I am booked for a flight to Abu Dhabi tomorrow…and I won’t be on it. Or, at least, I think I won’t.
We received the email we should have received last year:
Congratulations, you are in Group 1, scheduled to leave on or about July 19th…
I am booked for a flight to Chicago O’Hare and then overnight to Abu Dhabi. I am scheduled to stay at the Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche – a stellar looking accommodation for a lowly teacher from New York. Despite all this, I am taking a gamble and holding out for Qatar.
I can hear you shouting, “Go to Abu Dhabi, you Ninny!” and I’m up at nearly 2 am thinking the same thing…except:
I’d be traveling alone. I would need to go alone, apply for sponsorship for my family and then bring them over anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months down the line.
I would also be heading there blind – no clue as to where we will live, which school I would be placed in to work or who I’d be working with.
I would know absolutely no one (aside from the facebook groups who are all super excited about going and I’m NOT). I don’t like going into this already jaded!
So here I am, taking a gamble. I don’t have a flight or visa information for my job offer in Qatar, but I’m holding out for it. It has got to be on it’s way. I’m checking my email more often than ever before…every 3-5 minutes if you can believe it.
I’m hoping I’ll wake up and my inbox will have the visa and flight info for my whole family to travel to Qatar at the beginning of August…less than 2 weeks away!
Each morning, I start my day with NPR news on the car radio. Today, as if on a loop, the headlines all began with “Qatar.” Today, as I am driving down to Richmond, VA to visit the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia to finalize more papers for working abroad, I learn that there is “tension brewing from the countries surrounding Qatar” – the country I am headed for. Today, June 5, 2017, the same day all my authenticated paperwork arrives from the Qatar Consulate of New York…I am wondering if I will be needing all these papers at all….
My weekend started out great, thanks to Kennesha at American Teacher in Qatar. She gave me a lot of encouraging advice and tips on life as a teacher in Qatar. What stands out most? Don’t listen to what they say in the news. I have a great appreciation for the free press, however, true Journalism exposes truths; money and greed twist it.
Monday morning, I hit the road nice and early for a nearly 2 hour drive to Richmond. I enjoy 5 minutes of Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac. His soft voice and soothing poems usually prepare me for a day of English Teaching. After he bids farewell with, “Be well, do good work, and keep in touch,” I listen on to the news headlines. I feel like I can trust NPR as being a reliable, fair media source. My ears perk at the mention of “Qatar” and then my thoughts begin to race as I hear the words over and over: “Several countries cut diplomatic ties with Qatar… ” What does this mean?
It’s too early to tell, but am I looking at yet another dream deferred?