Daily Archives: March 4, 2012

Awesome experience with my Arabian friend

Eisa Al Monsoori from Abu Dhabi  attended my last Dubai class and I was able to get to know him a bit. In our discussions he told me about he and his brother’s passion for raising falcons and training them to hunt. I was very interested in what he had to say.

Since the class, Eisa and I have stayed in touch via email. He is a strong family man like me and has a weekend retreat like we do so we have several things in common.

I made Eisa aware of my trip to Dubai and he offered to spend the day with me to show me his family farm and resort, , , I jumped at the chance to learn more about the local culture and see something outside of Dubai.

Eisa and I spent most of Saturday together. I was able to meet several of his brothers and nephews and a few friends. It was a great day with a few totally new experiences for me, such as:

  • Eating a great feast while sitting on the floor and with my hands from a gigantic platter of rice and lamb. They asked if I would like to “break the head of the lamb”, but I declined not knowing what it actually meant. Hope I didn’t insult anyone, but they all laughed so I’m probably ok.
  • Saw the largest fruit basket I’ve ever seen with exotic fruits from all over the world. I was so full from the meal that I declined most of the fruit. Eisa says that this is normal for them because on the weekends they have 60 or more people at their resort to share time together. The close family bond they have with his 13 brothers and 6 sisters  is quite amazing.
  • The best experience was seeing his falcons. There were six of them housed in a large open room building. The photos below tell it best.

Eisa Al Monsoori with one of his falcons 

  

 

 

It was an awesome experience with a new friend, and I owe Eisa a big debt of gratitude for sharing his day with me.

My 5th trip to Dubai

This week I’m in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) for my 5th visit to teach another IT Manager Institute, , , it is my 48th program since 2003.

The trip started off well with an open seat next to me on the airplane. The flight was free by using points from my frequent flyer account and being able to stretch out a bit on the 14-hour flight from Atlanta made it even more better.

I’ve worked in IT most of my career so I take a few precautions when flying on such long trips.

  • First, I take an earlier flight from Nashville to Atlanta. It causes me to have a longer layover, but I have a backup plan with later flights to Atlanta if mine is delayed or something happens to cancel the flight. Sure don’t want to miss my connection as it would mean I have to fly through Paris, , , and I avoid that airport at all costs.
  • Second, I arrive in Dubai a day ahead of time. This gives me a whole day to rest before class and also provides a backup plan in case something happens to delay or cancel the flight. I had to use this backup alternative on one of my previous flights so I know it can happen.

Getting here a day early allows me to rest up like I said and to get my body adjusted to the local time.

Class started yesterday and we have a great group, , , 7 managers from UAE, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia. The week will go by fast because I can already tell this group is going to be fun to work with, , , they started “jabbing” a bit on the first day, , , a very good sign!!

I plan to see some new things on this trip plus I have already had an amazing experience that I’ll share in my next post.

Cheers.