Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A long day, or is it two days?

Arrive at the Champaign, IL airport: 5:50am on December 30, 2008.
Arrive at The Intercontinental Hotel in Doha, Qatar: 8:00pm on December 31, 2008.

I have arrived in Doha! Although the travels were long, all went smoothly. I give Qatar Airways a thumbs up. I lucked out and ended up with an entire row to myself. The plane was mamouth, of course. Nine seats across with two aisles in economy. There were blankets and pillows, eye masks and ear plugs, socks and a toothbrush. Each seat also had it's own tv screen for movies and such. I was able to sleep for quite a few hours but also enjoyed a couple of movies and episodes of The Office.

When I landed, The Qatar Foundation had arranged for someone to meet me. This was so nice! She helped to make my entrance into the country speedy and escorted me right to Lindsay, the Program Coordinator for Education City's session of The LeaderShape Institute. Lindsay brought me to my hotel, pointing out bits of the city to me.

Let's talk about my hotel room. I overlook the pools and the Gulf Coast. That's the Persian Gulf, people. The view is beautiful, even at night. I'm sure tomorrow, in the sunlight, it'll be even nicer. I'll do my best to take a picture and post it here.

I did have to ask the bell boy how to work the lights though. It turns out that you have to insert your room key into a slot that allows you to turn them on. Who knew? Thankfully, the bell boy did.

I had a chance to Skype with Jeff (Skyping in talking over the computer like it's a phone). And I sent some text messages via AIM to let folks know I arrived safely. Technology is amazing! I'm half way across the world and can still be in touch so easily.

So that's the scoop. Mostly logistics at this point. The more interested experiences are sure to come.

Until tomorrow, HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y'ALL!!!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Phone Service

I contacted my phone service yesterday and although I will have the ability to make and receive international calls, it'll be expensive. So here is my request: please don't text or call me while I am away. Even if I don't pick up, I'll still get charged for the incoming calls and texts. It isn't that I don't want to talk to you, my dear family and friends; I'd just prefer to use the extra money on adventures in Qatar. :)

I do hope to be checking my e mail and FB account regularly.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blog Introduction

On December 30, 2008 I'll be boarding a plane and heading to Doha, Qatar. This opportunity came to me through my job at LeaderShape, Inc. I'll be spending time with students and staff from Education City, facilitating The LeaderShape Institute with co-lead Curt. Jeff will be joining me on the Persian Gulf after The LeaderShape Institute is over and we'll enjoy 5 days touring the city.

Since we will be 9 hours ahead of our family and friends in the states, it'll be difficult to talk with you all (plus it's crazy expensive!). However, we know we'll want to tell you all about our trip! The answer to this dilemma? This here blog. We'll do our best to update it regularly while away. We hope you enjoy it!!