Saturday, 30 November 2019

Thank you November

So November is coming to an end, and I must say - it didn't disappoint. I love November. The weather is finally beautiful and perfect, and there is aaall the fantastic winter months ahead us still..!

Even though November disappeared in a blur of work and study, there was also time to just hang out and enjoy as well.
Last week some of us Swedish chicks met over breakfast, a super initiative, long, delicious breakfasts are the best; especially when you can enjoy them outside!

The last hourrah

On Monday night Linda and I drove to Dubai for a Ladies Night out with some of the local SWEA girls. It was a last thank you from SWEA to this group, who has been busy planning the big World Conference for the last 1, 5 year.

It was really nice to get together and vent a bit after this big event. It actually feels a bit empty now, that it is all over. Some funny stories were shared, and many laughs, but above all - we all share huge pride that it went so well. A lot of positive feedback and praise have come our way the past week.

The World Conference General, Maria, got a special thank you, she was the one who kept everyone on track, and ultimately pulled everything together:

Wine and cheese, mmm!

So proud to have been a part of this event, and this group of women!

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Thanksgiving 2019

Time flies, and we have already had this years Thanksgiving celebration! Traditionally celebrated with our ex-neighbours, now in Dubai. Biggest one yet with almost 40 people! Amazing!

This year we could come all four of us, and it was the first time I saw Kristen and Chad's new house which they moved in to over the summer. Really, really lovely - gave me house envy... why don't we have those kind of nice compounds in Abu Dhabi..? We all fit outside on their lawn:

Food, food, glorious food..!

We ate, and played some games, and ate some more...

There was tons of kids there this year. Aiden was certainly living his best life with all these buddies around him! Linnea as well, getting to play with not just Wyatt, but two other little babies as well.

Linnea and Aiden drawing Thanksgiving turkey-hands on the window:

And as per usual, the next day we got to take a special take-away box home with some turkey and trimmings, for later. Art work by Aiden.

Thank you McGeHees for another wonderful Thanksgiving!

The 2019 SWEA World Conference

Last week I had a completely full schedule with a job that I booked - already 1,5 year ago! It was for SWEA - the Swedish Women's Educational Association, an association of around 7,000 Swedish women living abroad in over 30 different countries, which promotes Swedish culture and tradition.

Every second year they get together at a World Conference. Previously it has been held in Kuala Lumpur, Arizona, Bologna and Perth - and now 2019 it was going to be here in the UAE, in Dubai; and the planning for this conference started already in the beginning of last year..!
For five days 300 Swedish ladies were here to conduct a conference, hold meetings and network; but also join the many excursions, dinners and other fun happenings which were organised to let them get to know this beautiful country a bit more!

I was booked to take them on an Abu Dhabi city tour and as the interest was so huge, I ended up doing the same tour three days in a row, each day with a full bus of ladies!

I took them to see the beautiful Sheikh Zayed Mosque of course, the absolute jewel in our crown of sights here in Abu Dhabi. All three groups thoroughly enjoyed this visit, the Mosque never fails to impress!

Before their program took them for a quick visit of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, it was time for a nice buffet lunch with a view over the Corniche and the Arabian Gulf.

One of the days there was actually a familiar face in the bus, a friend of mine who live in Canada, and who is also part of SWEA. Last time we met was 13 years ago, in Amsterdam. Really nice to get to show Cia around my 'hoods'.

Since many of the ladies had flown from afar, there was also two "After-Trips" planned for those who wanted to extend their stay and discover some more of the UAE, once the conference was officially over.
One went to Ras-Al-Khaimah and the other one here to Abu Dhabi, so I continued to work for a few days, but then with the same group of ladies.

I took them too on a city tour, but with a slightly different program. After their visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, these ladies got to visit the Emirates Palace and enjoy their signature gold cappuccinos:

They also got to visit the symbolic birth place of Abu Dhabi, Qasr al Hosn, and have a luxurious Afternoon Tea at Etihad Towers, lush, lush, lush!

On the last day of their stay, they got a guided visit of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
It was so nice for me to get to do this tour in Swedish, or actually work at all in Swedish; it's quite rare for me that it happens. This whole week was really so much fun for me!

Caroline and Malou - the two hostesses from SWEA Middle East who looked after the visiting ladies while here in Abu Dhabi, were doing a fantastic job! Great team work! 

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Work work work

After having had visitors for two weeks, and then a week off for University exams, it was back at work this week for me finally! I had some different kind of jobs lined up, which always makes for interesting days!
First I had a tour in Swedish at the Louvre Abu Dhabi for some local SWEA ladies. A good warm up for the week to come and the SWEA World Meet.

I got sent a rather impressive amount of photos of myself after the tour, but it was completely  impossible finding even ONE picture where I'm not in the middle of explaining something, and waving around with my hands... I guess you could say it shows - my passion..?

Well, I might look a muppet while talking, but at least I was looking flash in my new heels, having made a special effort for these ladies!

Then I kicked of the start of the cruise season by welcoming (at least my) first cruise into the port Monday morning. I had a nice little city tour in the morning with a good mix of cruise guests from different parts of the world, and I got to catch up with a few of my colleagues after as well:

Finally I was hired to be a part of the mediation team during an evening event at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, together with these stunning girls. I mediated inside one of the temporary exhibitions, and it was really fun. I hope I get to do more of these type of events as they are quite different to the normal tours in the museum.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The Phantom of the Opera

This weekend I was so lucky as to get a chance to see the 'Phantom of the Opera' at the Dubai Opera, on the last day it was on. My friend Linda was going to bring her Mum along, but because of some last minute changes to her travel plans, there was a ticket left over - for me!
We were going to the afternoon showing, so we went early to Dubai have time for lunch before, at the Address Boulevard restaurant.

This restaurant is built up around a rather cool concept, you can choose to sit in the Collection Room, the Dining Room, the Games Room, the Music Room, or the Dressing Room or Library, as seen below:

Johan was trying to open the door into the Secret Room to show me where they had been last year for an amazing celebratory wedding anniversary dinner. No luck though, I guess it'll remain secret!

We found a pretty flower wall to pose by!

Then it was time to get to the Opera House. My first time there and I was beyond excited, both for the show of course, but also to finally get to see this amazing venue:

This has been the first time for this musical to show in Dubai. It was brought here by Broadway Entertainment Group, and ran for two weeks.
Worldwide, more than 140 million people have seen 'The Phantom of the Opera", and now I'm finally one of them!

Another flower wall - but who doesn't love flower walls!?

The show was absolutely AH-MAZING! You only get to see the theatre pre-show as photography and recordings were forbidden. I got so emotional and moved, had tears several times throughout the performance. The live music, the costumes, the set, the voices... oaw... What a great afternoon!