Friday, December 30, 2011

Driving in Doha - the temporary license...

An expat milestone:

Bob achieves his (temporary) Qatari driving license!
Once upon a time all an American needed to earn a Qatari driver's license (required to drive legally after expiration of the initial 30-day visa) was an International DL (costs about $15 at any US AAA office) and the ability to pay a fee.  Then, in the way things happen here - one day someone decides the rules need a facelift...and bing-bang-boom, without warning...everything changes.
Bob's coworkers obtain their licenses the pay-a-fee way.  No one expects Bob's experience to be any different.
First up: an eye test.  Bob passes.  He's off to a good start when the examiner notes that Bob appears in his photo without glasses.  There is confusion over the meaning of the "F"on Bob's US license (it means "full privileges") and - Bob is sent away: "Come back later."  (Bukura, bukura...)
Bob arrives at 5:45am the second time he makes his way to the little driving school.  He is the 401st man in line (men and women test on separate days).  He waits 45 minutes and is given a surprise "signal" test for which he is unprepared (it's not "no passing", it's "no overtaking" - that's not a "no parking" sign; it's "no parking OR STANDING").  Again, Bob is sent away.  "Come back in three weeks."
At his third attempt, Bob's reviewed hard-to-come-by study materials.  He carries copies of his passport, sponsor permission letter, US and International driver's licenses.  He arrives at 5:00am, is among the first in line...and passes the signal test in four beats.  He climbs on a bus full of men from all kinds of other places - and follows a little car around Doha for a couple of hours...until finally it's his turn in the driver's seat.
Manual transmission.  He shifts, drives 200 smooth-as-butter feet. The examiner waves his hands.  Pass!
Mabrook!  Al humdu'il allah!  Wunderbar!
No more riding as a passenger in someone else's vehicle.  No more gritting his teeth and hanging onto the door as Wife spills in/spits out of the roundabouts (hey, that's how it's done!).  No more waiting on a taxi or walking to lunch.
Bob is back in town.  Watch out, Doha!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

A washing machine that washes and dries in the same drum.  (As goofy and non-productive as it sounds.)  Light switches on the OUTSIDE of doors.  Kitchen and hallway windows that look over the elevator lobby and doors that open to a wall of sheetrock.  A pulsating shower, electrical sockets that need to be turned on before use and exploding water faucets - soak ceilings if spigots are turned on too high too fast. 
Cars catch on fire so often here that portable hydrants sit on street corners, hoses wrapped around drums on wheels.  Since there's no street sewer system, water puddles where it lands until it's sucked into another drum and carried away.
Much of the city is under construction - housing developments, high rises, malls, streets and highways, parking lots and more.  Doha is a maze of barriers, don't-go-this-ways and "diversion" (detour) signs.  Buildings are constructed every which fancy, strange, archictecturally intriguing way...the new grocery is in the zig-zag building, a high rise is shaped like a bullet; here's a round office building and there another curves like a C.
Strangely, many of these interesting structures and concrete/stucco-style homes stand empty.
Natural born Qataris don't celebrate Christmas - even so, the commercial trappings of the holiday outline the walkways and mall windows (Christmas trees, holly and ivy, tinsel and shiny holiday balls).  Classical music plays 24/7 outside our window - from speakers placed at the base of imported palm trees lining the bay's walkway.  Birds chirp from another set of speakers inserted into the tree's branches.  :)  No (real) birds or bugs here, so no screens on doors or windows - ours stand open to let in sound, smell, light.
Ice is at a premium - we still don't know where to get it (for coolers and swollen ankles).
There are rules about who can be at the mall and when (men - unless they're American - must be accompanied by families on certain days).
And most people don't speak Arabic.  Qataris are outnumbered 3 to 1 by a mix of hawagas - Americans, sure, but we're a minority to workers from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, and other places.  The checker at the grocery is an Indian working for a Philipino, making change in Qatari Riyals for product advertised in English. 
Oil and gas revenues are shared by natural born citizens, so they don't need to work for money...and (for the most part), don't.  One expat said POINT SIX Qataris work in the private sector.  (The exception - all of the highest level positions are held by locals.)
How do we know who's a local and who isn't?  Well, locals speak Arabic - to each other.  They dress in Middle Eastern clothing (sheyla, abaya, dishdasha, gutra).  Their license plates have fewer than six digits.
After a fun filled couple of days motoring around the city, climbing sand dunes, learning the we rest.  We'll do laundry (a never-ending task), visit the beach and lounge in (one of) Bob's jacuzzis.  We'll wander the Carrefour (the local Walmart) so there's food to nibble and cook.  We'll figure out the tv, read, eat and clean, do email, blog.
We'll (continue to) miss Chris and his beautiful babies.  We'll remember Popo and skype our extended families (once they wake up). We'll (ie, I'll) study our (my) Arabic (even though I'm talking to myself).
And we'll look forward to the days ahead - full of all kinds of interesting, new and different things...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hello Doha

