Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

What, you ask, could possibly have occurred today in Abu Dhabi that incited more pandemonium than a Trump rally back home in the States?

If you live here, you know exactly what I’m referring to. Yes, it rained. And for the first time in any area I’ve been in at any given moment, it rained for more than ten minutes. I think at work we got close to an hour’s worth. A thundershower (can you hear 700 girls screaming about that?) complete with lightning (more screaming).

On the rare occasion that it rains, the students will bolt out of the classroom and into the courtyard. I’d say 70% of the courtyard is covered by a beautiful metal roof, and 15% on either side is open above. I’ll have to take a photo one day, but the teachers were told to delete any photos taken today, so I can’t post them and still expect to have my job tomorrow.

So cue a substantial amount of rain, and the girls immediately tear out to the courtyard. Most of them just stand there and talk while they get soaked to the bone. Some splash, others kick up water, many hug; we even saw a game of ‘Ring Around the Rosie’ (yes, this is high school.)

Fast forward about fifteen minutes and signs of flooding appear.

Because it’s the desert, the sewer system leaves something to be desired. Someone in administration bellows (in Arabic) over the crackling loudspeaker, and one of my students informs me that they’re all supposed to head to the canteen. For safety reasons? Why would they want 700 soaked teenage girls corralled into such a small space? Another 15-20 minutes later, most of them have splashed over to the canteen; the English teachers aren’t sure why, but it frees me from teaching a double period, so I’ll play along.

I’m standing outside the door with several other teachers who were smart enough to decline the order to go inside and monitor the students. I peer beyond the glass door into the open bathroom and spy a layer of bubbles covering the floor; the girls have obviously found a way to amuse themselves despite being detained. After a worried comment to administration, my work is done. But before anyone remedies the situation, the soapy water has oozed out into the canteen.


Chaos ensues. After several injuries (shocking, I know) the girls charge the door, probably so they can wash off outside in the newly-formed puddles. When the canteen is officially declared too dangerous to house the girls, they’re eventually funneled back into the classrooms. The few that didn’t dart back to the courtyard won’t sit in their seats for the remainder of the day because they’re wet, cold, and uncomfortable, which couldn’t have been foreseen by any of them, right?

Though the damage has been done and the girls weren’t bused home hours before as they should’ve been, the final bell rings twenty-five minutes early. The teachers are told to stay until 3:30, but that’s ok because it gave me time to write most of this post.

Hamdulilah, this day has finally come to an end. I had to take a secondary route home from school because some of the ramps and underpasses are currently flooded. But I’m home now and have the evening to relax. Calgon, take me away. Oh wait, my bathtub stopper was never installed. It probably would’ve been smarter to stay at work and just bathe on the canteen floor.



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