Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Derby – Doha Style….

(This Camel licked me right before this picture was taken!)

It has been a while since I last updated but life has been slow (which is good sometimes, it means things are becoming normal).

A big event since my last post was the final class for Leaders in Residence. The class fluctuated in numbers, and eventually only four students attended every class and finished the final project. While I am a little disappointed in the numbers the experience was wonderful. One of my students who completed the course made a significant change in his thinking. At the beginning of the course be said Hitler was an example of an excellent leader because he recruited people to follow him and was successful in making progress towards his goals. At the end of the course he said Hitler was not a good leader because he did not work for the good of all people, did not have morals and ethics and did not work to inspire leadership in others. While I would not give this student a doctorate in Leadership Studies, his did make a lot of progress in his understanding of leadership in a few short weeks. Another student went from believing she could not be a leader until after she graduated to being able to articulate ways she leads on a daily basis. I will miss this class, but will enjoy having more flexibility with Sunday nights. I think if I am able to facilitate this class again I will make a few changes, but I loved the format we followed.

In addition to the last Leaders in Residence class we had a busy week in Doha. The Sony Ericson Women’s Tennis Championship and the Doha Tribeca Film Festival were taking place. You would think what an awesome week… not so much. I was on duty the whole week and was not able to go to any of the matches or films. Next year I will make sure I am off for at least part of the tournament.

This weekend was a good shift in energy. I found a church I really liked. It reminded me a little bit of Hope Chapel services. A lot of people I know also attend the church and seem to really feel at home there. I am excited to visit again and find a way to get involved. Following church I was able to go to brunch with a great group of people to celebrate Karen’s birthday! The highlight of the weekend came on Saturday. After proctoring the SATs I went to the Camel Races with Lindsay, Kathy, James and Natalie. It was amazing. We watched some along the track and one from inside a bus that followed the camels. The track is pretty big so you can really only see the start and finish of a race unless you go in the bus. The announcers get really into it and their excitement gets you into it, even though I have no idea what they are saying in Arabic. There was not a favorite or underdog (that I knew of) to root for, but it was fun nonetheless. The camels are ridden by little robots that are controlled by guys riding in Toyota Land Cruisers that drive along next to the track. The men use walkie-talkies to talk to the camel and use remote to control the robot jockey and whip the camel. This is a huge improvement from only a few years ago when the jockeys were children from Africa and Asia. I am so glad I was able to experience the races!

Getting ready to watch the race!

Lining them up for the start

And it is time to start!



He Won!

He didn't...

Waiting for thier turn to race

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