A bus.  We stand, balanced by smooth poles, beside a man in western clothes and two others clothed in long white dishdasha and red headpieces called a gutra.  A little girl dressed in a pink kisses her jeans-garbed daddy, while mommy smiles nearby; she's covered head to toe in black.  Women in niqab mingle with girls wearing pants and long, loose hair.  Behind the tinted glass a red neon sign hangs in a clear,dark sky. It reads "Food Barn" - in English.
A ride around the airport.  Windows, lights, palm trees in pots, exhaust, horns, squealing brakes.
At our stop, the bus empties quickly. I'm slow thanks to a tree trunk sized ankle.  Katie and Kimber wait, carrying my bags and theirs too.  Inside, choose: one quickly moving line for arrivals from GCC countries or three congested entrances for Other us.
Yallah, yallah.  Ta'allah.  Hurry.  Come.  We are pressed forward.
A woman alone carries a baby in a basket, toddler at her side.  Women in saris and jeans. Men, families. People from everywhere.
A long wait.  At last, our turn.
Salaam alaykum, I say.
Alaykum al salaam, she replies.
Stand there, look here; Camera snaps, a green light flashes, becomes two letters, "OK."  Your passport?  Do you have a visa?  Why are you here?  Where are you staying?
And finally: your card?  I give it to her.  I don't ask "how much."
Shokran.  Il awf.
Four big bags (one is Bob's) and three small loaded onto a rolling cart.  We aim for a sign marked "exit" in English and Arabic.  Through the door, a wide, tiled room surrounded by glass on three sides.
Behind the glass? Faces.  Lots and lots of faces.  Piled up one behind the other.  Whoa.
We file toward a door on the other side of the wide, empty room.  More faces here, only these are attached to bodies, all male. Behind them, a stream of traffic hums.  Horns honk. Exhaust, gasoline smells. Hesitation.  What's Dad's phone number?  Kimberly says.
And then, there he is!  Al humdu il allah!
Hello, Bob.  Hello, Doha!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Rock, Roll and Hobble!

The large red bag - Bob.  Turquoise - Kimber’s annoyingly neatly (oooo, double illegal adverbs) packed supplies.  Black – Cindi’s overstuffed case.

What, crutches?  Are we seriously still messing with this?  Yes.  Sigh.

And the fun is just beginning!
Visit me online at:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Qatar National Day

(CORRECTION to an earlier post: the correct pronounciation is “KAHt-tur” NOT “Ka-TAR”)

December 18 is the day Qataris celebrate the founding of the country with a full day of great, grand festivities ( Decorations, disco ball, camels, parades...and car wrecks?:

National Day commemorates the day in 1878 when Qatar achieved national unity under Sheikh Jassem bin Mohamed Al Thani, first celebrated in 2007.

...Watch out for decorations going up, flags, banners, stickers and more going on sale, and even camel sightings in the lead up. Military drills and parade formats are practiced...a giant disco over the Corniche. Also, tradition comes to the fore, with camel dressage competitions, falconry demonstrations, and more...

This is the time of year when people paint their cars with the flag and images of Qatar and the royal family, and drive up and down the Corniche, often sitting on top of their vehicles or hanging out the windows. It’s great fun if you want to join the parade, but just make sure the driver keeps their eyes on the road: National Day is no time for car wrecks! ...the Corniche and the areas around it will be jammed. Although the full schedule of events isn’t usually released until just before the event, expect fireworks, parades, and more. It’s also a national holiday, so expect bigger than average crowds at public spaces like restaurants, malls and cinemas as everyone gets the day off work.

