Year 1: Semester 1 Week 3

Hi everyone,

The freshman trip to Dubai was definitely the highlight of this week- skip to the end of the post for more on that. Sorry, I know I write long posts, but I refuse to condense my ideas down to the short attention spans of our generation, because this blog is as much for my own records as it is for friends back in the states.

We had three days of school off this week for Eid holiday. I didn't do that much- I went paddleboarding again, went to the mall, and caught up on studying, cleaning, and sleep. My classes are getting busier. I wrote my first full essay for my Faith in Science Reason in Revelation class (not counting the weekly reading response papers), started studying a lot for my first Foundations of Science exam, and started a research project on sustainable building design/ the urban heat island effect for my Foundations of Science lab seminar.

My iPhone took an accidental swim in the ocean (so mad at myself for that, haha), so I went to the "dark side" and replaced it with an Android phone. So, I'll soon be getting a new phone number yet again. The weather is still ridiculously warm and humid, with daily high temps around 40*C/ 105*F, but either I'm getting more acclimated or it's getting more bearable.

Church is good. I'm starting to get used to the familiar faces and make more friends, which is nice. Here's a picture from our Institute (college-age scripture study) class that meets after church.

Highlights of the week:

Mid-Autumn Mooncake Festival
One of the perks of being at such an international school is that there are national holidays somewhere around the world pretty much every week, and we sort of get to celebrate all of them. Some of the Asian culture clubs on campus put together a celebration for the Chinese festival with mooncakes, hot pot soup, and a ton of Asian snack foods. So much fun.

More Fitness Classes
My roommates and I are still trying to explore the gym fitness classes, so we tried Zumba this week. I fail at dancing but it's pretty fun. I went back to spin cycling class and also tried a class called HUA which is sort of boot-camp style crossfit workouts- it was miserable but in a good way... I'll probably try it again.

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization
We began the Dubai trip with a visit to this really cool museum with Islamic art and artifacts. I wasn't sure how interesting it would be, but I was pleasantly surprised. The pottery is so intricate, and there were old manuscripts of the Quran in gorgeous calligraphy. One of the prettiest parts was the zodiac painted on the dome of the ceiling on the top floor.

World's Tallest Building- Burj Khalifa
We then went to Dubai Mall, which is the largest mall in the world, but we only got to spend a short time there, since we were headed to the adjacent Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world! We got to go up to floor 124, which is not quite all the way up but still extremely high. The elevators take you up 124 floors in only 60 seconds, and they operate so smoothly that you barely feel the movement. The building is so beautiful and the view is unreal.

The lights change with colours and patterns at night
Dinner in Dubai
We finished the trip with a fancy dinner at a Lebanese restaurant overlooking the fountains in front of the Burj Khalifa. NYU Abu Dhabi is really good at putting on fancy dinners...

Anyway, I'm swamped with homework tonight, but I'm really glad for all the opportunities I have here. Every day, whether I'm stressed or having fun, I can wake up feeling thankful to be here at my dream school, meeting amazing people and having so many incredible experiences.

Goodnight from Saadiyat Island,