Hello All!

It has been almost a week since we first arrived in “Sunny” Doha. It has been very busy and quite surreal. We can’t believe we are finally here! The entire travel day was incredibly long; from door to door we ended up being gone just over 29 hours. Upon arrival in Doha we were greeted by a bunch of staff from Awsaj. It was nice to see smiling faces and other people who were just as travel weary as we were. From the airport we loaded onto a few large passenger vans that took us to our housing. It was quite the site to see such a huge group of dazed Americans loading 2+ bags each onto these vans that barely fit us and our luggage. The drive to Education City was incredible. The Doha skyline was quite the sight to see: bright colorful lights and giant buildings surrounded by water and sand. I don’t remember much from the first night other than the view of the skyline and the intense heat and humidity. Even after the sun had gone down it was still over 95 degrees and like 60% humidity. Needless to say once we got home we immediately fell into bed and crashed!

We are so excited about our housing! It is incredible and bigger than we thought. Once we unpack our boxes and set things up- we will take some pictures and post them. In this part of the world Friday is the Muslim holy day. Most shops and restaurants are closed part of the day and most religions in the area worship on Friday. Anyways, we decided to go to church. The LDS ward here is great! Everyone is very friendly and the people are quite diverse. We have members from the States, Africa, Australia, India, SriLanka, and Europe. I think we will be able to make many friends. Our meeting house is a villa that we rent from a local man. It is funny when you go in to use the bathroom and there is a full shower nest to the toilet and sink. It has several rooms, so there is plenty of space for all of our meetings.

Awsaj has been incredible in helping us get adjusted. They have provided transportation and some staff has come back early to help us shop and explain different things. On sunday they invited all new staff and families to the school. We were able to get some logistical things done and then we received a cultural presentation and tour of the school. Each evening we have been able to sign up for different shopping trips and places to go eat for dinner. The rest of this week I have just been in trainings with the new school.

Unfortunately- yesterday I got sick :(. It is very dusty here. I think that the dust started my allergies and then that turned into a sinus problem and a cold. So, unfortunately we haven’t gone out a lot this week. I am just trying to get better quickly so we can explore Doha. From here I will try to post more about certain things (shopping, food, driving, architecture, school, culture, etc.) Hopefully we will have many new and exciting experiences that we can share with all of you. Thanks for reading! :)

Jenna and Tony