Due to the high likelihood of TRAFFIC, Bob is not attending National Day events.  If fireworks light up the sky near his apartment perhaps he’ll take pictures – from his balcony - and share.  If so, will post.

Please forgive this short message as Katie, Kimber and I prepare to head east, hours and hours over land and sea to join Dad and hubby for Christmas and the New Year. I will endeavor to supply more detailed information about this interesting place as the week goes on.  J

Friday, December 9, 2011

An Email From Bob: Walking the Pearl

It took about an hour to walk to Tower 31 at the Pearl.  The beach is small with no waves except from passing boats - but it IS a beach!  There are umbrellas and chairs set up and ready to use on a first come/first served basis and a sand volleyball court too.

 The West Bay is right across the water - looks great during the day, even better at night. 

A temporary Christmas store was set up in an empty building – about a dozen tents with a very small selection of gifts like tee shirts and jewelry.  Nice, with Christmas music playing in the background.

After my two-hour walk (there and back), I decided not go to the (grocery) store tonight and instead just eat some curry spice noodles I already had on hand for dinner.  Yum.

(editors note:  Bob would referring to those square .10 cents-to-buy-em, jippy-tummy inducing college-student packs of Ramen noodles that you quit eating as soon you’re graduated and hired, whether it’s dishing up fries at McDonald’s or…oh, I dunno…working as an architect in Qatar.  J  Sad, huh?  He needs me.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Doha Happenings

Bob’s been to the camel races, souq, and dined at a wide variety of fine establishments, but there’s plenty more to do in Doha.  Follow the links below to see what Bob’s coworkers and their onsite families are up to.  There is the inland sea, singing dunes, old forts, malls, Souq Waqif and…well, take a look!

The Sartain Family:
Mike and Tracy Sartain just had their third child – in Doha! Look for a picture of Bob at the Thanksgiving celebration.  The Sartains head back to the states in June.

Myers Family:
This young family travels – a lot!  Israel, Scotland, Ireland, Ethiopia, France, Holland…I want to go!

Here are pics of their trip to the inland sea - a place Katie, Kimber and I hope to spend some time.  Directions:  “…go to the end of the road and head south for about 20 km.”  I understand the sea is surrounded by dunes and is a hazardous drive (Bob says we are not to go alone – in case the car eats sand and dies).  Looks like the trip is worth it:

Dune jumping looks like fun!

There are also four malls, the Corniche, seedo rentals (in the bay outside Bob’s window) and, of course – one may shop, jog, ogle at the Pearl...right outside Bob's front door.  (Assuming I can walk by that time.  Think positive thoughts.)

More coming soon…

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Doha Driving - and Other Stuff

Bob and I talk every day. 
Like most people who’ve been married 26+ years, we love talking about our fabulous, remarkable, wondrous, charming, awesome kids: 

Our darling, delectable, delicious, squeezable grandkids:

Money (which, Bob claims, does not grow on trees):
And, of course, he never forgets to tell me how beautiful I am:
skype action photo
Since Bob’s in Qatar we also discuss a wide variety of other topics like the washing machine that washes and dries inside the same drum and how when he went to the mall for lunch his group could sit in the food court’s family section only because there was a woman in his group.  That his apartment boasts not one, but TWO windows that open into the elevator lobby and that Qataris don’t give change – everything is rounded to the nearest QR (Qatari Riyal).
No matter how varied the conversation, however, there’s one subject that always comes up -


The city of Doha is arranged around a series of traffic circles, which it appears one is required to take at warp speed.  Road lines are merely a suggestion.  Trucks, compact cars and SUVs compete for available space by approaching slower moving vehicles (ie, Bob) from behind, lights flashing, horns honking.  If space is unavailable (as is usually the case), well, there’s always the sidewalk, median, or opposing traffic side of the street - if you can do it without getting hit.
what happens when you go against traffic at warp speed
Don’t look for police wielding ticket pads, either.  Drivers are expected to check regularly to see if there’s an “offence against your vehicle” posted and arrange to pay the fine.  Or else…you don’t get to leave the country.
How bad is the traffic?  Bob’s apartment is approximately 6 miles from his office – yet it often takes 45 minutes to get to work.  So every day, we talk about how awful the traffic is.
And then?  We talk about our kids.

