Thursday, March 29, 2018

Novruz 2018

We got to experience Novruz in the city this year and it was lots of fun! Our compound did a celebration the week before the holiday and Madi's classroom had a small celebration before the end of term. We also made our way into the city to enjoy the festivities in Fountain Square. The weather cleared up perfectly for the Tuesday, which is the main celebration day, of the week. Here's all of the fun we had over the couple of weeks and the girls in their beautiful Azerbaijani outfits!

The celebration in Royal Park was first. They provided food and entertainment and the girls had fun. It was a bit chilly still and we didn't stay for the fire jumping (you read that correctly), but the girls enjoyed getting dressed up and got even more attention than usual!

My mom was here for the Novruz celebration in Madi's classroom and loved getting to see her dance and help her decorate eggs (like we do for Easter!). Our sweet nanny made treats especially for Olivia without nuts.

They also decorated the city with these large and beautiful eggs. I saw artists painting them in the beginning days of Novruz and they were all unique and fun. We also watched a super scary tight rope walker with of course no net or any sort of safety mechanisms and the girls got to sit on horses in Foutain Square were we ran into friends and enjoyed listening to the music and wandering the crowds.

And here are the most beautiful Azerbaijani girls. :-)


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Site Visit to Doha

In case you missed the announcement, we are moving to Doha. Jason headed there at the end of January and we got a chance to visit him towards the end of February. We had just over a week there to visit schools, houses, and have some fun exploring the city we get to call home soon.

We timed the visit to attend school assessments and y'all - this whole process is intense. We actually missed a lot of the deadlines for schools (for the 2018/2019 academic year) because they were in December...and some schools wouldn't even consider the twins for enrollment without previous school experience so I am thankful they started at Bumblebee this year! You also have to do one to two hours assessments (for all ages...) before you are either rejected, accepted, or waitlisted. 

Thankfully we visited two wonderful schools and got acceptance into both making it difficult for us to decide which to attend (and you only have like one week to decide after you're notified!).

In addition to visiting schools we decided to go ahead and view houses during the visit even though we don't need one until we move at the end of June. We were able to find one compound that we know is a great fit for our family and good location. There was only one house available and while we were tempted to go ahead and secure it now, we knew it didn't make sense to start paying for an empty house now. We prayed about it and got an email the following day saying that there was one which would become available at the beginning of July which works perfectly for us! 

Once we got the serious stuff out of the way (school and houses), we had some fun. Jason was working during the day so we took advantage by visiting some of the malls, playgrounds, and of course swimming pool to pass the time. In the evening we enjoyed some American treats with PF Changs, The Cheesecake Factory, and Arby's!

Overall it was a wonderful trip and Doha seems like a lovely city. It's definitely going to be a weird adjustment moving to such a big city and not having much outdoor scenery (this Colorado girl is going to miss her mountains!), but we are looking forward to the move and having just one flight to visit friends and family in the US. 

There was a beautiful park and playground near our hotel that we spent most of the day at after arriving.

We finally caved and let the girls ride these animals at the mall after they'd been asking most of the week.

One of the malls has a small canal imitating Venice and we enjoyed taking a ride after dinner.

Taking a break from the pool for Nutella sandwiches. So glad Olivia can have it since clearly she is a fan. ;-)

Enjoying a family brunch before heading back to Baku.


Friday, March 2, 2018

The Overseas Adventure DOHA!

If you follow me on social media than you may have seen that we are moving... to Doha, Qatar! Everything happened very quickly and we are excited (and a bit overwhelmed) at this move to a much larger city. In fact, Jason has already started working there and will come back to Baku for just a few days every month until we join him in June.

The next few months aren't going to be easy doing long distance, but we felt that it was better overall than hurrying a move for the girls when they'd just started school and everything was happening so fast.

We were able to go to  Doha for our site visit, house hunting, and school assessments for the girls at the end of February. We got a lot done during that week in Qatar and are thankful how things are coming together for the next chapter of our overseas adventures.

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