January 2, 2012

1st Job of '12 at the Volvo Ocean Race!

I'm not sure what I was thinking when I agreed to be a storyteller to children at the Volvo Ocean Race on the 1st of January. It definitely hit me when I was out on NYE debating whether I should drink more or not. I was nervous the whole time aware I had to be up at 8 am to drive to the location in Abu Dhabi. I really pushed myself to new limits there. I could have cried when I woke up after just 3 hours of sleep. Then I decided to save the energy. You know when you’re so tired and your eyes literally burn every time you blink, and you’re feeling dizzy and confused with life. 

Somehow I managed to get to Abu Dhabi alive and was so relieved at how chilled the atmosphere was. It’s right on the water, weather is perfect with a beautiful breeze, music is great, happy faces all around and lots of entertainment. One of the six sailboats in the Volvo Race is Puma's and I’m working at their activation. Have to admit it’s the coolest and most inviting one in my opinion. When I’m not reading to the children about Marmo (Puma’s mascot) I’m getting back on speed with my table tennis obsession, meeting people, or chilling in the Puma lounge. I’ve got the beautiful blue water in front of me; it really feels like I’m on a vacation. 

Reading to children isn't that bad, keeping their attention is what sucks; it lasts about 10 seconds. I thought I was doing a great job until I saw a little girl in her own world, digging her head into the bean bag. I've started giving out tattoos to make them like me more. Fortunately, I haven't had to read in Arabic. The story is pretty long and repetitive and in Arabic it's been translated classically. No one would be awake by the end of it. 

Below are some more photos from day 1. 

The air show was fantastic. I get really excited about air shows so this woke me up a bit more as well (probably cuz of the heart attack I almost experienced when I first heard them fly over us). 
I wonder how long it takes to practice. Not like we'd really know if they messed up though... unless one of them fell. That would be awkward.
This little curly fry in the air was so cute, wonder how it feels for the pilot.
War is coming. 

When they busted the colors out everyone went wild!
 So, it was the first time I witnessed this Khaleeji performance... I took it seriously until they started doing their thing to what sounded like the cheesiest boy band song you've ever heard that was never released for fear that someone would murder each member. Very very bad.
 This is one half of the Puma activation - the store. (You get a free Marmo Saves the Seas book with any Marmo purchase just sayin)
 That's the second part where the live entertainment and games take place. The lounge with all the beanbags where I storytell is on top, heeey :)
 I LOVE ping pong! We used to have a table at home in Bahrain but that was ditched when we moved, so sad. Anyone wanna challenge me? I'm not that good anyway... but I become a machine, there's no stopping me.
 Marmo and I getting acquainted on our first day... I wasn't sure what the boundaries of our friendship were.
 It didn't take me long to cross them... oh well, he always has that damn smile on his face! It's hot... I just told him to keep his arms where I could see em ha ha ha (it sounded better in my head)
It's so sweet how the children love him! There was this one adorable boy who wouldn't stop hugging Marmo throughout the story. He just wouldn't let go. Then one girl came up and had to share her two cents that there was a man in that suit. What do you say to that? I just gave her a Marmo tattoo and told her not to be mean, he had feelings too. 

 Looking forward to the next couple days. Unfortunately I'm only going to be able to work until the 7th, so if you have time, come down - don't worry there's much more to do than hear me storytell, although, it is quite the exciting read xx 

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