The 2nd Chance Christmas Fair!


It was one of those days at work were the time moves in a snail pace and browsing Facebook is your immediate remedy to ennui. And as I was continuously scrolling down my news feed, I found this post about a Christmas fair happening on the 2nd of December.

15369788_10209010102423437_1550890078_oThe event was to be held at Parkview Pet Center in Madinat Khalifa where market stalls that sells handcrafted stuffs are set up. There would be face painting for children, raffle draw with great prizes, a selfie with Santa, a book sale, and a lot of fun and games. I don’t know with anybody else, but the mere mention of a book sale got me sold! 😀

Seeing that I might have friends in Doha who would be interested,  I shared said post in my Facebook page and tagged most of them just in case anyone wants to join. Funnily, one of those friends who replied was a bookworm like myself and she was very much interested with the book sale as I am. So we set up a time to meet and we went together that day.

As written on the notice, tickets for adults are 50QR each, which are sold at the entrance. Once we enter the gate, we were welcomed with food – and that, I believe, is a very very good sign. Because who wouldn’t want to be welcomed with food? 😀

Anyway, the place feels pretty festive. Reds and greens are abundant everywhere you look. There’s a person in a lion costume (or i think it was a lion) walking all over the place. Children are taking pictures with Santa, who is sitting near a Christmas Tree, and giving gifts to the children after taking photos. Of course we plan of having a photo with Santa as well, but at that moment – just near the tree – was the stall we’ve been looking for… A long table filled with books!

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Our eyes were practically dancing from the sight! And when we asked how much each of the books cost – their answer just made Christmas come early in Doha. Would you believe that each of these books, both soft bound and hardbound, is just for the price of 10 QAR? Most of them are even virtually new!

Anyway, you can say that we shopped to our heart’s content on this one. 😀

Cute neck straps for your dogs and cats
Cute neck straps for your dogs and cats
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PAWS RESCUE Shirts
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Some Christmas Handcrafts and candies ❤
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Framed Souvenirs
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Handcrafted Bracelets and Keychains

While looking around, we also found a spot where a lady does some henna tattoos, and we can’t help but have one. It was my first time and I was ecstatic about it.

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As promised, we ended the day with a Santa picture! The kids in us won’t miss the chance! Ha! 😀

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Also, FYI, all proceeds of the event has helped raise urgently needed funds to feed 200+ rescued dogs and cats and contributed towards facility maintenance cost.

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PARKVIEW PET CENTER

What a perfect way to both enjoy and contribute to society. ❤

I Hop at IHOP


It’s December! Time to do some late shopping for gifts and whatnots. 

Last Thursday, my beau and I went to do some bit of window shopping for Christmas gifts and to find something “royal blue” to wear for our coming Christmas Party on the 22nd. Unfortunately, I was having a hard time finding the perfect outfit, or at least the required color. It seems that fall colors are still more prominent inside clothing shops… or maybe I just need to check out more. Anyway, we walked for a very long time until such excursion ends up making me hungry. Ha! 😀

Given that we were at Gulf Mall when I started to get hungry (we were at Landmark first), the first place I thought of to eat was at IHOP. It’s been almost a year when I last visited the place so I convinced my beau to eat there again.

And here’s what we ordered…

Tropical Island Twist (left) and Splashberry (right)

A cocktail of lemonade, lemon-lime, strawberries, mango syrup etc. These refreshing IHOP splashers are all that!

Volcano Shrimp

My beau and I love to eat shrimp. So we always order at least one shrimp dish on every menu if available. In this case, we ordered the Volcanic Shrimp, which is their version of PF Chang’s Dynamite Shrimp and Red Lobster’s Sweet Chili Shrimp. But I think it’s taste is more similar to the latter.

Jambalaya pasta (i forgot the exact name. :( )
Jambalaya pasta (i forgot the exact name. 😦 )

I honestly forgot the name of this pasta dish and I can’t find it in Zomato’s menu, all I remember is that it has “Jambalaya” in it’s name. Anyway, I love the pasta! It was very well-seasoned which is what I liked best.

Big Steak Omellette
Big Steak Omelette

Speaking of well-seasoned, the omelette isn’t that. Despite it’s very tasty appearance, the omelette just feels bland. It wasn’t the first time I ordered an omelette at IHOP and find it lacking in the salt department. Anyway, it must be the way they cook their omelettes, but I really prefer my meal well-seasoned.