Aren’t they beautiful?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Let's Have a Drink on it

Everyone contributed to the Doha Thanksgiving Feast held at Curtis and Mary’s villa yesterday.  There was turkey, stuffing, dessert and Al brought a roasted lamb.  Bob donated to the liquor fund.

There is drinking in Qatar.

You can go to a hotel and enjoy a beer or two for $8 to $10 (each), or you could purchase a liquor license for 1000 QR (about $340 now) and buy your liquid in case form for much, much less (per bottle).

There’s only one place to buy alcohol in Doha and that’s the government run Qatar Distribution Company.  You can’t enter the building without a license, so Bob stood outside like a delinquent furtively awaiting an older sibling’s naughtiness.

For the record, it is considered Haraam (forbidden, a terrible sin) to be publicly inebriated or to even hold a bottle (open or closed) on a Doha street.  According to Islamic law, a Muslim caught drinking might be lashed!  Once purchased, your alcohol must be covered, taken immediately to your car and driven straight home.

“…To obtain an alcohol permit you need a letter from your employer written in English. This must be signed and stamped by an authorised person in your company and be addressed to the Qatar Distribution Company. It must state the applicant’s position, basic salary (must be above 4000 riyals or 1100 dollars, and the letter must use the word basic), state if an accommodation entitlement is received or if the applicant receives free accommodation and whether the applicant is married. The applicant must also provide their ID/passport and residence permit (photocopies are acceptable) and a 1000 riyal…returnable deposit…”

Private consumption of alcohol, like the existence of a Catholic Church and pork in the grocery is a Very Big Deal and unique to this tiny Islamic state at the heart of the Gulf.  In other words, don’t expect to buy yourself some Pinot Noir in Saudi Arabia, Iraq or Iran just a hop, skip and jump away.

How do Middle Easterners celebrate?  Some Middle Easterners consider breaking bread a bonding experience – “fi’ akul” (with food).  If you’re ever offered a cup of sugary tea (“shay”) in Egypt, you must accept it, for example, or risk offending your host.  Along the same lines, many Westerners consider a lifted glass or tipped bottle a shared moment, sip-in-time, union of spirits (pun intended).  It’s nice to have a beer with dinner - especially during the holidays.

Of course, Qatar’s history involves Bedouins, pearls, fishing boats – and the discovery of natural gas and oil - not starving pilgrims.  So until party time, Thursday, November 24 was a regular workday for Bob. Most party-goers were other expats: a few coworkers from Missouri, the World Headquarters of Burns & McDonnell, and others from literally every corner of the globe…New Zealand, the Philippines, Syria, United Kingdom, Wales to name just a few.  Most are, like Bob and me, “of a certain age” with kids grown or mostly grown – while others are in Qatar with small children in tow.  One young family is preparing to have their third child in country, due December 5!

Together, they filled Curtis and Mary’s house.  Food, fun, frivolity, family skyped-in – and a glass of wine with the holiday meal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bob's Apartment

Bob is now a happy resident of a one bedroom, one and a half bath townhome in the Porto Arabia “suburb” ( of the exclusive Pearl resort in beautiful Doha, Qatar.

The Pearl:


Take a tour with me!  Here’s the living room:


The living room windows lead to a balcony which looks out over the bay.
Another view of the living room, facing the kitchen and entry:

Inside the kitchen:

Bob said something fast about that window over the sink looking out over the elevator lobby (then he changed the subject).  Sounds like a great opportunity to meet the neighbors!
The bathroom (and Bob):
The bedroom:


The window leads to another balcony overlooking the bay.  Gonna like that, I think:


(Picturing me here – a cuppa joe in one hand, pencil in the other…)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bob's Doha Holiday

Bob’s done a lot of driving around the city on his five day holiday, taking pictures, figuring out the malls, groceries and generally learning how to get from here to there.  Here are a few pics from today’s walkabout:

Bob’s apartment – the two second floor balconies on the right.
View from Bob’s balconies.  To the right of the red box are two men sitting on the back deck (to get an idea of how big the ship is).  He saw a couple “wogging” along the riverfront too – a man and woman wearing tee shirts and shorts.

Furthest yacht on the left is the vessel from the previous picture.  Bob’s apartment is just to the left (and up) from that ship (doesn’t seem right to call it a “boat”).
Think this is a swank interior hallway?  WRONG.  This is one view of an OUTSIDE mall near Bob’s apartment.

