Recently in Qatar Category

Hot Water

First Craig bought rinse for the dishwasher, then I bought hand-washing dish soap and, after playing in Anna's room for a while came out to find a soapy kitchen. I think we've finally gotten it straightened out now with a bottle of dish detergent marked in English that it is for the dishwasher.

One big difference between Qatar and Korea is hot water. In Qatar there was no need to wait for hot water (it was scalding or more scalding right away) and here we have to remember to press a button to turn on the hot water before washing dishes or taking a shower. I had also forgotten the luxury of heated floors (we don't need them now but we'll love them this winter!).

A second difference between Doha and Okpo is that I was at Whole Mart (a new store since we were here last time so I had to check it out; it wasn't that great) with the kids and walked past a Westerner (Australian) and we stopped to talk. She has a son who is 3 weeks younger than Sarah. Unfortunately neither of us had a pen to exchange numbers but since Okpo is a small town, I'm sure we'll run into each other again. Extremely rarely did another Westerner even acknowledge you in Doha.


Anna, Sarah, my mom, and I went to Old Navy and Target today and Sarah took a short nap in Target and I had the hardest time getting her to take a real nap at home although it was clear that she needed one. I guess we're reaching the point where we can't let her fall asleep while we're out (which makes it hard because she has a hard time staying up for more than an hour and twenty minutes at a stretch).

Since Sarah didn't nap well, I left her at home with Grandma & Grandpa while Anna & I went to the airport to pick up Craig. Sarah refused the bottle again. Hopefully she was just not hungry and it's not the bottle in general.

Anna was so excited to have Craig back with us she talked non-stop from the airport (even more non-stop than usual which is impressive). She ran around my parents' yard like crazy and then had the hardest time falling asleep tonight. We are all glad to have Craig back with us!

Craig did get the villa packed on Sunday and the movers took the boxes on Monday. So, we shouldn't have to go back to Doha at all. We just need to get everything arranged with his company now.

Moving Day

The movers are coming to pack up the our villa in Doha on Sunday. Hopefully everything else will start falling into place soon. (Craig sold Korando last week so we won't have anything in Qatar once Craig departs next week.)

So-long, Qatar!

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Things I'll miss about Doha (relative to our new place in Korea, not relative to the US):

  • The friends Anna & I have made in our playgroup
  • Activities for kids (like music class, etc.)
  • Good shopping (both "stuff" and groceries)
  • Winter weather was pretty great!
  • The Corniche
  • Camel-spotting
  • The beach (although we never checked out Korea's beaches so we might be happy with theirs as well)
  • Starbucks at every mall
  • Having a carousel so close by (and kids play-areas in every mall and most restaurants)
  • We didn't get to try it, but I like the selection of pre-schools here much more than what Okpo has to offer.

Things I won't miss about Doha

  • Dealing with the administration at Al Ahli hospital
  • Slow Internet
  • Q-Tel!
  • The time difference between battery-powered clocks and ones plugged into the wall (the frequency of the Qatar electric grid is too fast so I have to re-set the clock in Sarah's room about once per week or else it gets too far ahead to make sense anymore (I need a digital clock in there for my night-visits to her room)).

The Drive

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Yesterday my mom & I drove to Hyatt Plaza and Carrefour and I wished we had taken a video because it seemed like every street and every turn we were coming across some wild traffic (people cutting us off, pulling out in front of us, driving on the wrong side of the road, etc.). So today Craig, Anna, & I went out and I had the camcorder and taped the entire drive. Nothing remarkable happened at all (which, in the end, is actually preferable, I realize!).


We said goodbye to the Sorento today. The guy who bought it is also potentially interested in Craig's Korando. Surely it can't be that easy.

Why Go Private?

I have asked myself a million times what the public hospitals could be like if the private one we chose is so irritating a lot of the time. We could get free health care along with everyone else at the public hospital but the reason we chose to go private (and get reimbursed for most of it through our insurance) was we wanted Craig to be in the delivery room with me for Sarah's birth. And we live really close to the hospital we chose so it is convenient for the pediatrician, it is new, etc.

However, the inefficiency of the administrative staff there continues to amaze me. I have to wonder if it's worse or actually better with the public hospital. I went to my six-week follow-up appointment with my OB last week (and complained about the doctor who delivered Sarah while I was there) and asked for my records and the kids records since we are leaving Doha. Dr. Rizvi said they'd type up a report for me and to come back in one week. So, Anna & I drove over yesterday and neither the pediatrician's nor the OB's people had made the copies. I got Anna & Sarah's files (because there wasn't much there anyway, just a couple of vaccinations) but have to go back again for mine because the report wasn't written for me. I will actually be surprised if it is ready today.

Also, getting "a copy of your files" is not like in the US. The pediatrician's receptionist had to tell the records-lady what we were "allowed" to have a copy of. Why not just copy the whole folder and be done with it? It is, after all, my health (or my children's health) we're talking about, not this hospital's health (or their concern anymore when I leave the country). I am really interested to see what is in my "report."

Al Zubara Fort

I have to shoot everything in our house at ISO 1600 and forgot to change the ISO when we got to the fort: oops!

I adjusted the exposure in Adobe Bridge and got kind of a cool effect.

Luckily, my mom also took a photo with her camera... (Photo by Adele)

A Petrol station I decided I had to take a picture of but ended up not wanting to wait for my lens to de-fog (from stepping out of the air-conditioned car into the desert heat) so you can see a bit of fog around the edges of the photo.

I've been wanting this photo since I saw the sign back in December or January but we never took the North Road anywhere after that trip to Al Khor. (Photo by Adele)


Note the camel's front legs are tied together so they can't get too far too fast. (Photo by Adele)

My mom, Anna, & I went for a drive up to Al Zubara Fort this morning. A guy asked if we wanted to go into the fort but Anna didn't want to get out of the car (couldn't blame her, really!) so we just took a couple of photos and continued on our way. We were feeling pretty sorry for ourselves that we hadn't seen any camels yet on our way home and then I spotted a bunch crossing the road in the distance so we did a u-turn and got pretty close to them; I think it was the highlight of the drive for all three of us.

Peak Fussiness

My favorite sleep book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child says that babies will reach their "peak fussiness" at six weeks from the due date. As I've said before, Sarah's fussiness is not nearly as bad as Anna's was (although Sarah does have her moments—she's having one right now, actually). I am just hoping that the "peak fussiness" includes the older sibling at six weeks from the birth of the younger sibling. Anna had a major freak-out this afternoon that is making me really nervous for dealing with jet-lag-Anna in a few weeks (and then one or two more times this summer depending on whether we go straight to Korea from the US or come back to Qatar from the US and then go to Korea from here). I just have this awful feeling that things are going to be less-than-fun until we get settled in Korea and I hope I'm wrong about that.

End of the Weekend

I wish I had something to write about this weekend but I think these kids are wearing me (and Craig and my mom) down! We went to out to Sarai (Middle Eastern food) on Friday night and Sarah slept in the sling the whole time. Today, my mom & I did a bit of shopping with Anna in tow. And just like that, the weekend is over. I really hope to get my mom out to see some camels before she leaves; maybe next weekend.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Qatar category.

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