And last but not the least… an IHOP experience is never complete without their signature buttermilk pancakes! The 3 pancakes are free, by the way, since we ordered one of their omelettes.

Buttermilk Pancakes ❤

Here’s also a photo of the pancake’s complementary syrups. I prefer the “Old Fashioned” one. I think nothing beats a classic taste! ❤

Old Fashion, Blueberry, Butter Pecan, Strawberry
Old Fashioned, Blueberry, Butter Pecan, Strawberry

So there you have it! Our very scrumptious meal. ❤

IHOP Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

A Fortunate 3 Days


Warning: Long post ahead! 😀

As a licensed dental assistant, I am required to complete a total number of CPD (continuing professional development) credit. It was a new rule that must be implemented by all medical practitioners and allied health professionals so we could be able to renew our license before it expires. Currently, I need to complete at least 50 credits – 25 credits for category 1 and 25 credits for either category 2 or 3. To acquire these credits, one must attend a conference or a workshop, and it must be an accredited learning activity for it to be counted as one.

Last Thursday, my colleague and I attended such conference at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) and the subject matter is…

wound

Firstly, I just want to get it out there that it was my first time at the QNCC. I know probably a lot of people had already gone there, but I haven’t, so bite me! 😀

Anyway, I love the place! The “Maman” sculpture, which welcomes you at the top of the escalator, was a sight to behold. I can’t help but take lots of photos of it.

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Maman and her eggs

So going back, the conference concerns Wound Management and was the First International Wound Management Conference in Qatar. It lasted for 3 days and is approved for a maximum of 14 hours by the Qatar Council of Health Practitioners (QCHP). The topic per se was very interesting, with prominent speakers from Hamad Medical and other countries tackling a wide variety of topics about the proper management of different types of wound especially from diabetic persons, bedridden patients and wounds caused by accidents and infections.

I was particularly appreciative of the fact that they showed actual images of some of the cases they’ve encountered (don’t worry. patient privacy is still intact. no faces were shown. images are only of body parts involved), which makes the learning more effective and will keep you wide awake. And despite it being very fast-paced since there’s a time limit for every speaker, I find that I was able to listen and understand most of the topics discussed. ‘Cause seriously, I’m not going to lie, but some conferences make me want to curl up and snooze to oblivion, so I was pretty glad that I didn’t experience that here.

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Some paraphernalias we received : Badge, USB, notepad, portfolio etc.

Anyway, you might be wondering why I titled this post “Fortunate 3 days”? Well aside from me being happy with the conference itself, the beautiful venue and the eat-to-your-heart’s-content lunch buffet, not to mention the gorgeous cookies I get to snack during coffee breaks, something unexpectedly amazing happened to my colleague and I on the second day.

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I just can’t with these cookies! ❤

After we filled our bellies with all the food we can get, an announcement was made that there will be a raffle draw where one lucky winner can take home an iPhone 7. All we had to do was find the booth of Health Innovations and have our name, mobile number, email add etc. written on a piece of paper that will serve as our raffle ticket. Of course, my colleague and I tried our luck, and so did most other people.

So to cut this very long post short, seven winners were announced that day. Three of those winners received a different type and brand of watch, while the other three won perfumes. The seventh winner, and the last name called, won an iPhone.

My colleague was one of the three who won a watch, and was actually the first winner. She kind of lost it after her name was announced. It was a crazy kind of moment and I screamed and laughed with her. 😀

After all 6 winners were announced, I wasn’t expecting my name to be called anymore. For me, the chances of both of us winning something would be zero to none. However, in an astonishing twist of fate, my name was called…

So guess who just won an iPhone 7? 😀

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Forgive this very unprepared photo. We were so not ourselves we weren’t able to find a better background. All we were thinking was just we want the “Health Innovations” tarp behind us. 😀

A shout out to Health Innovations for this early Christmas present! It was a very fortunate 3 days indeed!

Staying or Moving On?


This is no breakup post… or at least not in matters of the heart. This post is generally about my current job and some viewpoints here and there.

It was almost 5 years since I’ve been employed in a dental clinic here in Qatar (this is no publicity post so I’m not going to mention the name of our clinic). Working as a dental assistant was a total shift from my previous job in the Philippines. I was a BSN graduate and have 3 years of working experience as a nurse in different institutions in my country. It would have been easy to find a job and acquire a license as a nurse, except some of my experience were labelled as “nurse trainee” instead of “staff nurse”. This makes it doubtful if I could acquire a license as a General Scope Nurse since “nurse trainee may not be counted as employment even if my job as a trainee was no different from the staffs of the hospital I’ve worked for.

