Updated: Mar 8, 2019
Hello readers! As you probably already know, my trip to the UAE is coming to an end. After tomorrow, we are on the first flight out of the UAE on Wednesday. It's sad to think that my time here is almost up, but I am excited to see my family and friends! I'll turning around to head out to Scotland a week after I get back, so I am grateful that we are almost done. I have learned and seen so much while here in the UAE. I could not be more grateful for my two professors, Dr. Tsai and Dr. Brown! Our joke of the trip is that they inherited seventeen daughters, since they act like our dads. They embrace it honestly. I am especially thankful for Rawya, our UAE leaders that has organized our entire itinerary. Without her, we would be all sorts of lost and confused.
Today our first activity of the day was a tour of the Dubai World Trade Center. What I didn't realize is that most of Dubai's construction has occurred in the past fifteen to ten years. The Dubai World Trade Center was the first skyscraper to be built in the Middle East. It is truly amazing the advances that Dubai has made. We got to see the different trade show buildings and the kitchen. The kitchen is absolutely amazing. It is HUGE and very well labeled to prevent cross contamination. It was super cool to see the flow of the kitchen. One cook told us that she once had a 36 hour shift, since they were so busy with preparing food. We were all shocked---I don't think I could ever be a chef anyways.
The second activity was a tour of the visitors center for the World Expo 2020. This was super cool. We got to see the plans for the design of the space for the World Expo presented by the Legacy Team. For those of you who don't know what the World Expo 2020 is, basically every 25 years a country hosts a six month trade show. Other countries send representatives to show the technological advances and other innovations made by their country. Dubai wants to make sure after the Expo is over they don't waste the infrastructure they had to create, so they are turning the site of World Expo 2020 into another city in Dubai called District 2020. They will have business buildings, apartments, and other city necessities. They are making a metro line into the area for World Expo 2020, so transportation will already be there. To put this into perspective, the whole area is over 600 soccer fields. The Legacy Team told us that Dubai is viewing this construction as an investment on Dubai (so we didn't really get an answer on how much it costs). If it helps at all, we found out that the U.S is spending six million on our pavilion (space) at the World Expo 2020.
Our last activity of the day was a desert safari. We first piled into a seven seat explorer to head off to the desert. We drove to an ATV rental and bathroom stop on the desert. Some of the girls decided they wanted to ride ATV's on the desert, which was all fun until someone flipped their ATV. They are both fine, but it was extremely funny since she got it all on her GoPro. I have also attached a picture of Dr. Brown holding all our stuff, like a true dad might I add. After we finished with the ATV's, we piled back into the cars and were off through the desert. Off-roading was quite the adventure. We were all screaming (a little---not excessively, don't worry) and laughing. The drivers all pulled over so we could take some pictures on top of the sand dunes. We then continued our journey to the campsite where we were served food and a dinner show. We saw more Tanoura dancing, belly dancing, and a fire thrower. A bunch of us girls got henna on our hand and rode a camel! It was super cool and truly an experience I will never forget! God is so good guys, I don't know what else I can say. Everything is because of him and by the grace he gives me every day to experience these things and continue to keep living this life!
God is good all the time and all the time God is good!