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.