Alexis M Spencer

lexispence10

Alexis M Spencer

I am an engineer on my first international field assignment. I started out in incredible Dubai, but the geology and projects in Qatar turned out to be more interesting.



Middle East » Qatar » Doha July 18th 2014

It has been a while since I've written anything, but such is the life here. All work and no play (I won't finish that sentence because I'm actually watching a creepy show by myself in the dark...). Anyway. Just a quick breakdown of what has been happening. Work Life Upon returning from our great trip to Oman, I returned straight to work. It has become very busy for us here, even with the summer working hours. During Summertime in the Middle East, and Qatar in particular, you cannot work outside during the hot part of the day: 11:30am to 3:00pm. In addition, Ramadan began at the end of June. You do not know exactly what days Ramadan, or any Islamic holiday, will fall on until the sighting of the moon. In Qatar this typically means that ... read more
Tina's last night
Shannon at the Souk
My new artwork!

Middle East » Oman » Dhofar » Salalah May 31st 2014

I wish I could say I slept better, but the hard beds caused me to wake around 3 am. I had to get up and walk around my room for a while. I was looking forward to seeing the stars, but it was quite hazy out. If I were ever to come here again, I would love to go into the mountains to see the night sky... In the morning, I woke and tried to book my return flight from Dubai to Doha and what a nightmare that turned out to be! I stood on the balcony one last time to listen to the waves and see the beautiful beach and I noticed a man in orange coveralls, picking up all the trash on the beach. We had seen a similar guy picking up the trash ... read more
Frankencense Trail
Mughsayl blowholes
Crashing waves

Middle East » Oman » Dhofar » Salalah May 30th 2014

"Do you hear that?" "Hear what?" "Exactly! Silence! No beeping!" One of the things we noticed about Salalah, and one that speaks volumes of the people there, was the complete lack of beeps. No cars honking, nobody tailgating you and flashing their lights trying to run you off the road. People were very content to wait and to let you find your way. I tell you, if you have not experienced a daily commute in the Middle East, you don't know how touching this small token of hospitality is. We commented constantly about it, like when we would go around a roundabout three or four times trying to find the right road. Or when there was some kind of procession on the major freeway at night, there were no beeps - people waited their turn to ... read more
Camels actually swimming!!!
Camel ridge
Private beach

Middle East » Qatar » Doha May 28th 2014

I worked a little more than a half day on Wednesday, before heading out on my first flight from the new airport in Doha: Hamad International Airport. Previously, I had done a lot of work on the airport for the subsurface investigations, so it was pretty amazing to see it - that I had worked on it and now that there are no more buses! Woohoo!!!! While they're still getting the pieces together, it means that there is free parking! Yes, I was able to park right next to the entrance and park for free. No taxis taking me back from the arrivals terminal to the departure terminal. No taxis taking me period! I had already checked in, but there are already many more counters and a more efficient layout (it reminds me of the checkin ... read more
Kings of Leon
Kings of Leon
Hamad International Airport

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai May 10th 2014

The time had come: vacation was over. In a way, I was a little relieved. Part of that was helped along by looking forward to another fantastic flight in Business Class on the Emirates A380. I had the option of having a car sent to get me by Emirates, but you had to booked 48hrs ahead of time; I just missed it at about 42 hours - grrr.... Oh well. Instead, our hotel booked a car for me - I had asked for a taxi and they said it would be $65 to give to the driver; expensive but fine as long as it was taken care of. When my driver came, it weren't no taxi! It was a black Cadillac Escalade. Not too shabby! He drove me through Queens to JFK on a smooth, uneventful ... read more
tuna and soba noodles - yum!!
beef tenderloin and veggies
Jamie at the Beach

North America » United States » New York » New York » Manhattan April 29th 2014

After the long day, Candice and I decided we were just going to chill, while Lizzie met up with a friend for drinks. It was nice to be able to catch up with my bestie! She and are complete opposites, but were roommates from Day 1 all through college and just click. One thing we do have in common: chilling. We are loners who value our private time and we are content just to sit back, chat and just take in the moment. She lives in Mississippi and I live... well, all over the bloody place. I don't often get back to see her, but I try. I miss you all the time Can! Hope you continue to enjoy my blogs! So, in that vein, we found ourselves going up the street to get pedicures. Excellent ... read more
New York Pizza
Hayden Planetarium
T-Rex!

North America » United States » New York » New York » Manhattan April 27th 2014

After Lizzie and Can returned from shopping, we got ready for my cousins from South Jersey to join us. I was unable to make a trip down to see some of my favorite family members, so a couple of them (Cuppie, Paula and her friend Karen) decided to come see me for a night. I checked them into their room and we waited for their arrival. Paula booked us a table at a nearby Mediterranean restaurant at 10pm and Lizzie "Liz-i-fied" me (fixed my hair and put on makeup). Then we headed down for some cold mezzah (I ordered) and wine (I ordered). Yep, we started to get silly and headed to an Irish Pub nearby where the silliness continued. I have not done shots in years, but somehow my lil cousin Cuppie knows just the ... read more
Battery Park - Statue of Liberty
Little Italy
NYC Subway

North America » United States » New York » New York » Manhattan April 26th 2014

The final leg of my North American "tour" was meeting up with a couple of college girlfriends (including my bestie!) for a long weekend of fun and catching up. I think it's been about 3 years since I last saw Candice and Lizzie, so there was a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, the start to my journey was not the best. The line of storms that ravaged the midwest and deep south was on its way through the east coast, which apparently shut down JFK for a while. So, my flight from DC had a two hour delay, AFTER they had already boarded us on the plane. They made us wait at the gate because they didn't know when - the bar was not far away and I seriously considered getting another drink, but contained myself. ... read more
Central Park
Tulips in NYC
Serendipity frozen hot chocolate


After leaving Geneva, I flew to the Reagan National Airport in DC, one of my favorite places. It was such a short, easy flight and I must have been like the only person who checked things (it looked like a lot of commuters or something). We came in a few minutes early and when I walked into baggage claim about 5 minutes later, my two bags were sitting on non-moving conveyor belt with no one else in sight. Weird. My sister was bringing her son to come get me and I patiently waited for them to arrive. My nephew loves machinery and big vehicles, so we stopped a couple of times along the walk to the car to check out the planes and the metro. He's so cute - four years old and looks like he ... read more
the National Zoo
making use of his favorite toy!
Thomas the Tank

North America » United States » New York » Geneva April 23rd 2014

I had booked business class again on my red eye to Geneva, via Atlanta on Delta. I had forgotten that domestic business did not automatically come with lounge privileges. I decided to purchase it for $25 to give it a whirl; it was not worth it. However, the flight itself totally was. I purposely booked another airplane with lay down seats, even though it took me to one of my least favorite airports (Atlanta) instead of my favorite airport (Detroit). That was worth it. I was able to get a solid three hours of sleep on the flight, immediately laying my bed down once we took off. So by the time I landed in Rochester, I felt refreshed. I always love getting to the airport and seeing my parents greet me - it makes me so ... read more
Sauder's Mennonite Market
Seneca Canal
Easter Sunday after egg hunt




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