Waiting in the departure lounge, Melbourne after months of involvement, preparation and communicaton, three students and I have finally arrived in Doha, Qatar. It has already been an amazing venture and we have only been here for 5 hours or so. We are the earlybirds and hence, enjoying time spent at the Qatar Academy prior to the conference. Let me share some of our experiences through our senses.
..Kuala Lumpur aiport at night time, where we had to be ferried by a train across the tarmac to the main airport terminal
..The Hawkesdale College contingent asleep on the couches, for a hour or so, during a 5 hour stopover.
..Our first glimpse of Qatar, through the dark of the early morning arrival.
..Queues at the immigration desk to allow us entry to the country.
..Taxi and limousine touts all wanting to take us to the education centre of Qatar
..The beautiful white buildings of Qatar, and the never ending building sites, with numerous cranes rising above the city horizon.
..The magnificent corniche, or water frontage, complete with wooden boats and modern ships
..The massive education complex comprising schools, univerities, accommodation
the inspiring architecture and eye-catching spaciousness of the Qatar academy buildings
..Julie Lindsay’s modern apartment where we had a shower to freshen up after our early arrival (5:30am)
..The magnificent Qatar academy through a guided tour by Julie’s daughter
..groans from the girls about having to find passports, boarding passes and having to unpack everything for security at each stopover and reconnection
..louder groans from me on finding that my credit card has been blocked by my bank several hours before we depart Australia
..the warm welcomes of the Qatari people everywhere we have been
..taxi driver trying to find the Edcuation complex and address of Julie
..the student throng of Qatar academy out in the corridors at lunchtime
..the welcoming voices of Qatar academy staff and genuine interest taken in us.
..excited about entering a country that is so different from ours
..even more excited about the days ahead and
..a great sense of pride to be able to bring three students from our school in Australia and to be able to representn our country in this momentous flatclassroom conference.
..jetlag setting in
..rather disgruntled about my credit card (the only one I have) and still trying to sort through the solutions.