Saturday, 20 April 2019

Once on this island once under the dome

Thursday was a Louvre Abu Dhabi-day for more than one person in our family. In the afternoon I returned to the museum to enjoy Lucas and his cast mates performing their 'Once on this island'-musical, as a one-off under the dome.

The RIS drama group had been invited to the LAD to participate in their 'Open Stage' event, and I must say I actually think this performance was even better here than at school, it really suited these surroundings.

It was beautiful with the reflections of the 'Rain of Light' on the buildings, and the singing echoing under the dome.

Even though it's been a few months since they last set up the show, they delivered a stellar performance - well done all!

Of course we also did a very quick walk-around in the galleries. Lucas wanted to see if there was anything new since last time, and admire one of his favourites:

A special day

Thursday was a pretty special day for me, a day I had prepared for for what feels like forever - my very first guided tour inside the Louvre Abu Dhabi!

Us Abu Dhabi Tour Guides have of course been bringing guests to the Louvre Abu Dhabi ever since it opened November 2017, but have not been allowed to do any guiding inside the museum. The LAD have their own mediators, curators and guides who take visitors around inside.
In January they opened up a course for External Guides, and we were eight that got accepted, did the course and eventually passed our exams to become licensed guides of the LAD. Really exciting!

This spring I have built up a rather impressive library of different art, architecture and history books, all in preparation for my tours at the LAD. The studying never really ends, I keep reading and learning, and extending my knowledge - and I love every minute of it!

I'm very much a "just-get-on-with-it" kind of person, and learning by doing certainly is my thing. So with a month's lead time, I booked my first tour! Then it was time to intensify my preparations: I spent endless hours at the museum walking through the galleries talking to myself, I prepared little flashcards with supporting notes just in case, and I practised on friends. My very first tour was going to be in Swedish, which in itself was a bit of a challenge since I'm learning all the lingo in English.

Thursday morning I was really, really nervous, but jumping in the deep end is really the only way to go for me, so off we went - and I think it actually went really well!

I stopped in every chapter of the museum chosing some lovely pieces to present. I stuck to the narrative and transmit the message of the museum without needing to use my flashcards; and I only went over the planned time with a few minutes!

I got really lovely feedback, and even though I felt completely deflated afterward (huge emotional release after all that nervous tension), I was also on such a high the whole afternoon after!
Now I want to do it again and again and again, preferably every day..! I loved it!

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Lucas confirmation

Today it was time to celebrate Lucas confirmation at the Norwegian Seamen's Center/The Scandinavian Church in Dubai.

Quite a ceremonious day, and we had prepared accordingly: we had got Lucas a whole new outfit in NZ - suit, tie, shirt, belt and nice shoes! For a special day, you need special clothes.

The confirmation preparation has been ongoing this whole school year, although this time the church tried something different - instead of meeting so many times at church, the candidates have been doing self-studies over 10 lessons via a program on the internet. Since the priest was from Norway, this program was in Norwegian, so I have had to be quite involved, helping Lucas out with translation and such. It didn't bother me, I've rather enjoyed going through these studies again, and the lessons have spurred on a lot of interesting conversations and discussions together with Lucas.

The service today was absolutely lovely. Our Norwegian priest Anne had help from Gudmund, an itinerant Swedish priest who also came to London with the kids for their camp. They both expressed how impressed they were with the kids and gave them a lot of praise.
Lucas read the opening prayer for the ceremony, in Swedish, and he did really well even though he told us afterward that he had been a bit nervous.

The personal prayer and blessing for each and every candidate:

And the whole group, 7 boys and 4 girls, after the service:

Proud family!

To commit to this confirmation was all Lucas own decision. We had been discussing it since we went to our friend Malthe's confirmation a few years ago, and suggested it as an alternative but not a must. Since they don't have religious studies here at school, of course we thought it could be a good thing for him to do, but it was up to Lucas himself to want to do it and it made us happy he did.

Congratulations on your confirmation Lucas! We are so very proud of the amazing young man you are growing into! ♥︎

Lucky ducks

It's no secret it's a long trek to get home. As we had an early departure for Sydney we drove up to Auckland the night before and spent the evening with the Whites again.
Once we got to Sydney the following morning, we had a 10 hour transit so we chose to get a day room at the airport hotel. That way we could get some rest and have showers before getting ready for the long flight. We had a great view of the airport while there:

Checking in for our Abu Dhabi flight we got really lucky, and ALL four got First Class seats this time. Lucky ducks!!

As we needed to try and stay awake for as long as possible, the timing was a lot better this flight for Nathan and I to try the Etihad 'Caviar Experience'. It all got set up in my "apartment" this time. Oh, it was so lush!

Meanwhile, the other two enjoyed themselves too. After a good nights sleep, they had breakfast together, so cute!

Feeling so grateful getting to experience these kind of things, and it sure makes it easier to travel for 14+ hours when you get to sleep in a bed, and land properly rested. Lucky, lucky us!

Friday, 12 April 2019

Some more photos from NZ

Finally a few last photos from this time in Taupo/Kinloch.

You gotta love the ice cream serves in NZ, this what Linnea is having is "one scoop"..! Good value for money for sure!

The weather was a bit temperamental all week, one day it was raining and cold, another sunny and warm. At least we got to use most of the clothes we brought!

No matter the weather, we still enjoyed the good food and wine every day! Sometimes inside sheltered from the wind and rain, sometimes in the sun on the deck.

And when you have spent nearly two weeks "enjoying" yourself, and it's no fun buying clothes - this happens, oups! #cinderella

Nathan managed one bike ride, on Grandads new e-bike. There are many trails around Kinloch, so he got a good workout going up and down the hills for a bit.

For our last dinner Linnea conned Grandma into making a Pavlova. Well, it was a bit of team work, Grandma did the ground work and Linnea the decoration. Yum!

Thank you Grandma and Grandad for a lovely time!