Read Newsletter Q4 2008 text version

The Houston Ballet ­ The Nutcracker

By Mette Willoughby

Throughout the year the Houston Ballet has a busy repertoire, by presenting several masterful works by master choreographers. Performances range from "Swan Lake" and "Jubilee of Dance" to more modern expressions and music just to mention one "Ben Stevenson Academy Spring Showcase". It is a Houston tradition from late November through the whole of December that the Ballet presents the fairy tale ballet called "The Nutcracker". It is a performance that delights young and old alike. Children especially love the dancing dolls, flying cooks, giant rats, dancing sweets, and living snowflakes. The Nutcracker is based on the story "The Nutcracker and the King of Mice". It was written in 1816 by a German author, E.A.T. Hoffmann. The story was later changed to today's version by the French author Alexandre Dumas. In 1891 the story was set to music composed by the Russian Pyotr IIyich Tchaikovsky. The ballet was first performed in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1892. The music has become some of Tchaikovsky's most popular compositions. It belongs to the Romantic period (1815-1910) and contains some of his most memorable melodies (like Russian Dance and the famous Waltz of the Flowers and March), several of which are used in television productions and film (Disney's Fantasia), especially during the Christmas season. The Nutcracker story The plot takes place in the home of the Stahlbaum's, where they are celebrating Christmas Eve. Family and friends are gathered together, when the mysterious godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer enters. He gives all the children a gift, and the girl Clara is given three life-size dolls, that can dance. Clara is disappointed with her present, and turns to Herr Drosselmeyer for more, but alas there are no more gifts to share. Continued on page 3 QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

In this Issue

THE HOUSTON BALLET ­ THE NUTCRACKER EDITOR'S NOTE NEW ARRIVALS COFFEE MORNING BRAZILIAN CULTURAL MORNING CALLING ALL CAR ENTHUSIAST EXPATS HANUKKAH, A JEWISH CELEBRATION OF LIGHT MEET & GREET FIRE SAFETY CHRISTMAS EVENTS NEW ARRIVALS NEW BOOKS IN THE LIBRARY CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Outpost Houston Newsletter, Page 1

FROM THE EDITOR & EVENTS

New Arrival Coffee Morning

At Mariloli Odum's home

Editor's Note

For those arriving to Houston at this time of the year, the climate doesn't seem to be very different from continental. The temperatures are still oscillating, but you cannot swim in an unheated pool or walk in the shorts the whole day and night anymore. But autumn/winter in Houston also has its benefits mostly for those outdoors oriented and those who like opera. We said good-bye to the summer with a glass of wine at our AfterSummer Wine Tasting, organized at Jimmy Wilson's. It was a very nice evening, where both expats and their spouses attended. For our newcomers we held a New Arrival Coffee Morning and the exotic Brazilian Cultural Morning was a great success as well (see articles on this page). The next large event is the annual Family Holiday Brunch, which is organized by Shell Events and we all are invited by the country chair Marvin Odum. We are looking forward to see the new Discovery Green Park in downtown and have fun with our families. Please, mark your calendars also for the first Saturday of February, when you all are invited to our Globetrotter Ball. In order to achieve our aspiration, we will need YOUR help and input. We are continuously looking for Welcomers and volunteers willing to share their experience­ please feel free to come in and visit us anytime! We from Outpost wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! [Lubka Elser]

Once again, Mariloli Odum opened her beautiful home to the newly arrived expats. We met on Monday, November 3, in a small group of 14 newcomers and our great team of welcomers, which gave us plenty of opportunity to talk to each other. Mariloli prepared breakfast and was a lovely hostess. Kareen Dee talked about International Connections of Houston, Hema Kamath talked about Newcomers and Neighbors of Greater Houston, and Vania Amado invited everyone for our Brazilian Cultural morning (see below). We are sorry for those of you who couldn't come, it was really special! The next Coffee Morning will be held in April 2009.

