Camels, The Sheik, And The Rewards Of Living In The Present

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Irony. I publicly declared that I was taking a Facebook break so that I could focus on firmly planting both feet here in the UAE. I shared my 21st century affliction of longing to share unique stories and events from our life here with my social media network, but affirmed that my experiences would be just as valuable, even if the Facebook world never heard about them. The very next day, I ended up meeting Sheik Sultan bin Zayad in front of the victorious beauty pageant camels who were being doused in saffron at the Sweihan Camel Festival. C’mon.

saffronsheik sultan

This is kind of how my thoughts progressed throughout the day:

1.How the heck did we get ourselves into this crazy, awesome situation?

2. I can’t believe I can’t share this on Facebook.

3. Isn’t is just like God to give me this uniquely beautiful, surreal, middle-eastern experience, right after I committed to taking my mind off of what we left behind and focusing solely on what we have to enjoy here?

crowdI’m not sure I can articulate how touching this day was for me. As we drove home, my heart was full, and I realized it was for a few reasons. First of all, we were extended such warm hospitality by every local we encountered, and were honored to meet Sheik Sultan.

Secondly, I had been dying for some face time with camels, who have still not lost their cute factor to me, and we were up close and personal with some real beauties.

And mostly, this was such an authentic and uniquely Arabic experience, which is one of the things I most want from our time in the UAE. I’m so grateful for every chance I get to soak up the beauty and richness of a culture very different from my own.

camel poutThis day was a gift to me, and a great reminder that looking around me, instead of too far behind or too far ahead, will always be the most rewarding choice.

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7 thoughts on “Camels, The Sheik, And The Rewards Of Living In The Present

    Trish Poland said:
    February 16, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Yes it is true. God has presented you and your family with this choice of living abroad. When you focus on what has been given to you, the experience will be so rewarding. Try to see what is being given to you 😃 You are both sponge and ambassadors- enjoy each moment.

      jendhansen responded:
      February 16, 2015 at 5:57 pm

      Good analogies, Trish. Sponge and ambassadors. Truth. 🙂

    Lydia Saunders said:
    February 16, 2015 at 4:11 am

    I love camels and have loads of photos…when I was visiting Cam Sarah and the boys in Abu Dhabi, on the way back from camping in the desert we stopped at a small camel farm and were given the warmest welcome…I am so happy that you are finding blessings there as that is my prayer for you Dwayne Abbey and Josiah…to bloom where God has planted you and enjoy each day!! Love Lydia

      jendhansen responded:
      February 16, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      I know, I can’t seem to get enough pictures of them yet! I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your prayers, Lydia. Love you. 🙂

    OneDrawingDaily said:
    March 14, 2015 at 7:08 pm

    Hi – I drew a camel from one of your photos. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    http://onedrawingdaily.com/2015/03/14/390-camel-in-ink-and-watercolor/

      jendhansen responded:
      March 16, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Your drawing is beautiful. Thanks for linking it!

        OneDrawingDaily said:
        March 17, 2015 at 12:14 am

        Thanks a lot! I don’t get a lot of visitors on my site, but anything counts!

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