Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sitting On the Corner of World and Dubai

i unexpectedly came across this 1857 quote from Mark Twain a few days prior to arriving in Dubai.  It literally fell into my lap but has been swirling around in my mind ever since. 

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.

As a homeschooling mama, i always strive to teach my kids to have a heart and compassion for all people.  i've exposed them to books, current events and experiences hoping to foster within them a love for God's creation.  But nothing thus far has opened their eyes and hearts the way Dubai has done in less than a week. 

Breakfast is one of our favorite times of the day.  Not just because the Littles get to pick out whatever they want to eat...

but because we get to chat with our new friends from all over the world.

Umesh from Nepal tells us about Mt. Everest. 

Manloj from Mumbai shows us pictures of his two adorable daughters back home.

Miss Rhea from the Philippines teaches us that we already know how to count in to 10 in Tagalog because it is the same as counting to 10 in Spanish.

Shyqirat gives us our daily Arabic lesson and spoon feeds Ry honey to help her feel better.

Today though was different, because today my girl got invited to her first play date.

As we sat poolside, we saw a British dad and his two boys, a young couple from France with their baby and a gentleman from Germany whom Kyle had already met in the elevator.  The real treat this sunny morning was the 2 little girls from Saudi Arabia in the kiddie pool.  The girls' mother and father were in traditional Muslim dress and sat close by watching them. 

 (Lucky for Ry her Mama learned a lesson from the last poolside incident and brought along a modest cover up!) 

How providential was it that today's Arabic lesson was this....? 

Within minutes of Riley getting in the pool, i heard thickly accented voices call for "Riley."  The little girls knew English and before long the 3 were holding hands, racing across the pool and making up new games.

When their mother gathered her girls to leave, i saw her motion to Riley.  After bending down to speak to Ry through a veiled face,  Ry nodded and quickly ran over to me and said, "Mom, she wants to have a play date with me tomorrow."  i walked over to her and thanked her in Arabic for letting her girls play.  i looked into her eyes as she spoke to me in clear precise English, "I don't speak English well but we would like to have her come back and play tomorrow at the pool around 10:00 if you would like."  (Uh, i think your English will work just fine...)  She also told me one of her daughters is studying English but the other one is not.  Funny because the one "that is not" was the little voice that kept calling to Riley, "Race Riley. Jump up!  Hold my hand!" 

Yep, tomorrow @ 10:00 you will find us poolside for Ry's first play date.

i can't help but be amazed right now at our view of the world from our corner in Dubai!



Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving us a little insite into your day. I am sure Ry's health was greatly enriched by being able to interact with some other girls her age. You are learning fast, especially with only 6 days in country. You go girl. Love you and thanks for the great posts. We trust that you and Kyle continue to stay well. Dad

Lovella said...

I really like your beginning quote. Although my travels while growing up were limited to stateside, none-the-less, they did help to broaden my scope. When you went away to Biola for college and subsequent travels, that in itself, was a huge growth-spurt-experience for you. And really is amazing. I just really see God's hand throughout your life shaping you and preparing you for "such a time as this". I feel so blessed to be a tag-along and learn from you and from your blogs. I can already see that Riley is opening a lot of doors for you and your family. I love, love, love you!

Noelle said...

I love it and I really LOVE the Twain quote. SO true! Enjoy! Can't wait to see pictures from the playdate!!! Love you xoxo