Brazilian Cultural Morning

On November 11 we organized a very special event ­ cultural morning with a focus on Brazil. To keep it more exotic, this morning was held in the Brazilian Arts Foundation in the Heights. The attendees were given handouts with information about Brazil and a few recipes of the Brazilian food that we served (i.e. Risoles, Pao de Queijo). Soft drink like Guarana and Brazilian coffee were also not missing. We were happy to listen to the enthusiastic and interesting talk of Ben Boyd, who was on a posting in Brazil and had a great experience. She gave everyone a very good picture of what to expect when relocating to Rio de Janeiro, its people and culture. Afterwards we all enjoyed a wonderful music performance of traditional instruments by the artistic director of BAF, Mauricio Campos. Under his guidance we all contributed with hands and singing, while he and his colleague performed a traditional dance Capoeira. We were happy that also a few Shell employees found the time to come from downtown and Woodcreek offices. We thank Brazilian Arts Foundation for sponsoring the location and artistic performance and hope to collaborate in the future again.

Brazilian Arts Foundation is a non-profit organization promoting education, good health and vibrant culture. www.brazilianarts.org

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

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OUTPOST HOUSTON NEWS

The Houston Ballet ­ The Nutcracker By Mette Willoughby

Continued from page 1

Do you have teenager or college students studying either here or abroad?

Do you have teenagers in boarding school or college students that only visit Houston during vacation time and are seeking a network of friends? Do you have teenagers or college students studying here in the Houston area that are internationally minded and looking to socialize with others? I have a list of young people that are keen to meet with others and connect for social purposes during the holiday times. Please get in touch if you support the idea and would like your kids to be included on the list. Contact: Christa Dyson Email: [email protected] Home tel: 832 230 8448 (The list is for networking purposes only. Please respect this.)

Clara cries with disappointment and Herr Drosselmeyer gives her a Nutcracker in the shape of a soldier. Clara is very happy, but her brother Fritz gets jealous and breaks the gift. The Christmas Eve party ends and the Stahlbaum family go to bed, except for Herr Drosselmeyer who repairs the Nutcracker. At midnight Clara wakes to the sound of mice and tries to run away, but the mice stop her. Is it all just a dream that the Nutcracker comes to life? "The Nutcracker dream" continues, when he and his soldiers try to protect Clara against the Mouse King. A battle between the Nutcracker's and the Mouse King's soldiers erupts. Clara helps the Nutcracker in his fight, which ends in him stabbing the Mouse King to death. The Nutcracker is transformed into a prince. Clara and the Prince travel to a world where dancing snowflakes, fairies and queens welcoming them into their world. Intermission of 20 minutes Clara and the Prince arrive at the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The people of the Land of Sweets (could be Chocolate, Candy Canes, Marzipan and many more yummy sweets), dances several dances for them. As a final, Clara awakens from her dream and finds herself by the Christmas tree with her beloved Nutcracker. The performance lasts approximately two hours. www.nutcrackerballet.net

Families in Global Transition Conference in Houston

Interested in volunteering at Outpost Houston? We are constantly looking for enthusiastic Welcomers (see p. 5)! We are currently in need of Russian, Spanish and Chinese speaking Welcomers as well as those living in the area of Houston's downtown. If you are interested, please contact us at [email protected]

We look forward to hearing from you!

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

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EXPATS SHARING EXPERIENCE

..... MONTHLY OPEN HOUSE

You're Invited! You will have the opportunity to meet with new and recent arrivals, settled spouses, our Meet & Greet Team as well as Outpost Staff. We have a lovely children's playroom, so feel free to bring the kids along. Coffee with a Twist! Each Open House hosts a special guest who will speak about issues relative to expatriate life in Houston. The next `Coffee with a Twist' will be held in January. Look out for details in upcoming email announcements.

Hanukkah, A Jewish Celebration of Lights

By Mette Willoughby

For more than two thousand years, Jewish people around the world gather together to celebrate this festival of lights, which begins on December 21st. Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jewish people over Antiochus and the Hellenized Greeks, followed by the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The Greeks ruled over the Jews in Judea and desecrated the Second Temple in order to give credence to the Hellenized Jews' rule over the priests. After a revolt led by Mattathias and his brothers, they succeeded in defeating the Greek army and regaining control over the temple (165 BC). Although the rebuilding and rededication of the Temple took time, the first Temple service available was the lighting of the Menorah, or seven-branch candelabra. One small jug of pure olive oil was found, which normally would burn for one day, burned for eight miraculous days. So for eight days, Jews celebrate by lighting their own personal Menorah. Eight candles stands on a line together; the ninth candle, called the Shamash, stands in front of the others. For eight nights, one light is lit on each night of the holiday, each night adding one more candle, progressing to eight on the final night. This represents the number of days that the olive oil burned in the Temple. It is preferable to use olive oil and a wick as the candle, but other types of candles are acceptable, such as beeswax. As the sun sets, the Shamash is the first candle to be lit and is used to light the other candles. It is also customary to put the Menorah by the window or near the door leading to the street so that neighbors and the general public can see and be reminded of the celebration.

