It's currently 34C with 59% humidity; I'm sitting outside in the backyard, in the shade, with the laptop. Nicholas is home sick with a bad cold today (yes, we even get them here!), so he has joined me on the patio. Life's good!
As promised, Nick and Jacob started hockey this past week, with the minor hockey Qatar Raiders. The experience as a hockey parent here is a bit surreal. The rink is in Villagio Mall, right beside the food court and the amusement park. There are tables adjacent to half the rink, so you can sit and watch while sipping a Starbucks or eating lunch. No parkas or blankets are required, although I do usually wear a sweater since the mall itself is over-air-conditioned. The only negative thing about hockey for us is the distance we have to drive. For Calgary readers, our driving situation would be the same as living in Kincora and having Triwood as your home rink, or living in Charleswood and playing at South Fish Creek!
All non-hockey parents might want to tune out here, as you may be tempted to nod off. Both boys had conditioning skates Tuesday and Wednesday night. On Saturday, evaluations began...and ended! Quite a bit less stressful than our former experience with evaluations in Calgary, I must say. Because of the small number of kids (only two teams per division), kids can be moved out of their age group, depending their ability. Jacob skated with his age group (6-8 year olds) on Saturday morning, and then was asked to skate with the next group up. He is over-the-moon that he gets to "skip second year Novice" (his words) and play on the Atom team this year. Nicholas will play Pee-Wee (up to age 13 here), and showed as a very strong skater out there. His age group is made up of more experienced players than Jacob's, so there were a number of kids who are at about Nick's level. These are house-league teams, and rep teams (the teams that travel to other Gulf states for tournaments) will have their try-outs next month.
The best part of having our two hockey kids playing in adjacent divisions? They both have practices every Tuesday evening (back-to-back), and games every Saturday (also back-to-back). Dan is playing two days out of Friday, Sunday and Monday each week, and will also coach.
So, one less kid in hockey and moving half way around the world has resulted in decreasing our days per week at the rink from seven to four! We might need to take up another pastime...