I know it’s a bit late but Happy New Year everyone!

I am running late. Just got back from a trip in Ghana, and whoa, it really was a busy and enjoyable experience. From going to Cape Castle, to Aburi botanical gardens and how could I forget Kakum National Park. The firework display on New Year’s Eve, at the hotel, was spectacular. I think just as good the one witnessed in Dubai.

Now back to everyday. One or two resolutions that I hope that I don’t break and that is to do The Artist’s Way without stopping or ‘breaking’. I started this book before and just got up to week 5 and then I stopped! Can’t remember why but I never got back to it again. Now I’ve restarted (just completed Week One), I try to make myself be more conscious of what I have to do. There are some principles that the author (Julia Cameron) wants you to follow, so I have to do that. Let see how it goes.

The second resolution is to lose weight. Gosh, how many times have I promised myself this?? I’ve lost count. But I just hate how my body shape seems to have settled down and refusing to accept change, aided and abetted by myself of course! But I will try my hardest to lose this weight.

2011 was a tense ridden year for me; from problems that involve loved ones to problems with the State. But as my Pastor constantly tells me: The Almighty Father never gives us challenges that we cannot overcome. I guess there must some truth in that as I’m still here!

I hope and pray for a more positive time, to be more forgiving and understanding to others and for peace to be given more of a chance.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Dubai – A Success that is vulnerable??

My family and I spent last Christmas and New Year in Dubai (2008).  We chose the sumptuous JW Marriott Hotel which is in Deira. The day after we arrived, we decided to look around this strange environment.  I say strange as I have to remind myself (or even pinch myself) that all that lay before me was once upon a time a desert.  Thanks to the vision of the current ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who was responsible for single handedly converting this expanse of land into an opulent oasis.  The malls were beautiful, and I mean all of them; although transport at the time was a problem (I understand now, there is an over ground rail) there were loads of taxi that was always available at the click of a finger; the ice rink and the ski ramp (Snow Park), the water park (Wild Wadi) the kids went to these on a daily basis. 

A fantastic building!!

As I said before the hotel we stayed was beautiful but where we had Xmas meal, in one of the restaurants in Burg Al –Arab Hotel, the 7 star hotel, was simply out of this world. Whether it was the glass you drank from or the lift that took you to the top floor or the way you were handled at reception, it was all just simply exquisite.  The meal we had was a seven course meal, and we thoroughly enjoyed it.  To see in the New Year we went to Bab Al Shams Hotel.  Again, another extravagant hotel that was in the desert. I read in Time Out Dubai that they were one of many hotels to hold a ‘party’. We hired a taxi and it took over an hour to get there, and it was scary as there was a desert storm on and the driver drove at 5 miles an hour as he couldn’t see anything! But finally we got there and ate and danced ourselves silly to RnB/Arabic music.  It was great! 

I write this now as Dubai seems to be in the storm these days about how the desert dream has turned into a nightmare. That the vision of the current ruler was way too ambitious and the banks were too keen to arrange the billion dollar loans.  But having been there myself, I have to wonder if it’s conceivable that shoppers would visit the malls – especially the ones that sell only designer labels – on a day to day basis and buy these goods; whether the many restaurants would have constant patrons; whether the stars that are flown in to attend one function or the other would have fans to justify the amounts paid to these celebrities for being there.  Having read the Dubai English papers, the Dubais are angry at the criticisms and feel that outsiders are ‘jealous’ at them for even daring to dream such a dream.  Although I enjoyed my time there and wouldn’t mind visiting the place again, I do pity Dubai and pray that they will get support to take them out of this predicament.