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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Day 6 contd...Aly and Zayn On The Trapeze.

I am unable to upload the videos of the boys on the trapeze so I decided to take photos of them instead.

Aly climbing up the ladder and steps on the platform. Atila is the staff member in the green tshirt. The lady on the platform is probably in her late 50's and was in excellent shape.  

Aly takes off on the bar. Look on the left side of the picture. "Mad Max" the other staff member is the one hanging upside down on the bar on the right side of the picture.

Aly swings all the way to the right and then swings back again to the left.

He pulls his knees towards his chest and tucks them on top of the bar as he hangs upside down on the bar in mid-air.

Aly hangs from behind his knees and stretches out his arms as he swimgs towards Mad Max.

Mad Max and Aly grab each other's hands and Mad max swings him to the right before bringing him back.

Check Aly out on the right side of the picture.

Mad Max swings Aly all the way out...

...and then back toward the left to hopefully catch the bar that he started off on.

But Aly misses and falls slowly on the net. 

Check out the belt around his waist. This is what they all wear so that the safety cables can be attached to it.

Zayn climbs up the ladder to go to the platform

Zayn steps on to the platform with Atila.

Atila attaches the safety cables on to Zayn's waist belt.

Zayn reaches for the bar.

And off he goes as he steps off the platform and swimgs.

Zayn swings up toward Mad Max and then swings back toward the platform and tucks his knees in and positions himself to hang from the bar.

Zayn tucks himself in.

And he starts to swing back toward Mad Max as he is hanging upside down off the bar.

And he reaches toward Mad Max and they grab each other's hands.

Mad Max swimgs him outward toward the right...
before swinging him back toward the platform.
Zayn is hanging toward the right side of the picture.

Zayn misses the bar on the way back and slowly falls on the safety net.

Aly said that he spent about 15 hours on the trapeze during the week at Punta Cana's Club Med Resort.
Zayn started up on the last couple of days. Considering how little time the boys spent on the trapeze, I have to admit that I was totally impressed.

Love and Light

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Punta Cana - Day 4 and 5!

Day 4 was pretty uneventful. I spent the later part of the day on the beach in my usual spot and stayed until the sun was almost down. It was beautiful sitting on the beach at the edge of the water as the waves came to pay their respect just inches away from my feet. 

There are two distinct sounds of the ocean at sunset.  The first sound is the gentle sound of the waves lapping against the shore. 
The second is this low rumbling sound that threatens to escalate but never quite does. This was the sound of the large waves forming some 200-300 feet in on the ocean's surface. I sat with my eyes closed and listened to the two sounds and felt the cool breeze against my skin. 
 I walked back to the room around 6:30 pm, showered, had dinner with the boys and called it an early night.

Day 5 was another beautiful day. 

The boys were busy practicing for their shows that were going to be a part of. After dinner, Aly and I attended "The Ramp Show" which was presented by the Kid's Club and the Teen's Club. Zayn did a fantastic job dancing and singing with the other kids. Their performances were quite impressive considering that they had only been practicing for three days. Aly didn't participate in the show because he didn't want to attend the practice sessions. Instead, he spent most of his free time, learning how to swing from the trapeze, sailing and watching shows on Netflix when he couldn't do the other two.

Zayn on the top right with the other kids during the show.

The MC's of the night were the counselors, Hunter and Bilal, who ran the kid's club all week. These guys were super friendly and sweet. The premise of the show was that the tweens who called themselves "Young Money" would battle the teens who called themselves "Swag". What followed was a series of dance performances by various groups of teens and tweens. It's always entertaining and fun for parents to watch their kids perform.
Zayn is in the center of the picture with the white jeans on.

The Finale. Zayn is second to the right.

Their version of the Harlem Shake.

After Zayn's show ended, I walked over to the trapeze for Aly's trapeze show.  The show wasn't until 10:30 pm. I hung around there waiting and watching as the guests, including Aly, and the staff members, stretched and warmed up before the show. They were given tights and unitards to wear for the show. Aly had this silver/grey tights with these blue wave like patterns on it.

My confident Aly poses for me.
The team stretches out before the performance.

Aly is the second on the left.
The group stretches with Geneviev (she is the one in the red outfit on the left - 26 yr old, originally from Canada - she is such a sweetheart and an awesome person. )
Aly sits and watches the staff demonstrate a wicked trick! These guys are amazing!

I can't seem to upload the video so I took some pictures during the day practice. I'll post those in a separate post.

