Starting the big trip: Doha, Qatar

February 27, 2015

It’s been a long time since I’ve added to this site, but I thought attempting to keep up on my blogging, while being on such an extraordinary adventure would be a good thing.

I am currently in Doha, Qatar, on a layover on my way to Kathmandu, Nepal to work with the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA).  Already it has been an adventure!  It started with FedEx failing to be able to ship some important equipment to me that I need for my research project.  (Well they got it there, but about 3 hours too late.  I missed it by THREE HOURS!!!!) So the very nice guy whom I bought it from is now shipping it to the HRA headquarters in Kathmandu Nepal!

Boarded the long flight 1/2 way around the world.  They were nice enough to check 3 of my 4 bags for free (so awesome!)  The flight gave me 12 hours to numb my brain with several movies and a few reruns of M.A.S.H.  (I never sleep well on airplanes).  But I can say that “Gone, Girl” absolutely did not disappoint!  One of the better movies I’ve seen in a long time.

Doha, Qatar, is an incredibly pleasant city!  Especially in February, when the climate is comfortable enough to wear a long sleeve shirt, and there is a nice breeze that comes off the Persian Gulf.  In spite of my parents worries that I would be abducted by ISIS or something, Doha is a really nice place, and even walking around alone at night I felt very safe.  There were tons of jewelry stores, Jaguar / Austin Martin dealers, nice restaurants, and banks around, and yet I haven’t seen anyone that looks like Police, or Military, or Security.  The only weapons I’ve seen are old styled swords and maces that would be sold to tourists.

I was able to walk to the Souk Wadif, which is about the one “absolute must see” tourist thing in Doha.  It’s an old styled market, but it is very sheek and trendy, without feeling pretentious.  It had a much more upscale and safer feeling to it than the Kejetia Market in Kumasi, Ghana.

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Some of the women wore traditional Burqas, or Hijabs, but many also had their complete face and hair exposed, and it didn’t seem to matter at all.  Many men wore the traditional white robes (I don’t know their name), but others worse suits or tee-shirts and jeans.  There were lots of families and groups wandering the streets of the Souk Wadif, and many children were playing.

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There was also a beautiful spiraling minaret, that ended up being an Islamic Community Center, and presumably a mosque.  I haven’t been able to see the Persian Gulf yet, but hope to tomorrow morning before I fly out.

So tomorrow I continue on my journey, making it to Kathmandu!  Stay tuned.

P.S., I am so grateful to have such great friends such as Jonathan and Kristy Nellermoe, and TJ and Alyssa Johnson, all friends from Mountain Life Church, who are willing to stay at my house while I’m gone and look after things for me!  Especial thanks to Jon and Kristy for putting up with me during me melt down today regarding the FedEx fiasco!

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Beautiful interior shots of buildings in the Souk Wadif

 

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Another mosque I was able to photograph

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