Speaking no evil is a pretty easy thing to do when you’re talking about the students and the staff at the American Community School in Abu Dhabi. I’ve just finished a week working with the middle school kids and I cannot remember a residency that went smoother. Dianne and Steve, the two librarians responsible for the visit, had a schedule set for me that clicked on every cylinder like the high tech sports cars that prowl the streets of this busy bustling and growing city.
We talked metaphor, we talked memoir, we talked vocabulary and editing and in one class we even talked about zombies! In the meantime Sara and I were well fed and watered enjoying a traditional Arab dinner sans table or chairs, marched up and down the Corniche, visited “The Club” and became intimate friends with a rather kooky cat named Slushie.
Everywhere you look in this town there are buildings going up, cranes erecting another and another across the skyline. The place wafts the aroma of investment and dividends. My first day in the school (Sunday – the school week runs Sunday through Thursday here) I should have had a premonition that this was going to be a fruitful visit. I put a Dirham coin into a vending machine to buy a bottle of water and not only received my selection, but FIVE more Dirhams. That’s how the whole week went – no matter how much I gave to the kids and their teachers I always ended up ahead of the game.