I still did try to apply as a nurse here in Qatar, preferably in a hospital, but it wasn’t easy. There were a lot of requirements I must accomplish and papers to process – and the salary offers in hospitals were too low. The only hospital paying good salary was Hamad Medical, but it was no easy task getting in. I almost want to give up and just go home, until someone offered me job as a dental assistant.

I wasn’t interested – at least not at first. In my mind I wanted to be a nurse. I wanted to continue doing what I’ve sacrificed years of studying for. I don’t want my degree to go to waste, but then I realized time was running out. My visa will expire in a month and here I was being offered a job that pays higher than the offers I’ve received thus far. Not only that, it was a new clinic, making me a pioneer if I were to accept. And I did… 5 years ago.

So everything I said above is just the preface part of this slightly long post. This is where I start telling the whole gist of this whole thing. So read on if you feel you must…

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A year ago, a few changes in Qatar’s Labour Law was announced; putting emphasis in the End of the KAFALA System (sponsorship system). I won’t dive into a detailed account on the number of changes made, but I will mention what they meant when they say “End of the KAFALA System”:

“Expatriate workers with fixed job contracts can change their work and sign new contracts if they wish so at the end of the contract period. For this they don’t need approval from their current employer. However, an approval is needed from the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Labour and Social affairs.

If the job contract is open-ended, a worker can change job after five years with approval from both ministries”

This meant one thing – NO MORE NOC (no objection certificate) for expat workers who want to leave their current employment in exchange for a better one. Imagine the number of workers wanting to take this chance to find greener pastures. Something I myself have thought of many times after realizing there’s been no financial fulfillment in my almost 5 years of service. But no –  I did not hand in my resignation. I probably won’t just yet. I’m one of those employees who have this “loyal streak” ingrained in them. Or maybe I just don’t hate my job as much as I thought I did… Or maybe I just don’t feel like it was the right time… Whatever the case was, I guess I’ll be stuck here in while.

Anyway, I’m doing a shout out to one of my colleagues and also a friend who have already taken full advantage of this law (to find greener pastures); and which she was lucky enough to have found one that she really wants. She’s probably the reason why I’m doing this rare and long reflective post. The notion of one day deciding; just like her, to finally move on…

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Thanks Janelly for the years of friendship. It wasn’t perfect, but it was still a memorable one. We’ll still get to bond from time to time right? God bless you on your new job!

Pink October


Obviously a late post, but here goes.

pink-breast-cancer-awareness-wallpapers

As most people know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month – A worldwide annual campaign that helps raise awareness of the disease and raise funds for breast cancer research. In support of this campaign, Qatar Cancer Society held a 2-day Breast Cancer Conference, under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, here in Doha for all health care providers, researchers, health science students etc.

An excerpt from the site:

Breast cancer conference is a unique accredited continuous professional development opportunity for healthcare providers in the field of breast cancer health care at the local, regional and international levels.

The conference will serve a great chance to exchange knowledge with top international experts and familiarize yourself with the latest medical technologies in the field of breast cancer.

Since I am currently working as an allied health care provider here in Qatar, my colleagues and I decided to seize this chance and register online.

bcc

The event was conducted at the Conference Hall of the Sheraton Grand Hotel from October 28 to 29, 2016. There was no declared limit for the number of attendees allowed causing a vast number of attendees from all fields of medicine and health care to sign up. I feel like the overwhelming amount of people who came might have been the reason why the event started a little late than the designated time. There were still people entering the hall by the time it was supposed to start. Too bad I have no pictures of the crowd.

But here’s me with my colleagues, while waiting for other attendees to arrive. Guess which one’s me. 😀

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I think you’ll notice the small crowd behind us and we’re like already situated near the doors. Mind you, it’s a big hall. You’ll have to quadruple the crowd behind us to have an idea of what’s in front.

So at half past 4 pm (if I remember correctly) and after a few more selfies (or should I say groufies? lol!), the conference finally commenced. There were a total of seven speakers that day, different nationalities and each an expert in their field. Though I’m going to be honest here and say that I was really trying my hardest not to fall asleep with some of the topics discussed. I guess I’m just really bad in listening things concerning studies and statistics. :p

Anyway, due to the delay, Day 1 of the conference ended later than expected. But overall, it was a fine experience and a great way to be a part of a campaign that helps and educates.

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Group pic after the Conference