Another mall – this one’s inside.  The ceiling is painted with stars and yep, that’s a gondola ride, complete with gondolier.  There are malls-a-plenty in Doha; this one sports an Applebee’s, TGIFriday, McDonald’s, Burger King and a KFC – a local favorite, says Bob.
Today is Sunday and Bob was headed to church when we spoke at 9am in KC/6pm in Doha; now a 9 hour difference thanks to US daylight savings time.  He did finally find the church, an unadorned stucco appearing structure with lights arranged in a circular shape around the door.  More about that another time.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Job Site Photos

Job Site photos from the top of one of the buildings:


Bob, please comment and tell us something about these buildings?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Eid al-Adha

Beginning Sunday, November 6, Muslims everywhere commemorate Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God with Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice.  The celebration begins at the end of the Hajj – the holy trip to Mecca - at the descent from Mount Ararat; about 70 days after Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of fasting known as Ramadan.

“Eid” (EYE-EED) means “solemn festival.”

Muslims recognize Ishmael as Abraham’s sacrificial son.  Others (me included) grew up with Isaac on the chopping block:

Isaac is bound to an altar and Abraham raises his knife.  At that moment, the angel of God stops Abraham, saying, “…now I know you fear God…”  (Genesis 22:12)  God provides a ram for the sacrifice instead.

(Abraham sacrifices Isaac, by Caravaggio)

I leave the Ishmael/Isaac dispute to the theologians. 

To prepare for Eid al-Adha, Muslims make wudu (ablution), offer Salat al-Fajr (pre-sunrise prayer), assure personal cleanliness and dress in their finest clothing.  All meet for Salat al-Eid (prayers) in a mosque or other special place.  The Imam speaks.  And then, celebrate!

“…At the conclusion of the prayers and sermon, Muslims embrace and exchange greetings (“Eid Mubarak!”), give gifts (“Eidi”) to children, and visit one another. Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite non-Muslim friends…to their Eid festivities to better acquaint them about Islam and Muslim culture.”

Those who can afford it sacrifice their best (farm) animal and break it into three parts:  one for the family, one for relatives, friends and neighbors and one for the poor and needy.

Bob isn’t Muslim and doesn’t expect to participate in Eid festivities (this year).  Instead he’ll celebrate Eid al-Adha with five days off work (Friday, November 4 through Tuesday, November 8) – a great chance to get to know the city: shop the malls, peruse the souq, find the Catholic Church (an unmarked building beside a mosque), visit the beach, buy towels and sheets for his new apartment (move in day November 15!!!) and more.  He has his own car now and plenty to do.

What do you want to know about Doha?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Job Site Visit

The (entire) email read:  “On job site yesterday with Mike the structural engineer from BMcD.”

It’s very hot in Qatar, so the office dress code is what might be considered Super Casual Saturday in my neck of the woods: tee shirts, jeans, cargo pants.  No ties. This photo may be Bob’s first visit to the job site, even as his office is right next door, overlooking construction, as befits a Senior Architect working the Construction Administration phase of a huge project.

Required – hardhat, steel toed boots and vest.  The boots appeared on his desk chair one day, just his size.  Vest and hardhat?  In stock.

Here’s what one website says about the project:

“The $5.5bn Musheireb development, the world's first sustainable downtown regeneration project, will regenerate 35 hectares (86 acres) site in the historical downtown Doha. The project aims to transform the old commercial and business district into the vibrant, cohesive and culturally alive city centre that it once was. The unique mixed-use project will simultaneously address issues of congestion, sustainability, and maintaining the aesthetic and social individuality of Qatar…upcoming phases will include design and construction supervision of a multi-use cultural forum, a central luxury hotel and serviced apartments, offices, townhouses, a primary school, a mosque, a shopping street and central power plant…”

In other words…lots of construction going on!

Here’s a photo of some interesting buildings in Doha:

Comment, people!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Welcome... Bob's blog!  If you're reading this, you likely know who's doing the actual writing - not Bob.  :)  Hope to get him to post every now and then.  Meanwhile, I'll do my best to keep you updated.
Bob and I talk via skype every day.  (Did I mention how glad I am we bought those twin laptops?)  Occasionally, work and sleep get in the way - that 8 hour time difference puts us at opposite ends of the clock.  That he's a night owl and I'm a morning bird helps.  That I'm doing the butt-in-chair stuck-at-home thing with a fractured ankle helps too. 

