March 9, 2014

"Zumba and Moments of Reflection"

Dear Reader,

I often find myself in situations where I stop and wonder at where life has taken me. A little over a week ago, I was in Oman at a choral festival. During the final concert of that festival, as the choir swelled in unison and filled the auditorium with sweet music, I had a reflective moment. Here I am in Muscat, singing a Mormon Tabernacle Choir piece with kids from Africa, the Middle East, and India. Two days ago, I was journeying in the dunes outside of Abu Dhabi with the youth from the Abu Dhabi Stake. A while after the sun sank behind the sloping sand, I laid down on a chill dune and gazed up into the night sky. As I listened to the fire crackle, I had another one of those reflective moments. Here I am in the Emirates, camping under the starry sky in good company. Just today, my P.E. teacher brought in a Zumba instructor to lead our class in some spicy exercise. As my peers and I rocked our hips to the beat, I couldn't help but smile as I reflected on the absurdity of the situation. Here I am in gym class, shimmying with people from all over the world. 

These moments happen often and serve as sweet reminders that the world is full of possibilities, full of opportunities for personal growth, and full of moments to remember. I'm grateful for the chance I've had to live and grow here in the Emirates. My experiences abroad have shaped me. Humbled me.

It's been six months since our plane first touched down in Dubai. Life is good. Rock on. NM

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