Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Race for Life – Fight Off Cancer!

A friend of mine participated in the Race for Life 2010 in UK to raise money for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. She had a web page where she asked friends to donate for the program. She ran the race and even got a medal for herself.

Mojisola Oladeji, I dedicate this page of my blog to YOU!!! Well done for running for a worthy cause. I do hope a cure for cancer is found.

It really is a terrible disease. Every one of us should look for a worthy cause to fight for. Be it cancer, HIV/AIDS, Malaria, whatever! We were brought to this earth not just to sit about and mop or enjoy the goodies God has given us. We were also brought to earth to be useful. So look for something that is passionate to you and FIGHT for it!!!!

Kindly find her page: Race For Life – Cancer Research UK

Also kindly find below some of her photos. Way to go, Moji!!!!

Willy & Jada's Kids

Watched " The Karate Kid" recently. Will Smith's son, Jaden Smith was the main actor. Honestly when I saw the movie preview, I was dying to watch the movie. So I finally watched it! What's my take on it? Cooool! Not bad! I love the Chinese and African American concept. I have watched about two different versions of "Karate Kid" and even the cartoon version (am singing the cartoon's song in my head right!). And to be honest, I think this is the best version I have watched. My best parts of the movie were Jaden's taekwado training with Jackie Chan.

Thumbs up to the Smiths! Willy and Jada Pinkett are really helping their kids bring out the best in their talents. Have you heard their daughter, Willow's single "Whip My Hair"? It's all over you tube. The girl is really looking like a younger version of! Am sure when Jay-Z saw her he thought the same too. I guess that's one of the reasons he hooked her up with his label, Roc! Smart man. He is foreseeing another "Super star Rihanna". *wink*

As for Trey, Will's eldest child, have not heard anything about him. I just know that he goes to a private school. Hmmmm. Am sure he has some talents hidden under his sleeves,too.

Enjoy Jaden aka "Lil Willy"(na me dash am that!) rapping in the soundtrack for "The Karate Kid" with Justin Bieber. And also enjoy Williow's first single that's becoming a hit!

Justin Bieber - Never Say Never ft. Jaden Smith

Willow Smith- "Whip My Hair"

Friday, September 3, 2010

VBS 2010 - Journey to Egypt

After my Dubai trip, I came back home to Nigeria for another trip to Egypt. But this time, Egypt came to Nigeria and not me going to Egypt. You are not getting me, are you? I guess not!

My church did a Vacation Bible School program for children. The program was about EGYPT – Joseph’s journey from the prison to the palace. It held for five (5) days and it was an experience. I was the Celebration Leader. My role was to lead the children and the adults that volunteered into God’s presence through singing and dancing during the opening and closing time. It was a fulfilling role. There were times when everyone was tired but we all still had fun praising and dancing to the Lord. It always made me smile anytime I saw the smiles and excitement on everyone’s face when it was celebration time. And guess what my name was during the program? “Aunty Nene-patra”, coined from Cleopatra. Lol!

We had seven (7) families, where about ten (10) children were placed in each. Each family had a Family leader and a Family Assistant who led the children to bible study on Joseph’s journey in Egypt. Everyone was dressed in Egyptian attires, which was so much fun! Each family had an Egyptian name and color allocated to them.

Each day had a topic and bible verses that explored Joseph’s journey in Egypt.
• Day 1- God gives us HOPE. The memory verse was Jeremiah 29:11 which says “For I know the plans I have for you, the plans to give you a future and a hope.”
• Day 2 - God gives us SPECIAL ABILITIES. The memory verse was Romans 12:6 which says “In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.”
• Day 3 - God gives us WISDOM. The memory verse was James 1:5 which says “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God and He will give to you.”
• Day 4 - God gives us FORGIVNESS. The memory verse was Nehemiah 9:17 which says “But you are the God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love.”
• Day 5 - God gives us a FAMILY. The memory verse was Galatians 3:26 which says “For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”

After family time each day, the children explored Egypt by going to the market place shops where they could learn how to make Egyptian jewellery, have an Egyptian make over, buy Egyptian toys at the toy shop and Egyptian food at the food shop and also learn how to write their names in hieroglyphs and do brick making. The children also paid a visit to Joseph while he was in prison and also when he was later transferred to the palace. After all the visits, the children were taken to the Pyramid playground where they played loads of Egyptian games like mummy wrapping and wheel cart rides. It was a time filled with fun for both the children and adults. It was fun watching adults play their roles well.

At the end of the program, we had a concert where parents were invited. We sang and danced to all the songs we learnt during our Egypt journey. Categories of awards were given to some people. And at the end of the day, every child that participated received a certificate.

Next year, we are taking a journey to Nazareth, Where the kid Jesus was born. Looking forward to that journey!!!!!

Find below some photos of the program and a video shoot during Celebration time. Also check out the Egypt- Joseph's Journey from Prison to Palace website. Enjoy!!!!

Welcome to Egypt

Aunty Nene-patra

Egypt Crew

Celebration Leader

Make up time!

Family Time

Playground Time

Mummy wrapping

Joseph and the kids
Celebration Time Video

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Assalamu Alaikum, Dubai!

Do you remember this comment I wrote in my last travel post “ going to Dubai sooon!!!!”? Well, it finally came true!!! I spent my one week holiday in the Magical City of Dubai!!! It was a beautiful experience!!! I wish I stayed for one more week….but hey, I didn’t have money for one more week. But I def still had loads of FUN!!!! I went alone. Some people think that travelling alone as a tourist is not fun. Honestly, it could be a bit lonely. But YOU can create your own fun! Believe you me……And I did have FUN!!! Sorry, am repeating that but….AAAAAAAAH! It was FUN!!! Looooool!!!

