Saturday, April 30, 2016

Golf at 5AM

There was a lot of excitement in the American Women’s Association (AWA) Golf Club UNTIL the day before the First Annual American Chamber (AmCham) in Bahrain Golf Tournament.

That was when we found out what time we would need to be at the course to play in the tournament.

There was a shotgun start requiring me to leave for the course at 5AM.

Yes, I said 5AM.

To make my life even more complicated Hubby D left for a trip back to the US (CMAA Conference in Austin, Texas) at 1AM so he would leave for the airport at 11PM the night before the big tournament.

I told myself, just suck it up and try to get some sleep.  But like my teammate KL, I could not sleep.  I worried I would miss the alarm. When 4AM rolled around I was already awake.

We have been preparing for the AmCham Golf Tournament ever since the Chamber invited AWA to field a team of 4.

We found out about our invitation right before Hubby D and I went on a golf outing to Abu Dhabi. I tried to use that trip as a brush up on my skills, but I did not feel so good about how I played.  When we got back to Bahrain, I signed up for a couple of lessons.

The courses in Abu Dhabi were tough.

In case you can't tell, this lady is putting in an abaya.

The club house at the Abu Dhabi Golf Course was pretty impressive.

As I drove to the Royal Golf course in Bahrain on the morning of the AmCham tournament, I could not help myself but enjoy the beauty of Bahrain.  There was an amazing sunrise over the Bahrain dessert and great photo opportunities kept appearing. I know I probably looked pretty silly at 5:15 AM standing along side the road snapping pictures of the sunrise.

As we prepared for the start our captain, DL cornered a gentleman who seemed to know what he was doing for some advice on how to keep score. Later we found out he was the head of the tournament. 

Fueling up before the big start.
The AmCham gave us a wonderful goodie bag filled with lots of wonderful things.
Our combined handicap for the tournament was 11.8.  I am not sure where we finished in the final scores, but I thought we all played pretty well.

Here is the AWA Golf Team on the 18th green waiting patiently for the tournament photo - Captain DL, KD, LB and myself.
We had the opportunity to snap a better shot of our team with American Ambassador Roebuck right after they took the big group photo.
All ready to go - just one more selfie.  
Midway down the first hole, AWA President DR came driving up in a golf cart. She said she was going to be our cheerleader for the day. Although her knowledge of golf was limited at the beginning of the round, by the end she knew the entire lingo.

The day became even more fun with DL’s husband, DL showed up with his camera and his advice. It was like having a caddie who was also documenting the fun.  All of these pictures from the course are his.

The format was Florida Scramble so we had to evaluate and choose the best shot each time.

LB's driver was HOT, HOT, HOT!
KD had many fantastic shots.
Captain DL led the way and was our MVP.

I had an awesome approach shot here.

No water or gatorade along this course. These were manly refreshments!

At the turn - if we drink these will it help our game?

One of many great shots along the way by KD.

DL with our caddie on the tee box of the 18th hole.

There were some great shots and there were some not so great shots. DL lost 2 balls in the water on 18 (after our refreshments) and I lost 3 balls on the front 9 in the bushes when I was still trying to wake up.

Coordinated heads.

I had a couple of putts and approach shots that were stunning.  That’s a word you don’t hear on the golf course often, but we all agreed it was an appropriate description.

Yep!  That is my ball.  Amazing approach shot on this hole. 
Later on that evening an awards gala was held in the garden of the American Ambassador’s residence. The evening was almost as much fun as the golf. There was a live jazz band that was excellent so I really missed Hubby D. He would have given me a twirl out on the dance floor.

The dinner was catered by the Four Seasons Hotel. The garden was filled with fabulous cooking stations along with salads and many decantant desserts. 
Ambassador Roebuck joined our table for some lively conversation. Here he is with LB.
Cheerleader DR took home the beautiful centerpiece.
This video will give you a good idea of the atmosphere at the party in the garden of the Ambassador’s Residence. You can also hear the band playing.

If you are reading this blog in an email, you will need to go to my blog site to watch the video.

The team celebrated a fun day with our caddie and cheerleader.
This adventure was really fun and something I completely enjoyed. I am all pumped now to improve my golf game. Hubby D is so busy it will be hard to get him to play more. . .  oh well, I guess I will have to play more with the awesome AWA team!


Great team work for a really fun day on the golf course.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Happy but Sad Party in Bahrain

Sometimes you are involved with something and you think, "That was great."

Last Friday night was one of those times.

Hubby D decided he wanted to give his friend and business partner, SW a going away party. 

Here in the Bahrain, you have a contract and agree to stay for a specific time.  After that time is up, you have the choice to go back to the United States or perhaps take a different assignment.

SW and DW in Jordan on one of our adventures together.
SW has completed his time here and he is going back to Texas.  We are all very (VERY) sad to see hm and his wife, DW leave. But we understand.  Working and living in the Middle East is very difficult.  They have family including elderly parents in the States and it is time for them to go back.

DW has been a very good friend  to me and we have shared so many adventures together. It is a really hard for me to see her leave!
DW and I took this selfie at the Treasury in Petra.
Hubby D insisted we do something really special to show SW how much he is appreciated for all he has done and for all the hard, hard work he has put in while he has been here. SW really made an impact on the business and has been a wonderful mentor to so many architects and engineers.

I asked OO in Hubby D's office to give me some help and I went to work planning an event to honor SW. (THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH, OO!)

Hubby D and I hosted the party at Cafe Amsterdam in the Adliya area of Manama. Our gathering was in the garden area with our own private bar and the top bartender for the restaurant providing drinks. The bartender even invented a special welcome drink for us.

The disk jockey's stand was sponsored by our favorite cocktail so I knew it was going to be a fun evening.
Shirley Temples for everyone! Or, maybe not.
The food flowed as freely as the drinks. And, WOW was it good. 

The friends who attended came from the oil and gas division as well as the buildings and infrastructure. There were several nationalities as well. Bahrain is a global community and it is very much reflected in our friends here.

About 40 of SW's fellow architects and engineers came to wish him well. We even had a few of their kids along. It was wonderful to all be together and to let SW know how much he and DW will be missed.

SW created his own slide presentation with some of his favorite memories. It was just hilarious (and embarrassing).
Everyone was focused on the slides as SW spun his stories.
Some of the slides were funnier than others.  Unfortunately (or fortunately), the wine kept me from taking too many photographs.
Cigars came out towards the end of the evening.
The evening continued into the night and we finished it off at our flat with one more toast to SW and DW.

Although they won't really be leaving Bahrain for a couple more weeks, the party really made us feel like it was true and they would be gone before long. It is so hard to accept that.

SW, thanks for all you have done while you have been in the Middle East. The leadership you have shown these young architects and engineers will continue to lead them for the rest of their careers.

Hubby D arranged for a framed dagger to give to SW in honor of his time in the Middle East. It was stunning. The inscription reads, "Thanks for your great efforts and participation in building the B and I practice in Saudi Arabia. Best regards and wishes, Saudi Arabia - 2016"
And, thanks for your friendship, SW. The trips and adventures we have had with you have enriched our lives beyond description. We will remember each one with a positive warm glow in our hearts.

May you and DW have many more adventures. Hopefully we can share some with you along the way.