The whole student crew (Lexi, Wesley, Marielle, Marcy, Molly, Tahirah, Marie, Asha and yours truly) are now in Doha, Qatar.
The trip was relatively easy (D.C. > Toronto > Frankfurt > Doha). I flew into Toronto and was greeted by a few in the group as well as a delay for my flight to Frankfurt, which would ultimately lead to Doha. The delay left me a 30 minute window to get through security and board the plane after landing, but thanks to packing light I was able to get a quick sprint workout through the airport and made it with time to spare.
Everyone but Tahirah was on the flight from Frankfurt so Wesley and I waited with Nico (Professor Slate has asked us to call him by his first name as his wife will be here soon and that makes Professor Slate a little confusing), Wesley and a student from CMU’s Qatar campus named Abai for her to land. After Tahirah came in, Abai dropped Nico off at his hotel and we got to see a bit of Doha while he answered my incessant questions. Doha is a really beautiful city with a host of different architectural styles for the number of new buildings that have shown up in the city in the last few decades. We admitted to some hunger on the way back to where we are staying so we got our first taste of Doha with some shawarma (delicious grilled meat) and karak (chai tea popular in Qatar). It was my first time trying both so it was a real treat.
I’m staying in the dorms here at Education City, a campus with multiple universities from around the world. I haven’t met the other suite mates in my apartment, but my roommate is studying communication at Northwestern. The campus is outstanding with tons of new buildings, facilities and well kept grounds. Today we took a tour of the whole campus and Doha. After some stops at the stables where the Arabian and European horses used for jumping, dressage and racing are kept and a mall modeled after Venice, we ended up in Katara, a cultural village with lots of museums, exhibits, and restaurants. We finished our day at a restaurant with a family style dinner with plans forming for trips out to the desert, watching a beach soccer tournament and attending a service at a center designed for non-Muslims.
I made myself a promise for this semester (and beyond) to take advantage of every opportunity and walk through the world collecting experiences. The last few days have been jam-packed and I can already tell that the group with me is geared towards adventure and passion and each one has their own story to tell. I can’t wait to hear them and have them join me in my pursuit of experiences.