Travelled on Qatar Airways, very comfortable and lovely service. The trip was for about 7 hours altogether: 6 hours from Lagos to Doha, Qatar and about an hour to Dubai from Doha. I spent my 7 days in Admiral Plaza Hotel, a simple but comfortable three (3) star hotel located in heart of the shopping place of Bur Dubai.
For my first tour, I went for the Dhow Cruise with a dinner buffet. I recommend this tour for couples. It has this romantic evening feeling. The Arabic boat has two deckers, below was the dinner place and above was for people to seat down and watch as the boat sails on and on. Got a panoramic view of Dubai city’s glittering landscape by night as the freshness of the sea breeze blew at me. As you watch the beautiful city up the deck, you are served “al-shay” (tea). It was for about two hours or so, can’t remember…I was enjoying the peaceful sailing.

I went for a Half Day Dubai City Tour aka “Jewel of the Persian Gulf” for my second tour. I learnt that out of the seven states, Dubai is the second largest Emirate in the UAE. It is proudly called the “City of Merchants”. First stop was at the Jumeirah Mosque, a beautiful example of modern Islamic architecture. This is the only mosque, as I was told, that allows non-muslins to go in, but I could not go in because that day was the beginning of Ramadan. Sad, but I def took a photo in front of it. Next, we went to the Islamic Art Centre. This was where I wished I had enough money on me. I was mesmerized by the variety of Arabian and Asian outfits I saw in display. You find beautiful handmade artworks that showcase the beauty of the middle-east. Drove past the beautiful house of the ruler, Sheikh Mahammed Zayed Al Maktoun. It was magnificent! Could not take a photo of it because it is prohibited. Then went to the famous and only seven (7) star hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab. A sight to behold, I tell you. Went to the Dubai Museum in Al Fahidi Fort. I enjoyed taking photos with realistic life size static displays which provided an insight into the traditional life of ancient Dubai. It was a lovely journey which displayed their commercial and domestic life in the desert and on the sea. Lastly, we stopped at the Dubai Creek and enjoyed a ride across in a water taxi called “abra” to the Deira side of Dubai. Entered the gold and spice souk (market). I enjoyed the smell of the spices and the glittering shops that displayed gold jewellery.

The third tour was the Desert Safari tour. That was one of my best tours in Dubai. You cannot go to Dubai and not try this tour. It would mean you never went to Dubai at all!!! I was picked up with other tourists with a jeep in the afternoon. The journey to the desert was quite far. Arrived at the edge of the desert where the jeep (with other jeeps) stopped to deflate the tyres for a dune ride. Now this ride is a heart leaping ride, where the jeep speed drives through the undulating landscape of the desert. It was exciting!!! After the dune bashing ride, we stopped in the middle of the desert to sightsee. I enjoyed sitting on the sand and watching the wind blow the sand on my face. Later, we drove to the camp, which is the Bedouin Village. There I rode on a camel, ate dried palm dates, had a traditional barbecue dinner, got a henna design on my left hand (Ladies, try this when you get there. It lasts for only two weeks *wink*) and took a photo with a traditional Bedouin outfit and a falcon with its owner. It was an experience that I would advise anyone to go for. However, I did not get to see the belly dancer. I was told that during Ramadan, dancing and singing is not allowed. :(

The last tour was at the Wild Wadi Resort. This was my other best tour. Yeah, I saved the best for the last! This is the best place to get wet all day! I got a ticket to spend all day in Wild Wadi. Always read instructions when you are there. There is a watch-like access they give you at the entrance after submitting your ticket. That watch can be used to upload money to avoid having to carry money and getting it wet. I made sure I participated in all the water games. One of the most exciting things I did at Wild Wadi was the FISHO Spa. This is a health spa where toothless fishes called Garra-Rufas fish, are used to treat your skin by removing the germs and dirt from your feet. It was a tickle and daring experience, I’d say! lol! With the weather of about 40°C, Wild Wadi was a great place to cool off.

Spent my last day touring Dubai alone. Went shopping, took a ride on the train and bus (Very organized! You can buy a Road Transport Authority (RTA) card and top it up with money. You pay for the train and bus using the RTA card. Cashless transport, I’d call it…lol!). Also made sure I took my last ride on the “abra” taxi water. *wink*
Dubai is a great place to spend a holiday. There is so much to do and so many places to go to. I also would recommend Ski Dubai, which is a place that is filled with snow. You’d think you are in snow land with snow men, sleigh and reindeers :). And Dubai Aquarium & Underwater zoo is another wonderful place to explore the sea kingdom.
Three advises I’d give you while planning your trip to Dubai:
(1) Don’t go during July and August unless you know how to catch your fun! That period is Ramadan. And during Ramadan, you cannot eat or drink outside from the morning till 7pm in the evening. You can eat inside though, but restaurants would not open till 7pm. If you are caught, I was told you would pay a fine! So beware! Shops open around 9am and close around 2pm to re-open by 7pm.
(2) The weather is HOT during July/August!!!! One time it was about 46°C!! I was dehydrated!
(3) Never go alone unless you know how to create fun for yourself. If not, you may not enjoy some of the tours. There is more fun painting a place “red” with a friend or a relation.
Tour Brokers International did my Dubai package for me. And sure was it a wonerful package. I advise that you try them *wink*.
I love this song by Carmen Rasmusen – “Nothin' Like The Summer”. It was my theme song for my summer break. Lol! Enjoy!!!

Saw this song on "One Dubai", a TV station in Dubai...very interesting!!! :) Not a fan of Snoop Dogg though....nah!!!!

Akshay Kumar & Snoop Dogg - Singh Is King