chocolateisfromheaven

I. Cannot. Sleep.

In Uncategorized on November 29, 2012 at 4:00 am

It’s been a while since I last blogged, and I have missed it! Was planning on writing about the recent changes in my life but today I just want to say this:

I. Cannot. Sleep.

And it is driving me insane! I used to have a very stable, boring sleep cycle. Early to bed, early to rise. Clockwork. In the past month, I have found myself increasingly tossing and turning, struggling to fall asleep and then waking up to the shrill, annoying sound of my alarm. I am very close to smashing my phone. The next groggy 20 minutes are spent trying to drag myself out of bed and then race to get ready and rush out the door. Oh and I am quite often hungry, or gulping down a half prepared meal. Because I am late. Because I am tired. Because I couldn’t sleep. And I am giving anyone cheerful in the morning, lunch or evening, an angry jealous hateful glare. Is my frustration showing?

The up part is that I am responding in real time to my friends in different time zones all over the world, many of whom get quite confused about where I am currently residing, because regular people would not be awake at this time on a weekday.

As I type this, I have 2 hours remaining before my alarm goes off for the new day. And I haven’t slept a wink. New record. And I am hungry. Oh well, I think I will drag my tired self out of bed and cook me a large, heavy breakfast and then prepare an extra large caffeine shot which hopefully will somehow power me through the day. And I will attempt to be civil. And, by the power of positive thinking, will crash into bed, at night, and fall into peaceful slumber!

Now that’s a plan!

The month of giving

In Social Entrepreneurship, Uncategorized on August 11, 2012 at 10:42 am

The month of Ramadhan is when Muslims all over the world fast. It is a month of meditation, spirituality and a greater focus on doing good. In Dubai, I have witnessed, and been inspired by, many ordinary individuals who go out of their way to help others and specially those less fortunate. Some have made it their personal goal to change the lives of others for the better and work for that all year round. In Ramadhan though, there is always a spike in the generosity of people giving to those less fortunate. Here are some of my favourite places to volunteer and also a couple of new ones that I have spotted in the city:

  1. Saher Shaikh is truly an inspirational woman. She founded AdoptACamp which was born out of 1 act of kindness and is now helping over 32,000 men!
    AdoptACamp Care Package Night

    AdoptACamp Care Package Night. Awesome!

     AdoptaCamp hold an annual Care Package night in which volunteers help pack boxes filled with daily essentials, such as soap, toothpaste, tooth brush, etc, for laborers working in Dubai. The vibe there is very positive, high in energy and what I like the most is that everyone is smiling while working! It’s a proper event with entire families participating and groups of friends attending. This year I went with some friends and five kids who were volunteering for the first time. They thought the whole place was in their words ‘awesome!’. 🙂

    2. A new find of mine on the streets of Dubai has been MotiRoti! They have a wrap stand and have decided to feed around 175 laborers working in the area, every day, starting the ‘Feed a Blue Belly’ campaign. Have not volunteered there yet as I help out at another place at the same time but love what they do and the way they have generated a lot of enthusiasm and support, and they seem to have a knack with coming up with creative names!

    3. The Barsha Boys. Well this technically has no name but a friend of mine gives out food every evening in Ramadhan to low income workers in the Barsha area. It’s a small effort with only a few involved and I had decided to be more hands on this year and it has been very rewarding. The men are so grateful to receive the food packages and are always greeting us with smiles and we started to call them our Barsha boys. It is a very humbling and rewarding experience to serve those who have it less easy than you. We are truly blessed to have food on our plates, a good place to sleep and the every day comforts that we take for granted. We might have our problems, but there are always those who are worse off than us.

    The smile says it all...

    The smile says it all…

     

Hello Toronto!

In Travel on July 1, 2012 at 11:56 am

I just got back from a short trip to Toronto, Canada. Canada is a beautiful place, with lots to discover and I would love to visit again and tour more of the country. My stay was rather short and I was sick for most of my trip which meant I spent most of some days lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, contemplating whether I had more energy in this hour than I had in the last hour…. Thank God for antibiotics!

Here are my top 3 moments in Toronto:

1. A hike in Bruce Peninsula National Park

The first couple of days that I was in Toronto, the skies were pouring rain. When we got a sunny day, we decided to head off to the Bruce Peninsula National park and enjoy a hike. Now if you are in Canada, it is mandatory to stop at a Tim Horton‘s 🙂 Enjoyed their delicious French Toast Bagel and off we went. Weather was perfect, scenery was beautiful, the water turquoise blue and the pebbles pearly white. We felt like we were at some Pirates of the Caribbean location and started acting that way! An easy hike through the forest brought us to the cliffs facing the lake and to where they had a grotto. Now to get to the grotto we had to either climb down the cliff or climb down through a hole in the rocks. To me the hole seemed quite narrow and I was concerned whether the tunnel leading us down to the grotto would be claustrophobic, but was told that this was the easier way. Hence, I dropped down into the hole saying a little prayer. To my surprise it was wide open at the other end and was an easy climb down the rocks and into the grotto. Excited, we wanted to have a dip in the beautiful water in that cave, put our feet in and 10 seconds later were jumping out! It felt like a brain freeze for the feet! We ended up sitting on a rock, under the sun, and just taking the view in. In our crazy hectic lives these days, those moments of just stopping and doing nothing amid beautiful natural surroundings, really feels good.

Bruce Peninsular National Park

Bruce Peninsular National Park. Acting like pirates marooned on an island…

The grotto

The grotto. Our favorite part of the park. The dark cave with the turquoise water.

A friend

A friend

 

2. I saw the Tumbler!

I was roaming around aimlessly in downtown Toronto, passing by a crowd gathered in a square when I noticed that they were gathered there because the Batmobile was parked in the middle! ‘That’s the batmobile!’, I shouted and rushed forward scrambling for a photo op! By chance they were about to move it out so some lucky guy gets in and turns the big car on. As it rumbled the crowd and I grew more excited and they drove it up and into a trailer to transport it to their next promotional stop. Looking back, I acted like some star struck teenager but hey who hasn’t wished they had super powers and super cars like these superheros!

The Tumbler!

The Tumbler!

 

3. Having funnel cake by the road side on a rainy day

This is the funnel cake. Enough said!

Funnel Cake

Funnel Cake. Delish!

 

 

 

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