The group stands for their final bow.
The group gets together after the bow back in their corner to have a final bonding huddle.

Love and Light,

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I Went Sailing! - By Myself!!!- Day 6 in Punta Cana!

Today is Thurday, July 25, 2013 and I went sailing by myself. 
The boys have been sailing since day one here in Punta Cana but I haven't been very keen on any of the various activities available. I have been enjoying the beach, the water, my quiet time, reading, relaxing etc. 
But yesterday, Aly came to my corner of the beach and said, "Mom, let's go!" 
I said."Where are we going?" 
He said, "Let's go sailing! Come on! I'll teach you!" 
So I left my things covered up with towels and walked over to where the sailboats are.
 I climbed in on the sailboat and we were out there for about an hour or so. 
Aly taught me the basics of how to tighten and loosen the sail, how to control the rudder, what to do when the boat starts to lean in one direction which is we have to loosen the sail and how to get ourselves back up if the boat were to capsize. 
Halfway out, he let me take the control and steer the boat. It was not difficult, but just a bit tedious. Like anything, there is an art and a science to sailing as well. 
And I enjoyed myself. 

Just another beautiful image captured while standing on the deck of Celeste.

I sat here for hours with my laptop as I blogged. I finally stopped when my laptop battery was drained.

This is another view of Celeste, there is a bar and a restaurant where one can get burgers and other fast food any time of the day until 1 am.
 So today I woke up around noon, packed up one one large suitcase with all of our used and dirty clothes, freshened up, grabbed a bowl of red beans for lunch and headed to the sailboat area. 
Aly and Zayn were just about to take a sailboat out. 
I decided to go out on my own.
Aly and Zayn had spent all morning together with Aly teaching Zayn how to sail.
It was cool to be out on the water by myself with the boys not to far away from me in their own boat. 

 I did the sense that I managed not to capsize my sailboat. But I definitely needed help.
Aly jumped in my sailboat when we were closer to the shore and let Zayn go out by himself. Zayn immediately capsized his boat but he was in very shallow water. He managed to get himself up and standing in the back of the boat but he was too little in size and weight to be able to pull the boat the right way up. One of the staff members came out and helped him. Zayn was scared and rightly so. I would be freaking out too if I were to capsize the boat. But thank God,  I didn't. 
It was a good experience but it was a lot of work. I was out for about 30 minutes and was more than ready to come back in.

Now I can say that I have sailed and understand the basics of sailing. 
 I have never understood why people or rather men like to own these boats that run on gas. They can go really fast but are so loud and annoying. I would never want to have one of those
But I would love to have my own very large sailboat and go sailing around the world. 
It is so peaceful to hear the sound of the sail as it catches the wind and the sound of the ocean as the waves rise and fall. 
But I would want someone who knew exactly what they were doing to handle the boat. 
Maybe some day!
This will go on my list of things I wish to do which also include spending an entire summer in a home overlooking the ocean on the island of Santorini, Greece by myself with my laptop and books. I dream of penning my many books (yet to be written and published and enjoyed by millions) while overlooking the beautiful, blue waters and the distant hills. Ameen!

The boys went to go to the trapeze activity where Zayn is learning how to do it. More on that later.


Punta Cana - Day 3.

Day 3 for me: Beautiful day spent at the beach, reading, writing, napping, swimming, taking photographs etc etc.

Day 3 for the boys: Hanging out with their new friends from the kid's club and teen's club, sailing, swimming, etc.

Some of the photos from Day 3.

Scuba diving lessons and trips available at an extra cost.

Kayaks available to take out - included.

I walked all the way to the pier which was at one end of the resort's designated beach area. A shady spot under a couple of palm trees seemed like the perfect spot to be. I pulled two lounge chairs in the shade and got comfortable with my books, pen, journal, oil crayons, phone, camera. swim goggles, bandana, water, sunblock and hat. This was my little slice of paradise for the next couple of hours.

I read, wrote, took some pictures, napped, went for a dip, then read some more and took some more pictures. Aly woke me up from my nap. I was surprised that he had found me. He said, "I knew you'd be as far away from the others as possible."  And right he was. There were a few scattered guests laying out on the lounge chairs but they were far enough where I could not hear them and that was just fine.

