When I arrived in Dubai at 5am I was amazed even in the dark the buildings and monuments I recognised from different shows such as mega structures. The enormity of these buildings is quite staggering and a very interesting welcome to the city, we are not in Wollongong any more.
In some unspoken agreement the dining table in our apartment seems to have become the snack table, I don’t think the dining table has been utilised for any meal other than a rare breakfast because if we are not on site we are trying to see some of Dubai or eating takeaway on the couch. The pile of snacks progressively disappear until someone has the chance to go shopping with fruit, milk and chocolate/Oreos staples of the apartment shopping list – we haven’t forgotten to eat vegetables as well mum!
Touring the Desert Rose House is now in full swing, it is great to see the diversity of guests come through from young children who are incredibly proud of the presents they have been given from the other houses or the stickers we give them. To the wonderful flexibility of our team presenting to different interests areas and in so many different languages, it is completely fascinating to me hearing tours of the Desert Rose House in various languages.
One of our closest neighbours on site ORA house were delayed in commencing the competition, but it was a highlight of my time on site being able to celebrate with them obtaining certification to start tours and officially take part in the 10 contests. It was the very first time they had built their house with delays in construction and supply hampering their progress, as a team of only 12 students it was a huge undertaking. This moment of realising how our competitors have also had such a journey to get here and comparing the highs and lows of the endeavour was a great opportunity to build new friendships based on such a unique experience.
My two favourite moments of the trip so far with the team:
1. Asking Mark if he was ok and being told that although he was exhausted there is nowhere else he would rather be
2. Sam mentioning after a tour it is energising when the group you have are engaged and excited by the information you are giving them per room
As I only have 5 more days in Dubai you start to think about what will happen when we head home. It may be difficult to acclimatise, we are so used to seeing unrelenting desert on the way to site/work every day that it will take a while to adjust back to the usual commute. I am really lucky that in my day job I will still be able to see this house and take tours having had the opportunity to be one of the dessert rose decathletes.
– Robyn Dawson, Events Manager