Monday, August 1, 2011

First Monday With Robyn: Off to Abu Dhabi!

By Robyn Gioia

Hello everyone. Or should I say goodbye?

I will be taking a hiatus on contributing to the blog. I am currently packing to go overseas where I'll be teaching in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The adventurer in me won out, so I’m off to live in an ancient culture with thousands of years of history.

I just came back from a going-away party thrown by my very talented teacher friends. They kept asking if I was excited. The answer was yes. And no. I’m excited to be part of a new adventure. And no at possibly messing up. Things are very different and there will be a learning curve. The last thing I want to do is insult someone without knowing it, or give false impressions. I know from living in England for three years that each culture is unique and that one country’s perception can be misunderstood by another. Only time will tell how successful I am.  

My days will be filled with either boys or girls. Which one I’m teaching is not known yet. My quandary at this point is which teaching materials to take since I’m not sure of the grade level. At the elementary level that is huge. The young brain is growing exponentially in the early years and there is a large gap between the abilities of a second grader verses a fourth grader. A child in second grade is introduced to polygons in math, while a fourth grader is multiplying fractions, and learning how to find the surface area of a cube. What to take is a challenge, but one I’m excited about.
The UAE is a very interesting country. Some call it the Switzerland of the Middle East. They are forward thinking and very serious about education. The emirate has put a ten year educational initiative in place. The children will receive a bilingual education beginning in Kindergarten. I will be teaching math, science and language arts in English and the kids will take their other classes in Arabic. The goal is a world-class education.
I admit that I wasn’t that well informed about the region until researching this job opportunity. Abu Dhabi City is the richest city in the world. Dubai, another major city in the UAE, lies not too far up the Gulf coast. I’ve read that the fashion industry is beginning to rival London. Large world corporations are seeking out Dubai and Abu Dhabi City addresses. A Ferrari theme park in Abu Dhabi City is a grand attraction. Tourists from all over the world flock to the area. Camel racing is a million dollar sport.
Think about the other things around. The pyramids of Egypt aren’t far away, the Taj Mahal in India is within reach, Asia, Europe, and African are all in the neighborhood. It will take some major shifting of geological locations in my brain to comprehend the new opportunities.
I’ve dropped in a link presented at the 2010, World Expo. It is a fun and enticing introduction to Abu Dhabi. The music continues to play in my mind long after the video is finished. I love the music. If you are interested in learning more about the region, there are several excellent YouTube videos listed in the right column of the links page. For a country only 40 years old, they’ve grown into a world class country in an extraordinary amount of time. If you haven’t heard about the UAE, it is worth the time to learn. They are moving into the international spotlight.

Keep your eye out for my middle grade eBook, The Ghost, the Rat and Me. I hope to have it out by Christmas.

Well, take care and hopefully, we’ll chat later. Robyn
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We’re going to miss Robyn, she has been a good friend and great addition to this blog.  Robyn is a very talented and eclectic writer who has received many kudos for her work which ranges from children’s history books to young adult mysteries.  Check out the interview I did with her last November and watch the blog, when Robyn’s new book is out, we’ll post it here.  Robyn, thanks, God Bless, and do keep in touch!


  1. Best Wishes on your adventure, Robyn! What an opportunity! I bet a story comes out of it. Meanwhile, will be looking forward to the release of "The Ghost, the Rat and Me" in December!

    Hope you'll still be checking into the ebook experiment. I've valued your contributions there.


    Writing as A. R. Silverberry
    Award-Winning Author of Wyndano's Cloak

  2. Goodbye, you did very well,You Dubai thought better of being, you will feel good to be there, because Dubai is a great and beautiful place, is there anything that is Dubai, do tell me when you come back from Dubai.