Update on my life in Qatar

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February 5th 2009
Published: February 5th 2009
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I know, I know it's been...months since I've written. It's just it only took months to get internet and then I just never really had the time to write a blog and when I did have time I just didn't feel up to it. It's just that there isn't much going on over here to write home about. I'm working...not nearly as fun as last year's year in Africa. So I figured it was probably time since my mom hsa nearly threatened my life for not having written one sooner!

My kids just had their 2nd term exams this week and all did really well. I have 31 in my class (was 30 until this past monday). They're all around 3 or 4 years of age (one child was even 2 1/2 when he started school)! And they are all learning to read! CRAZINESS! They can read: cat, at, dog, has, get, met, net, hit, bit, etc. They learn 4 new words a week, they know all their shapes, colors, numbers, and tons and tons of vocabulary (mushroom, washing machine, refrigerator, etc.). I just can't believe it because at the beginning of the year about 3 of them had "some" English but the rest only spoke Arabic and now..6 months later they are as talkative in English as ever. Some of em really crack me up because they tell me they like English better than Arabic and sometimes really give their Arabic teacher a hard time. I'm absolutely in love with all my kids and as much as I can't wait for June to arrive I know I will be a complete wreck - cause they really are MY children now. They all adore me as well - as soon as I arrive in the morning they run to be to kiss n hug me and all thoughout the day just tell me how much they love me. One girl even brings me in a rose almost every day. Another girl's mom told me that she wanted to have her hair cut short "because my english teacher has short hair". Some of them are too good though now wieh their English - one little boy always tells me to do whatever it is that I tell him to do (i.e. Me -"Jawad please be quiet", Jawad- "YOU be quiet"). Im always having to turn around after yelling at them because they're just so cute that I really have a had time being mad with them so have to turn around so that they dont see me laughing or smiling. I teach 30 hours a week and 24 are spent with them. I spent my other 6 with a grade 2 class - now they are a WHOLE other story - we all actually believe that they're all the spawn of the devil, besides maybe 4 or 5 of em - a class completely out of control. Now this is why we don't care for the school too much because the children really run the school because they come from such important families that even if they do something wrong they dont get in trouble which is a reason why I hate my grade 2 class because they're so hard to control because they have absolutely no discipline and are never disciplined for their actions, unlike my kindergaren because they are just so young. In both classes I have members of the royal family, one child's father is the head of the Qatari police, head government officials, diplomats' children, etc. In other words children who come from families with WAYYYY too much money. I hardly ever see parents as nannies and drivers are always coming to pick up the my kindergarten kids. Can you imagine being 3 and having your own driver and nanny!

We just had a 2 week break (last two weeks of january), 10 off for xmas, a 3 day weekend before that and 9 days off at the beginning of December so the past 2 months have been pretty good. Now it's february and we don't have a break until the first week of April. So we're counting down the days...8 weeks to go. Then there is a group of 10 of us who are heading to Lebanon and Syria for 10 days which we're all sooo stoked about and I'm really stoked cause I'll be celebrating my 26th birthday there and it's supposed to have some of the best nightlife in the world! Then it will be 9 weeks til I'm home. Not sure how long I'll be home for but the plan is that I get into grad school so if that's the case then it will be for about 6 weeks or so.

Other than that nothing too exciting around here, its getting really warm again - it's like June Vermont weather here right now and we've been told that we can expect to be back at the beach at the end of the month so I'm excited to get back out there and get my tan back! I have to go to school on Saturday with some of my friends who also teach kindergarten classes because we are having our sports day though we don't understand why they can't be like the rest of the schools in the world and have these days during actual school hours during the week but it should be fun and its only for 2 hours.

I've got tons of pics to put up so I promise to do that soon. Also I've been getting mail which absolutely MAKES MY DAY so thanks to everyone and please keep em coming. It's soo nice to receive mail from home! People are always asking if I need anything, I really don't cause I can really get everything over here. In terms of food they have all the places we have at home - Chili's, Applebee's, subway, McDonald's, Hardy's, KFC, Taco Bell, Papa John's, Pizza Hut, Subway - not that I eat the fast food but it is nuts cause we don't even have a Hardy's in VT!) They have tons of good clothing stores from Europe and they even have Zara's - one of my fav stores! They have Adidas and Nike shops plus tons of other "stores from home". HOWEVER, if anyone wanted to send me peanut butter cups I would love em forever - it's just about the only thing I sometimes crave because its about the only thing that I CAN'T get them here, even though they have every other American candy bar. But I love just getting cards and postcards so please keep em coming...still 4 months left to go!

danielle johnston
international school of choueifat
west bay area
p.o. box 22085
doha, qatar

miss you all. lots of love
(there mom - happy now!?!? 😊


5th February 2009

I am always pleased to read something of your travels! May your family stay whole and in good health, Love and greetings Johanners John www.johannes.de
17th February 2009

Spoiled Kids
Thanks for the update, Danielle! I loved reading it. I cannot imagine having royalty in a class I need to teach! You are raising the sultans of tomorrow! Everything is fairly same old same old in Colorado. Work during the day, go to school at night, wish for another day off. I always love hearing about your exciting life. Where are you headed next? Take care and I hope you get your peanut butter cup fix! Lauren

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