Bob's latest Friday Outing:  camel races!

Camels raced on an inside track while cars circled on an outside track.  The weather was a gorgeous, "cool," albeit shirt-dampening 95 degrees.

Bob promises more pictures.  Will post.  Hope you like.  :)

October 25

As expected, Bob’s working a LOT:  Sunday-Thursday are his “regular” work days, with Saturday an “overtime” day (which he’s expected to work).  Friday is the Muslim holy day, so he’s off that day only.  He’s still in a (2-bedroom, 2-bath, full kitchen AND a washer/dryer in the unit) hotel and sharing a car with a young guy from KC, but hopes to get his own car (thus, personal mobility) this week.  His “handler” showed him some apartments a couple of weeks ago and it looks like he’ll be in a one bedroom here:

More like a resort than a hotel, don’t you think?  Rough living!  He said it’s REALLY NICE - although it’s a bit farther away from the job site than other options.  (He’s willing to make the sacrifice.)

The sun rises at 4am and it’s dark by 5pm so by the time he gets “home,” it feels like bedtime.  He tends to eat a hot lunch out somewhere then have a sandwich in the evenings.

Technology is a challenge yet.  He’s not receiving ANY email from us at his office address.  He does get gmail (if you write to him at his domain address it goes into his gmail box), but internet at the hotel is finicky – and every time his room is cleaned his internet pass codes disappear (ummmmmmm, maybe keep them with you, Bob?)!  We’re connecting on skype (so glad we got the laptops!!) – he’s usually back in his room around 10am our time (he’s 8 hours ahead of us, so that’s 6pm his time).

There IS a Catholic church in Qatar ( – this is a huge, big deal and a compromise on the part of the monarchy to accommodate the many many expats working in the country.  There are NO markers, bells, signs, etc leading to it, however…in fact, Bob was unable to find it last Sunday – and it’s not a small building!  He’ll try again in the daylight on Friday.  J

I’ll bring my laptop to Grams’s as soon as Kimber can get me there – it seems my foot was indeed fractured when I fell last month.  I’m in a (soft) cast and on crutches for a(nother) month now.  Don’t like!  (I guess my angels decided I needed to spend some time working on upper body strength.)

Katie, Kimber and I are going to Qatar for Christmas and New Year’s.  We’ll help Bob get his household set up while checking things out for all of you.  J 

October 17

Bob skyped around 4pm – midnight his time.  He’d arrived safe and sound and was in his hotel room – a two bedroom suite he’ll share with a coworker for about a month.  He looked great even though he was beyond tired with a laundry list of things to do in order to be ready for his 7:30am ride to work in the morning.

Yep, right to it!  It’s all good.  He’s looking forward to seeing the facility and finding out what he’ll be doing…and where.  J

A couple of wrinkles -  the converters we sent don’t fit the sockets in his hotel, and his great, new 21st century phone has no service (contrary to powerful reassurances from the folks at T-Mobile).  He hopes to resolve those issues tomorrow, but we may not hear from him until his phone issue is fixed and his laptop can be juiced up again.

October 16

…Just off skype with Bob.  He looks great – hanging out in the business class lounge at JFK until time to board his flight for Dubai.  The lounge looks HUGE.  “Free” food and drinks (he was drinking a beer…his last for a while since we won’t be buying the $500 alcohol license in Doha), tv, fax, internet, etc etc.  He’ll board the (two level) plane from the business lounge – priority seating.  J

While we were chatting, Jim called – that was fun!  Then the other guy going with Bob (Ben) stopped by and told me about his marathon (he ran the KC marathon yesterday).  At one point Bob walked away to find his group and I watched from my little computer screen.  So very “Get Smart”-ish (for those of you around in the 70s).

So glad we got laptops and 21st century phones so we can communicate this way while Bob’s away!  If any of you have skype, you can add him using bobkennaley.

He won’t arrive in Doha until Monday night around 10:30pm…2:30pm our time.  Probably won’t hear from him again until Tuesday-ish.  And then the fun begins…he’s expected to put in a minimum of 45 hours Sun-Thursday, off Friday, and work in the morning on Saturday.  Busy, busy.