The next Open House will be on January 22 We would like you to "Learn Conversational Spanish in 60 minutes" at this fun Coffee with a Twist. Time: 10:00 am - Noon Place: Outpost office

It is a tradition, that when the candles are lit, Hanukkah songs are sung and prayers are said. In the synagogue there are special additions to the daily prayer, including psalms of thanksgiving and readings from the Torah, the Jewish holy book. Jews decorate their homes with crafts and play draidel, a traditional Hanukkah game. Children are given gelt, or small gifts, during the holiday. Also, traditional dishes are made, with a special emphasis on oil, including potato latkes (pancake) and sufganiyot (jelly doughnuts). But the main message that is taken from this holiday is the victory of light over darkness, good over evil and religious freedom over persecution. May the inspiration we receive this holiday season dispel the darkness and allow only light and goodness to radiate in our lives. Have a Happy Hanukkah! www.hanukkahcelebration.com www.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanukkah

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

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OUTPOST HOUSTON NEWS

Meet & Greet

By Margot Verheijen

When I was asked to write something about 'Meet & Greet' for the Outpost Newsletter, my first reaction was: "Please No, not me..." My second reaction was: why me? I never write anything except for 2 liner e-mails. My English writing skills are anything but perfect. But then I thought if everybody reacted this way there would never be a story in the Newsletter, so let's give it a try. Now let's talk about Meet and Greet instead of about myself. Meet & Greet is a part of the Outpost Houston organization that welcomes new Shell families arriving from other countries. Here in Houston families will first be welcomed by a relocation organization (Cartus) that helps them with all types of administrative issues, such as banking, getting the drivers license, organize cross-cultural training and so on. This is actually a really good service, but the families have a lot of other practical questions that need answering which often only Shell expats can understand. This is where we ­ the welcomers - come into the picture. Outpost will first find out whether the newly arrived family needs a welcomer (sometimes the family has lived in Houston before, and therefore knows the city). If yes, then Outpost makes a match between the family and the welcomer depending on common characteristics like marital status, age of children, nationality, etc. Outpost will then send a form with contact and family details to me, so that I can contact the family directly and invite them for an informal meeting where all the questions are discussed over a cup of tea and cake. The newcomers will then always have someone they can call upon if they have further questions. Outpost also gives us some books about Houston as a welcome present for the family, to give them ideas about the city and where to go to explore it. After the meeting I let Outpost know how it went and whether there are any problems that the family is struggling with where Outpost can help. Meet & Greet tries to keep up to date with all the changes within Shell that are directly connected to our expat lives and I can tell you that this is a tough job as things change all the time. Lately for example, we had major changes in the health insurance and schooling cost reimbursements due to the mobility review. Therefore we have regular meetings at Outpost, where all welcomers and Outpost team can share our knowledge about problems areas and find solutions. I joined Meet and Greet because I like to help other people. I know from my own experience that arriving in a foreign country can be overwhelming and it's nice when there is someone available to answer all your questions. I also prefer to be independent and manage my own time. Doing voluntary work is nice, but there are so many other interesting and exciting things to do that I didn't want to commit myself to fixed working times. And that is all possible whilst working for Meet & Greet. It doesn't mean that as a welcomer you do not have commitments. On the contrary - people rely on you and you can't let them down...but you do have the flexibility of planning you own time. The Meet & Greet team in Outpost is always looking for new welcomers. They try to make the team as diverse as possible. Every person has qualities, which make her/him special to the team. Such qualities could be that you speak a foreign language, know a lot about football in Houston or just happen to know the best places to spend a nice evening. Don't think you are not suited for Meet & Greet because your English is not good either, you haven't heard my English yet! You also don't have to know your way around town; this would have stopped me being on the team. After 3 years I still rely entirely on my GPS system. Finally, don't think you are not suited because you don't know a lot of people in Houston. I started Meet & Greet when I was here less than a year; it's a great way to meet more people. And I can assure you...you will be the best welcomer once you know the answer to the most important question always asked by the ladies..." Where can I find a good hairdresser?"

