Dear KES Family,
I have been travelling this week and feel quite disconnected to the Halloween fun and festivities at the School. My journey has taken me, our Board Chair Trevor Hughes, and member of the Executive, Vice Admiral (Ret’d) Greg Maddison, to the United Arab Emirates where we have been involved all week in discussions regarding the creation of a campus in Abu Dhabi. Suffice to say, it has been a fascinating and exhausting week, the outcome of which is still to be determined.
Travelling across the world is inevitably disruptive to one’s sleep and eating patterns. Thus, on our first night here I found myself hungry and sleepless at 3:30am. There are few things worse than trying to sleep on a strange bed in a foreign country, (especially when there is an annoying smoke detector flashing overhead). There are also few things better than discovering a new city by going for a run. Thus, I decided to put on my running shorts to see if I could go for a little run and find some food on the way. In the hotel lobby I asked the doorman if anything close by was open. I received a happy smile and was reassured that everything was open and that there was a KFC right beside the hotel. Really…Halfway around the world, surrounded by desert and ocean, and that was the recommendation - Kentucky Fried Chicken! Not fancying the good Colonel Sanders' finest fried chicken, I decided to take a chance and run along the streets until I found something healthier. It was a glorious run. The temperature was a balmy 31 degrees, the streets were crowded with people, and every single restaurant and terrace was packed. At 4:00 in the morning! I was most intrigued when a hotel night club was closing and the departing gorgeously dressed crowd took to the streets. It was remarkable. After a night on the dance floor, but without alcoholic beverages, the crowd was civilized and happy. There were no unruly or loud groups. I felt completely safe, and as I ran I marvelled at the cars, the Emerati people, the cleanliness of the streets, and the fact that the environment at night was so attractive.
No country or culture is perfect, and every climate has its perks and quirks, but I cannot help but wonder what growing up in North America would be like if the internet was filtered of pornography and questionable sites, and the community was alcohol and drug free. It would indeed be different.
This week in pictures.