Wow! So this year has truly been a whirlwind . . . So, let me start at the beginning:

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Jenna. I am married and currently live in Buffalo, but all of that is about to change. Both my husband, Scott, and I are teachers, but that doesn’t look like it will change anytime soon! At the beginning of August, last year, I was laid off from my teaching job in the city of Buffalo. It truly broke my heart; however, it gave us an opportunity to explore other options. We heard about Teach Away and began to grow curious about living abroad. After having traveled to Africa in college, both Scott and I have always longed to live in another country. We looked into various countries and after months of research, decided on Abu Dhabi! So this time instead of Africa it is . . . Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates!! And this time instead of 3 months it is . . . 2 years!! We are so excited and so overwhelmed. The hiring process went something like this: we applied back in December, had a phone interview in January, in person interviews in Toronto in March, got the job offers in April, and now – well, now I am finished with Grad school and trying to pack up the house before we leave at the beginning of August – Whew!! Like I said – whirlwind!

To give you an idea about the city – Here are some links that might help you to visualize where we are going. The official tourism website of Abu Dhabi is a great site to check out. Also Ask Ali is a great site that addresses many of the cultural adjustment issues and questions. The ADEC website leads you to the school board that hired us. We are hired through their public schools – the Abu Dhabi Education Council. Here’s a little picture of Abu Dhabi city:

taken from

So – as to the logistics of this blog. My goal is to write something everyday. Before we leave I am hoping to post information about the city and about the process of moving to another country. For those of you who don’t care about that part of the process and just want to know what the country is like then check out my blog in August!

Oh – and one last thing. The title of this blog – hayya bina – is Arabic for “let’s go.” So I look forward to staying in touch with all of you and sharing our experiences : )

Masalaama (goodbye in Arabic!)

I need to also give credit where credit is due. The picture I chose from my blog came from: