Monday, March 31, 2008

The group goes out....and bonds

I think that what meant to be a "let's all just get some rest" kind of evening didn't exactly turn out that way. With Betsy as the ring leader, most of the group headed to a local salsa club. Fun band, lots of dancing. Needless to say, we bonded and had a great time. I had the opportunity to dance with a local...woohoo! And Hall demonstrated how his camera is waterproof by dipping it in a margarita. I didn't test mine...But of course I wasn't the only one checking email the whole time we were out. :)

But even better was the fact that when I woke up this morning and called downstairs, my bag was there. It is now safely in my room, unpacked, and waiting anxiously for its next adventure. Good bag - always seems to find its mom, regardless of country. Off for a facial this morning, and then to the gym now that I have my clothes. Now that's how you start a day!

Petites? What?

This morning our motley crew gathered at 9:00 to talk about how this whole thing was going to play out this week. Our organizer, Don Knezek (CEO of ISTE), has had a little bit of frustration trying to get things locked down but we are all ready to just roll with it. We start at 2:00 tomorrow with a a panel - I'm on it. Online (fully) ed is not high on their list here. More buildings, face to face, etc. But I had a good conversation today with a woman about building an online course regarding doing business in Dubai. We have been trying to get something like that going for China but I keep facing language barriers (read...they don't respond to my email messages) even tho we received a positive reception to the idea when Rob and I were there. At any rate, we'll see what happens. It's early in the week so I plan to make a lot more contacts before I leave on Friday.

The group also toured the convention center where we will be tomorrow. I will be in one of the rooms we have (we have two, one for K-12 and one for higher ed). Huge rooms and they are connected to the expo show for two other sort of related conferences. We are basically a subset of a larger conference on technology (GETEX). And there is a conference for recruiting college students as well so I plan to dump a lot of my UTTC cards there....Supposedly there are only about 95 people signed up for our forum but I'm looking forward to winging it....fits me perfectly. I love to base my comments on the audience without PowerPoint dependence!!

So, because I don't have any other clothes yet, I went to the Medina Mall, about 15 minutes from the hotel to see if I could find something to wear to the meeting this afternoon. You know, there are a LOT of short people around here, but the stores are quite limited on petites. I had an hour, and anyone who knows me knows that if my size is there I can do a lot of damage in that amount of time. Suffice it to say that I left with some Clinique makeup so that at least I could be presentable and NO clothes. I felt like I shouldn't attend the meeting but everyone (including our hosts) said that I I did. And just like in China, I was the only person in blue jeans but I was probably the most comfortable too!

I'm here....and first meal

Okay, I made it. Loooong flight but at least I was on a 777 where even coach you have personal video on demand. Watched some good movies, loved Juno and August Rush. The male star in August Rush reminds me of my nephew Shane (I will have to post a picture of him when I return).

Unfortunately, my bag did not make it – are we seeing a pattern here? That is it for me ever checking a bag on an international flight again. The good news is that 1) I found three people who were on my fight who are part of our group, 2) unlike some other people who did not get their bags, there was already a message about mine coming in tomorrow nite on a KLM flight, and 3) they had Captain Morgan’s dark Jamaican rum in the duty free shop. It could certainly be worse. I have my necessities in my backpack so I’m okay for a day. I may have to go buy something for a meeting tomorrow afternoon. Darn, I so hate to shop….

The bad news (other than the obvious) is that I do not have my Myers and am therefore forced to drink above mentioned rum.

Even tho it is after 10 here (8 hours ahead of home), I decided I should eat something before dosing myself with Simply Sleep. Here is my dinner…the Oriental Mezze platter – with hummous, moutable, fattoush, tabouleh, stuffed vine leaves and Arabic bread. I ate all of it except the yellow stuff. And even tasted that. Considering I barely ate anything native on my last international trip to China, I think I am doing pretty darn good. Rob should be proud since the most often word he heard from me on that trip was "ewwwww."

Friday, March 28, 2008

Testing the Dash....

I realized after I posted this that it wouldn't make sense to a lot of people. I have gone through two Blackberrys and finally switched to a Dash from T-Mobile (LOVE IT). Before I left on my trip to Dubai I wanted to make sure I could post to the blog from my Dash. After several attempts and some help i was successful!

Heading to Dubai

Okay, so I've resisted this for some time, but given the fact that I seem to be on the road all the time, I figure why not. I don't think I will post as often as some people I know (who even blog their food choices :), but I'll try to do my best at keeping this journal.

Sad day today because we lost our older lab, Pepper. She was 13 and a half. Good dog, hyper as hell, funny, and mother to Licorice (the Licker Dog). It's hard on all of us.

Tomorrow I leave for Dubai. Never been there and am looking forward to the trip. I'm going with a group organized by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). I speak a couple of times....but hopefully will have time to Ski Dubai -- can't wait for that action!