As I write this, I am sitting here enjoying my favorite snack: a bagel and coffee. I am at a place called "the bagel bar" in the Dubai mall. I've been to a few malls in my life, but nothing quite like this. Aquarium, ice skating, huge theater, indoor skiing, shops galore, all types of food- even a bagel place. There was even a little mini-mall leading up to the real mall. Not to mention, the mall also happens to be right next door to the tallest building in the world- the Burj Khalifa. I am starting to understand what everyone meant in Oman when they talked about how much more laid-back and humble things are compared to Dubai. There is money here, and lots of it from what I can see.
Anyway, this post is not suppose to be about Dubai. I am officially finished with my third stop. I am now one third of the way done with my project. I had a much better week this week after missing last Friday due to another battle with a stomach bug. I recorded a few of the songs my students created, helped out with the kindergarten graduation, and said goodbye to everyone at the school. I will miss some of those students for sure. And I hope they get a music teacher for next school year. The kids deserve it. There are some promising young musicians at Al Injaz.
I am looking forward to laying low and taking it easy in Armenia for a week. Honestly, it will be nice to see some people I know and not have to go through the stress of memorizing a bunch of new names. I am also going to do some serious reflecting on the past three stops and planning for the work in Africa. My next two countries are Ethiopia and Tanzania, and I’m sure there are many new challenges that lay ahead. AH! I’m ready though. Excited to keep going.
Having said that, sometimes I do find myself doubting the legitimacy of this whole thing. I find myself questioning my motives and my ability to follow through on my plans. I have gotten a lot of help from family and friends along the way, but it is challenging not having someone who has done this before to go to for advice. I am learning a lot though, that is for sure. It is so cool to be able to experience so many different school cultures and meet with the school leaders that help create that culture.
However stressful it may be not having specific guidance as to how to do things, that is also what I am enjoying the most about this year. I have complete freedom to design and implement everything as I see fit. I have my backers from kickstarter to think about, and the desires of the schools that I partner with, but ultimately this is my creation, and that is a very freeing thing. I go back and forth though. Would I rather be comfortable working for someone else or struggling working for myself? Perhaps this is something I will be thinking about for some time.
I have been working on editing together the video footage I have been taking from the different schools and some of it looks pretty cool. Not perfect, but I’m excited to share the final project with y’all when it is ready at the end of the year.
All for now. More pics and videos of Oman from Armenia.