weekend it was time for, what I think is, the highlight of the school year - International Day. As per usual it was scheduled for a Saturday, so that parents would be off and able to take part.

This was our 13th International Day, setting up the Swedish stall is routine by now.
Once again we had been sponsored by IKEA - thank you so much - and served up gingerbread cookies, lingonberry drink and oatmeal thins.

There are over 80 nationalities at our school, and this year 54 of them had decided to set up stalls.
I got the feeling some countries had really raised the bar this year, check out this for example - Italy had brought a big gondola!

And at the UK stand, you could take photos in front of a green screen to make it look like you were in London!

Germany had a "beer garden", without beer of course, but with bratwürst:


More countries seemed to offer free food and snacks this year, New Zealand for example had free baked goods on offer - very popular!


Turkey had brought a traditional ice cream stand:



The little performers from India, amazingly beautiful!

Linnea ended up on stage during the performances, singing the NZ national anthem. Or pretending to sing, she actually doesn't know it (it's in Maori) all that well. But good on her for trying!


South Africa:

France had a whole little café set up:

Canada had a hockey goalie in place:

And look at this - a crochet tapestry display of the national flags of the Raha students this school year. A creation made in the spirit of the 'Year of Tolerance'.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

International Tourist Guide Day 2019

All Tour Guides of Abu Dhabi were invited on Thursday to celebrate the global International Tourist Guide Day together, at an event organised by the Department of Culture & Tourism. I was lucky to be able to participate, it was a lovely morning at the Manarat Al Saadyiat.

We got goodie bags, and breakfast on arrival:

Then there was a few speeches and also a special honouring of the 28 guides who have been licensed Abu Dhabi Tour Guides for more than 10 years. They got nice glassed trophies:

It was great to get to celebrate "our day" together with so many of my colleagues! In a way our job is quite a lonely job, we rarely see each other, so this was a nice opportunity for us to get to spend some downtime together. Here are Anne and Aleks, two of my colleagues:

There was a lot of group photos, I'm in this one, top right in black sunnies:

One of the most amazing things I took away from today though, was meeting Mohammed Mandi. He is the famous Emirati calligraphy artist who has decorated the Qibla wall in the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque with the 99 names of Allah.
I was star struck!

He did individual souvenirs for us all, our name written in calligraphy. So special!

We also got to enjoy a light lunch - what a great morning, I hope DCT will celebrate "our day" every year from now on! Happy International Tourist Guide Day to us!