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Thursday, May 10, 2012


The first post after an absence is always the hardest. I feel the need to explain what I've been up to. Also, there is the inevitable backlog of things I would like to talk about and the feeling that the first post back better be good. Without too much explanation, (there will be plenty of time for that) I would just like to say that because I have been busy with some things that have caused a bit of disruption in my life, it has been a while since I last posted. Now let me slip back into the blog as if no break had ever happened.

Last week, I was invited to go paintballing with a coworker who was taking his students on a "team building exercise." Our supervisor who clearly understands the importance of taking the students out for a bit of fun once in a while, gave permission for the outing. I didn't have class at the time, so went along to provide "support."

Napoleon getting ready to shoot students.
We booked the outdoor paintball grounds at the Abu Dhabi Military Officer's Club for 10:00 am on Tuesday and told the students to be there at 9:30. That began predictably with most students turning up around 10:30. By the time everyone was outfitted in their coveralls, given the mask, gun, and given instructions, it was 10:45. Thankfully, the guy running the thing waited until then to start the clock.

After the first round, all of the students were out of ammunition. Luckily, more ammunition could be purchased for 60 Dh per 100 rounds. Some students bought 500 rounds. It should be noted that the price of an hour of paintablling was 150 Dh. That meant that the students spent double the admission price on ammo for just one game. And yes, the students used all of their ammo on just the last game. In fact, the whole paintballing "team building" ended because the students used all of their ammo and could not continue.

For those who are not familiar with how paintball games work, if you are shot, you are expected to raise your hands in a surrender gesture and leave the playing field without shooting anymore. For those who have experience dealing with young Emirati males, you can guess how well the honor system works in paintball. Even though we only got to play two games (four would be more reasonable in an hour), I did enjoy shooting the students multiple times. My favorite time was when one student who was holed up in a little bunker was shooting out the front window and didn't notice me until I walked up behind him and shot him three or four times. Of course, there was the time when a student with his hands in the air and walking off the playing field lowered his gun and start shooting at me. While he didn't hit me, I enjoyed shooting him a couple of times.

Overall, it was a great time. I would have liked to get more games in and have had less time standing around in the heat waiting for everyone to buy ammo. Even though I've only been painballing once before, the students' lack of any kind of tactics or aiming made me one of the best players on the field and that is always fun.


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  2. Glad to see you back to posting again, Aaron!

  3. It's good to be back. Hopefully, I'll be able to keep a consistent presence. It's certainly not for lack of things to write about.

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