My view looking up as I lay down on the lounge chair. It was a beautiful blue sky with a few scattered clouds but that didnt' last.
It had been a beautiful day with a light cool breeze. There were light puffy clouds and some darker, grey ones, but they kept passing over us.
The wind picked up.
It started with a light sprinkle for a few minutes and then it stopped. 
But within a half hour, dark rain clouds had moved in and emptied their contents right on top of us minus any lightening. It started coming down fast and heavy and the breeze was picking up a bit and getting a bit cooler. 

The waves started picking up as well.
I barely had time to pack my things and run under the shade of a hut. After leaving my bag and towels there, Aly and I went back in the water. It was warmer in the water with the rain pouring down than it was on the beach. We stayed for a few minutes but then decided to just wait it out under the shade.
It stopped raining after about ten minutes. The clouds dissipated and it was back to being a beautiful day again. But it was already around five by now and we were cold and hungry. We walked to Celeste and grabbed a quick burger before heading back to our room to shower and change.

A pic of the boys from day 1. Aly played around with the effects. I like it!

Another one from day 1

Day 1 as I waited for the boys to join me for dinner.

These two men in the blue shirts and white shorts are the top guys responsible for guest services. One of their many responsibilities is to walk around the entire property and check in with guests. On Day 2, I was sitting in a quiet corner in the beach restaurant with my laptop blogging, when they walked up to me to ensure I was doing well and was happy there. They asked if I needed anything. They chatted with me for a few minutes about where I was from and what I was working on.  I informed them that I was working on a post for my blog. They actually knew what a blog was and asked for the blog address so that they could read it. I said I would get it to them before I leave.

I shouldn't have been surprised when they walked up to me again on Day 3, as I was hiding in the corner of the beach. They stopped and said hello, made some small talk and off they went to the next few guests.  Good guys!!!

A selfie earlier before the clouds moved in.

After dinner, we decided to go to where the main bar is. They usually have a live band playing there. It was a very muggy night and we were waiting until 9:30 to go see the show. 

This is a picture of the main bar. There are comfy chairs and couches all around the outside with an open area in the middle. 

We attended the nightly show that starts at 9:30. Tonight's theme was "The Music Factory" where they had a awesome collection of songs from the 60's, 70's, 80's 90's and the 21st century. They played about 30-45 seconds of each song.  Dressed in wigs and costumes, the staff members lip-synced to the songs. I had a blast!!!! I totally dated myself as I sang along to Wham's Jitterbug, Cyndi Lauper's Girls just wanna have fun, Madonna's Material Girl and Boy George's Kama-chamelion. 

I was about 11 years old when these came out.  My parents, my brother Karim who was nine years old, my grandparents and I all lived together in a two bedroom flat in Mazgaon, an area of Mumbai which was Bombay back then.  A flat is the same thing as our condos. We were on the 5th floor of the Bank of India building in the Honeycomb Building.  Random facts as I walk down memory lane. Our parents had one bedroom with the bathroom and my grandparents had the other bedroom. There was a bathroom in the living room area which we all used. Karim and I used to sleep on the pull-out sofa bed every night. We were too young to miss having our own room. I remember dinner every night would consist of khichdi, aaloo pyaz ka salan, chaas, dahi, and papad. The entire family would always have dinner together.  

It was around the same time that my dad's sisters came to visit us. Daulat fuima lived in Vancouver, Canada and Malek fuima lived in the suburbs of London. They recently came to visit us a few months ago and it was the best time ever.  My cousin Mohsin, Malek Fuima's son was nice enough to send me a mix tape of the hit pop songs of the time. Also, I was introduced to Michael Jackson's Thriller album. I can't exactly remember who bought me that cassette but boy, I loved it. That was my introduction to western songs. When I say western, I don't mean country western. Living in the Eastern part of the world, in India, this music and artists were considered western because it came from America and/or Europe thus the Western part of the world.

A simple yet beautiful light fixture.
 I used to have posters of Boy George, Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson in my grandparent's bedroom. I used to try to dress up like Madonna and Cyndi Lauper wearing as many bangles instead of the bracelets and tying my hair up with colorful hairbands...I looked ridiculous!!!! But I thought I was so cool then. I recently came across a few pictures of me with my crazy get-up posing with our doberman Rocky. I'll see if I can find them and post them later.
So back to the show, they played songs by Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Abba, Jackson 5, Michael Jackson, the Spice Girls, Backstreet boys, Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra just to name a few more. They even played La Bamba!!!

The Jackson 5

 A pic of the theatre.
A good day all in all!

Love and Light!
From one sufi to another,