Tuesday, July 16, 2013

We are home....

12 suitcases and ten pieces of hand luggage and 14 hours later we are home in Australia.  Everyone is asking me how the girls are coping with the changes, I guess the best answer is they are happy, but in a confused kind of way. 

Things have changed since we last lived in Australia, I'm feeling like a newly arrived immigrant in our own country.   We have a house to live in, after much chasing around of rental agents.  Its a nice family home in  a good area near a school that has a good English as a second language program. 

We move in on Friday, we have a storage unit full of goodness only knows what, I am looking forward to seeing our stuff, its been nearly five years since we put it all in there.

Our stuff from Abu Dhabi is somewhere on the high seas on its way to Australia.  I have no idea when we will see that! 

Our little dog Abby is still in Abu Dhabi.  She cannot travel for a few more weeks, she has to wait for rabies blood test results.  She is in safe hands with our maid Delia who is now living with friends in Al Reef.

Its COLD!  


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Well like the title of my blog, the Schmids are moving!

It has been a big decision, but once we made the decision, it all feels good.  We are going home.

We arrived in Abu Dhabi as a family of two, with our suitcases and a few boxes and intended to stay two years. 

Now more than double that time we are a family of five, many boxes and suitcases and a dog.

We have loved our time in the United Arab Emirites, life has been good to us.  However we feel it is time that the girls go to Australia, spend time with family and get into school in Australia.

Recently we had Bert's Aunt Helga here from Canada and the girls loved her being here so much.  She was someone with links to the family, she has known Bert since he was a little boy.  I saw how they listened to her and loved her dearly.  I realized that is what we are missing in our lives, extended family.

We have made so many wonderful friends here.  Muslim, Christians and Hindus and probably quite a lot of other faiths I cannot think of right now.  We have experienced sandstorms, a few earthquakes.  We have worked our way around a lot of confusing rules and traditions, but most of all we have had fun and go home changed and better people for the experience.

The friends who have impacted our lives are too many to mention.  Work collegues, neighbours, friends from all corners of the world all made the experience that much richer and more fun.  

The greatest experience however has been the outpouring of generosity and extreme kindness we were shown by everyone we came in contact with since adopting the girls.  Rose recently said to me, everyone is so kind to us, but before my life in Ethiopia everyone was mean to me.  For every person who dropped off gifts for her birthday, or cakes, or your own childrens outgrown clothes for my girls, you have taught them a powerful lesson.  That the world can be a kind place.  And they experienced that for the first time in Abu Dhabi. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Funny how such a small thing most of us take for granted can have such a profound effect on our lives.

In the first week that I was in Abu Dhabi I read about a woman who was making care packages for labourers.  She had surveyed the men and asked them what they would most like to receive.

One man told her a new pillowslip as it would make it so much easier to control the lice if he was able to wash his pillowslip more often.

How many of us have a stack of unused mismatched pillowslips in our cupboards that we keep for reasons we are never quite sure about.

I went out and bought 6 dozen pillow slips and sent them to this lady but it was still just a drop in the ocean of what was actually required.

It also moved me to start the welfare collections from expat families to give to laborers that we still do daily, we give away about a truck load of goods per week. 

One of my friends recently said to me, you are one of the few people who when they go home, can honestly say you have made a difference in peoples lives here.  Such a nice compliment.

Last night my sweet funny little Tamirie was crying in her bed.  I went in to talk to her and give her a hug and she said Mum, do you think we could send my pillow to my mum in Ethiopia?  Its so soft and clean and she would love it.

My heart just breaks for this precious little girl who has lived on the streets of Addis for the first six years of her life in what she calls her plastic house.  It was a piece of plastic stuck to the church walls.

Her  mother and four siblings are still on the street using goodness knows what for a pillow. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

How did it get to be February already?

I've barely put the Christmas decorations away and here it is February already.  While Australia is being battered with bushfires, heatwaves, floods and tornados we are enjoying the coolest winter we have had in the Middle East. 

The girls have never seen fog, or frog as they often call it.  Most mornings for the past two weeks have been very thick fog. Photos of fog are difficult because well, its foggy!  But I love this image of Dubai in the fog. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012 Al Dhafra Camel Festival

I won't bore you with a million camel photos from the camel festival.  We went to this festival two years ago with Laura and had a fabulous time so we saw it was on again while Renee and Gerhard were with us.  Bert had hired a van to get around in while they were here so we headed off into the desert to the camel festival.

We had fun, it was smaller than last time we were there, probably because it was mid week but it was still great.  This picture is my favorite from the day. 

I will try and include a map just to show how remote an area this camel festival is.  You drive to the middle of nowhere (Madinat Zayed) then go about 20 kms past it, turn left and drive about 5kms into the sand and you are there.  The middle of nowhere.            camel festival in the middle of nowhere.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And so that was Christmas!

We had a fabulous Christmas 2012.  Our friends Renee and Gerhard Plenert came from Saudi where they are temporarily staying to celebrate with us.  Saudi is not exactly a hot spot for Christmas cheer.

In addition to the great company, it was the girls first Christmas.  Last year they think they got a postcard, and they have told me Christmas was so great because they got a bottle of coke and an orange. 

We tried to keep it as low key as possible so as not to overwhelm them but in the days leading up to the big day there were a steady stream of friends and neighbours arriving with gifts for girls until we had an enormous pile of gifts under the tree. 

Tamirie singing away in a manger at the church Christmas eve programme  She did great, we were worried she was going to turn it into the first ever song and dance rendition

Christmas eve, good friends and German food.  What's not to love?

Helen and Rose, opening their presents, their first ever mobile phone

I love this photo. Tamirie is just such a joy of a child.  Always full of smiles and fun.  This is her gift to her Dad, a water pistol.  We thought it would be a great new discipline method and Tamirie seems to agree.