And She Went On to Become the “Most Famous Teacher in Doha”

 “Has anyone been to America lately? Any Americans in here?” Maz Jobrani asks the audience of nearly 3,000 during the Doha Comedy Festival.  A few people cheer.  I may have cheered the loudest.

“What’s your name?” He asks and it takes a few seconds to realize he is asking ME!

“Nancy!” I shout and he and everyone in the hall hears me!

“Do you live here? How long have you been here?”

Now I do – 4 weeks!”

“So, what are you doing here?”

“I’m a teacher!” The crowd starts to cheer.

“Teacher?”  a few people scream and it appears as if I have fans!  Maz is A-Maz-ed, “I’ve never seen so many people applaud for a teacher.  Nancy!  You’re famous!  You’ve only been here a week and you have fans?” more applauding and I’m in stitches.

“Nancy, what are people going to think when you go back to the US?”

  • Yes, it is hot
  • No, it is not dangerous
  • Yes, I can go anywhere freely
  • No, I do not need to cover my head
  • Yes, it is recommended that you dress modestly
  • No, it is not hard to find things to do
  • Yes, I think I’m going to like it here!


We arrived as the sun was setting, sending a final blast of hot air, comparable only to the air hitting your face as you open a broiling hot oven, over Hamad International Airport.

Our arrival was anything but glamorous.  We stumbled off the plane, down a flight of stairs, onto a crowded bus, past Disney-like lines at customs and confusion at baggage claim with 12 pieces of luggage.  Finally, we were welcomed with open arms by a lead teacher and the director of my new school.   I was sweaty, maybe a bit overwhelmed and full of excitement.  By the time we left the airport it was dark out and just as hot as when we left the plane.


I haven’t had a lot of free time over the last 2 months.  I have a lot of work to do being in a new school, in a new country with a new MYP curriculum.  I have met a lot of great new neighbors and co-workers and I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know them better.  For an introvert such as myself, it has been tough being so social, but I am so grateful to the people who pull me out of my shell and invite me into their lives!

Stressors: 

  • Getting my license so I can drive is quite a chore.  All sorts of extra steps have now put a delay of over 2 months!  I then hired a driver and he quit after 2 weeks because the drive is so early and so long! I’m now taking Über and begging for rides from co-workers!
  • To get a nanny or not?  It’s the thing to do here but I’m not so comfortable hiring someone for cheap to do all my housework and watch my kids. So far we’ve gone with a part-time helper pay her very well. 

Stress-relief:

  • Our amazing club house where we go swimming in the evenings is surrounded by palm trees, a playground and a restaurant!

 

  • Brunch like I’ve never experienced before!  Spice Market with KBell, Jen S., and our “Trophy Husbands” turned out to be the best 4 hours I’ve ever spent in a restaurant!

 

  • Eid Celebrations at Katara Cultural Village:  Shows, gifts for the kids and fireworks!
  • My apartment is spacious and comfortable, which is necessary after a long day.  And help with cleaning the place is a text message away!
  • My next door neighbor is like an angel – she has helped with so many adjustments and she has little kids too!  So she gets it!
  • LadyZ is in PreK and she loves it!  The school is truly a gem!


I’m going to let pictures speak for themselves for a while – who knows when I’ll have enough time to write!  Besides, I’m a newbie, so I don’t know what I’m saying yet anyhow.  Just know that I’m so glad I have this opportunity!


PS: To the audience at the Doha Comedy Festival 2017, thanks for making me feel welcome in this beautiful city! Maz, let’s talk again real soon!

 

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