UAEJJ Lifestyle! Part 1: The arrival. Follow Yasmin Sewgobind in her UAEJJ journey!
The end of last year marked the beginning of a new adventure for Dutch BJJ Black Belt Yasmin Sewgobind. She was asked to come to the UAE to teach BJJ. As a small girl in the big UAE she shares her stories with us through her online diary, UAEJJ Lifestyle!
Crazy but it´s on, I’ve moved to Abu Dhabi to teach jiu jitsu at a girls school! After a short flight of 3 hours from Amsterdam to Abu Dhabi I arrived Sunday evening at the luxurious airport of Abu Dhabi. With my work visa I can go straight to the immigration line and Im the first and only one to serve. A friendly Emirati checks my documents and I enter Abu Dhabi within 2 minutes. At the exit I see immediately the guys who is waiting for me to pick me up.
We have to wait for one more person before he will bring me to my hotel. Shortly a friendly guy from Brasil, Glaucon, arrived and we are ready to go. We talk a bit and we are both exited to embrace this new journey. Glaucon is dropped off at different hotel than me. 10 minutes later I arrive in Vision Downtown and once I opened the appartment a woman from Brasil, Erika, says hi and says happy: “You will live one year with me!”. BAM haha I didnt talk yet to anybody of Palms Sports and I cannot believe that I will stay here for one year..I’ll explain you why..
The hotel apartment is huge! It’s like a 5 star location, big kitchen, 3 bedroom, 4 toilets, enormous living room fully equiped with a beautiful view of Abu Dhabi centre from the 15th floor! I can choose between two rooms . Both rooms has a big closet (I dont even have that at home), nice bed and mirrors. I pick the one in the corner of the apartment. I take a quick shower and jump into my bed, because the next day I will get picked up early for a medical examination and a introduction meeting of the company.
Monday morning Ali, the drivers, picks me up together with Glaucon and we are going to a place for a bloodtest and an X ray. Men and women are ofcourse seperated. For all the whole procedure the waiting room is divided in seperated waiting area’s and for every step we are moved to a next station. Funny organisation. No one seems to know exactly what to expect, but we just follow and wait till we here our name each time. About an hour later Im finished and Im going with Ali and Glaucon to the head office of Palms Sports for some paper work and to pass information for a bank account. I also have a meeting with my supervisor Ursula who explains me how things works goes at the school and hand me my uniform: a gi :).
I will start already the next day. It goes pretty fast everything..Before the introduction meeting of Palms sports for the new coaches, we get a coupon for a free lunch. Palms Sports is part of the Royal Group, so not only people from Palms Sports are in the building , but of many other corporate organisations. Therefore we have a little dresscode, either wear something formal or wear your fi uniform with sneakers, no flip flop allowed! Around 3 o clock about 25 coaches arrived to receive a long introduction for 3 hours about the rules procedures of the company. It starts pretty nice with the vision and mission and all, but soon it’s time for all the restrictions. In the end I am in a different country with different laws.
After the meeting our driver already left and both Glaucon and me not really know our own adress since we have been driving around and barely had the time to orient ourselves. When the guy behind the reception says to me : You don’t know your own adress I feel so stupid and so pressured I almost want to cry. Im like, come on, we have been pick and dropped of non stop within 24 hours, and no, I don’t know. Anyway, the problem will be solved quickly. Perlin, the HR manager calls another bus driver to get us. Time for rest! Can’t wait to take of my tight pumps and free my feet :D The next day it will be working day!
Tuesday one of the supervisors, Sabrina, picks me up and drives me to Al Maha school in Al Falah. It’s 45 minutes away from where I live. It’s a big traditional school and Im introduced to the principal and my new colleague Fernanda, she holds a purple belt in jiu jitsu. She will be the one I will work with. The dojo is has a nice girly touch and it’s spacious. We also have an office. Today there will be4 classes and an afterclass. Each class is 45 minutes and the afterclass (competition class) 60 minutes. Those 45 minutes are including changing clothes and attendance check. Fernanda teaches the first class and I help her. Sabrina stays to checks how she gives the class and give short evaluation after. Besides Sabrina, Ursula, the other supervisor is also in our office. They mention that a new organisation from Adec (the ministerie of education) will check the jiu jitsu program. Since there is a man involved he cannot stay to watch the girls class but he is checking the room on hygiene and safety and asks about some stats of the attendance.
The new company is new into bjj. When all of the big bosses are gone, I start teaching the classes. The girls are excited, the first time a black belt is teaching them (before there was a brown belt). Also they are curious! Nobody knows where Holland is, Europe says something vaguely to them, but they all recognize my Indian blood. They like it. End of the day Fernanda drops me home. The first day at school is a fact and in the night i join a good training at FGB ARENA in Zayed Sort city, a class for all the bjj coaches of Abu Dhabi. A new chapter has started..
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