We wanted to celebrate our 7 year anniversary doing something fun together, but without baby on board as the third wheel. So we had our moms pull double duty to babysit Hayat while we re-experienced what it felt like to sleep in after 6:30am and not worry about poop explosions or nap times. I meant, the baby’s poop explosions and nap times…no one else’s!
Qatar will always have a special place in our hearts. Hayat spent much of her first year of life here. She helped us see life here with much more focused and appreciative eyes. Her first giggles, words and steps were taken here. This makes my heart swell with an abundance of rainfall-like emotions. Gratitude. Humility. Thankfulness. And a mission. To continuously look at life through her innocent, curious, unbiased eyes. Full of wonder. Reckless abandon. Millions of possibilities. Always with a smile and a laugh ready to be bellowed out by any joke.
For more than 6 months a year, Qatar is pretty much uninhabitable. The heat and humidity is so intense that Ali’s glasses fog up within 2 seconds of walking outdoors. And don’t get me started on the sweat stains. The city empties out of the species called human to escape the heat and those poor souls left to stay brave through the treachery until October comes rolling in. When the summer merges into winter (there is no autumn here - my favourite season!), the air cools down to a pleasant 24-28 degree celsius and humanity emerges from hibernation, wide awake and spinning with excitement. All this to say, a few weeks ago , we drove out to explore the Sealine beach, an hour south of the big city, to enjoy a BBQ in the wild with new and old friends. Except the ‘wild’ was humankind.
Cape Town is a special city. A Dutch colonial outpost for trade with Asia, settlers brought slaves from modern day Indonesia in the 17th and 18th centuries. It was subsequently controlled by the British bringing a wave of Indian migration. These communities mixed with the Africans indigenous to the Cape and with people of European settler ancestry. The result is a vivid mix of race, culture and religion.
One of the main highlights was visiting the small neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap. Home to the ‘Cape-Malay’ community – it’s a small Muslim community dating back to early 1800s and comprises a mix of Indonesian, Indian and other ethnic communities settled in Cape Town by European settlers. Small tightly backed houses like the streets with each house proudly painted in bright colours.