Friday, October 23, 2009

A Day at the Beach…

After a very busy, fun, and frustrating week I needed a break – and got one with a day at the beach.

This week started with an awesome Leaders in Residence class. This is a course I teach for residential students on understanding leadership on a personal level. This week we started with a case study examining the current situation in Honduras. The students were asked to analyze the major players (individuals, governments, and organizations) and identify leadership traits and styles that we have been studying. The second part of the activity involved them discussing what leadership style is needed in the situation, or what style they would bring. The conversation started rough as none of my students knew about the situation in Honduras – or where Honduras was located. After giving some brief history I gave them six news articles to read that looked at the situation from different perspective and explored different aspects of the conflict. The students ended up getting really into it and were able to draw a lot of connections to our class discussions and they actually learned something!

Added into the business of the week was a Bachelorette Party/Hen Night/Henna Night program for the other female RHD Timika. It was a great program that combined American, British and Middle Eastern/Asian pre-wedding traditions. Timika is an American marrying a Brit and most of our residents are Middle Eastern or Asian (Pakistani and Indian). The residents loved it! They all dressed up and came to have fun. We played a few PG “American” games and did traditional wedding henna. It was a long night, but so worth it!

Another fun part of the week was CDA training. I led a few team builders (toxic waste – a classic, and bouncing chickens… a new one for me). The bouncing chicken activity was a lot of fun to watch, but also led to some great discussions about how we approach our work with our residents and how we engage with each other. Following the team building we got to roast S’mores!

There ends the positive from the week; the rest of the week was full of frustration. I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday that created a downward spiral into full on homesickness. The doctor was very late for the appointment and then rushed my appointment into 10 minutes and did not even listen to what I came to discuss with him. He told me the tests he was going to order – which were not related to my previously diagnosed condition or related to adjusting my medications. I had to write down the tests I needed, and the tests I wanted so that I could find out if my meds were right. Later that day I got a call from the doctor telling me that I was right and he needed to run the tests I wrote down (duh…) and then said I had to come back right away to get them done (trip number two). The next morning I had to go back for fasting blood work and to get the doctor to sign a form – but the doctor did not come in that day. So the next morning consisted of a meeting with the doctor to get the form signed and to try and get a referral to another doctor (which he would not give). I was so frustrated that all I could do is cry. This at least got his attention and he started to listen to me. After I get all the blood work back I will adjust my meds and find a new doctor.

By the end of the week I was beyond frustrated, tired, overwhelmed and sad. I realized I have not really built any strong friendships yet and am not sure where to go to meet people. My solution to this was to join a group from work that was going clubbing. The only problem is that I forgot that I hate clubbing… not a good way to get over being homesick when you can’t dance, sweat too much, and have no one to dance with.

By Friday morning I needed a change. Luckily Karen had invited me to join a group who was going up north to a great beach. It was exactly what a good doctor would order. A group of about 10 piled into 4 SUVs and drove to a beach about an hour out from Doha. There was a little bit of off roading to get there, but that made it even better. Most everyone knows I don’t like water, so it will not surprise you to hear that I spent the day in my bathing suit away from the water, but enjoying the sand and the view. It was relaxing and I was able to get to know some people better. I am still working to build strong relationships in Doha and this trip really helped me feel like I am starting to connect with people. I hope I can spend every weekend like this!


  1. Yum, Smores!! It was so good to talk to you Friday! I'm sorry you've been having a hard time, but I'm SO excited for you to come to C-bus over Christmas to see your family and the good friends you do have in the U.S. :-)

  2. I hope you are feeling better and continuing to enjoy your staff/friends. I enjoy learning of the great depth of your responsibilities as they are indeed very admirable and positive life affecting for your students and staff. You are an awesome young woman. Loretta