PS...If you do know the answer to the last question or want to know more about the Meet & Greet team or even better - want to join us, please contact Outpost. COME ON...JOIN US...GIVE IT A GO!

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

Outpost Houston Newsletter, Page 5

ABOUT HOUSTON

Fire Safety

By Mette Willoughby

Did you know that according to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2003, 80% of fires in the United States occurred in the home and resulted in 3,925 deaths? By wishing you all a Happy New Year, we wish to remind you that it is time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. Test every detector at least once a month (See instruction book for maintainers and for the location of the test button). Keep smoke detectors dust free. Batteries should be replaced with new ones at least once a year, or sooner if the detector makes a sound. Use only the type of batteries recommended on the detector. If you have a smoke detector directly wired into your electrical system, periodically check that the little signal light is blinking. This tells you that the alarm is active. If your smoke detectors are more than 10 years old, it is recommended that you change them, make sure the detector is listed by UL, and carry the UL mark (Underwriters Laboratories ­ nationally recognized safety requirements) and have both ionization ­ and photoelectric smoke detectors install. Almost half of all home fire deaths in the U.S. resulted from fires that were reported between 10 pm in the evening and 6am in the morning. Smoking was the leading cause, but during the months of December, January and February, heating equipment caused similar amount of home fire deaths. Keep fire extinguishers in your home. They can be handy to have when a fire starts. Fire extinguishers should be mounted in the kitchen, garage, and workshop. For your home you should have a type ABC extinguisher. Learn how to use it before there is an emergency. An extinguisher must only be used on small fires. If there is a large fire, get out immediately and call 911 from another location. Prevention is very important. At least once a year you should inspect the extinguisher to ensure that the pressure is at the recommended level, that the pin is intact, that there are no dents, leak, rust or chemical deposits on the cylinder. Some manufacturers recommend that you shake the extinguisher now and then, to prevent the dry chemical powder from settling/packing. After a number of years the fire extinguishers should be hydrostatic pressure tested to ensure that the cylinder is safe to use (see owner's manual). http://seniors.tcnet.org www.fire-extinguisher101.com FIRE IS FAST: There is little time! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because fire spreads too quickly and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape. FIRE IS HOT: Heat is more threatening than flames. Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 F at floor level and rise to 600 F at eye level. Inhaling this super hot air will scorch your lungs. In 5 minutes a room can get so hot that everything in it ignites at once: this is called flashover. FIRE IS DARK: Fire isn't bright, it's pitch black. Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness. If you wake up to a fire you may be blinded, disoriented and unable to find your way around the home you've lived in for years. FIRE IS DEADLY: Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire uses up the oxygen you need and produces smoke and poisonous gases. Breathing even small amounts of smoke and toxic gases can make you drowsy, disoriented and short of breath. The odorless, colorless fumes can lull you into a deep sleep before the flames reach your door. You may not wake up in time to escape.

SAFETY IS A DEEPLY HELD VALUE

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

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IDEAS FOR LEASURE TIME

Christmas Events

Annual Candlelight Tour- The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park December 12-13 Houston's past comes alive as visitors stroll along paths lit by glowing candlelight, a long-standing Houston tradition for holiday gathering. Guests can tour the interiors of Houston's most historic structures, each decorated to portray a different era in Houston's history. Visitors will also be able to enjoy staged performances inside the historic structures. Along the way, carolers will lift their voices in joyful song, and the sounds of music will usher in the holiday spirit. Storytellers and crafters will take visitors back in time as they experience how holidays were celebrated in the past. In the Gingerbread House of Santa's Workshop, children can have their photo taken while visiting with St. Nicholas and engage in arts and crafts activities. Children can also play in the snow and build snowmen at this year's new Snow Land. Santa's Workshop will also include a stage with various musical and theatrical scheduled performances. Adults (19+) $10, Students (13-18) $5, Seniors (65+) $5, Children (12 & under) Free with paying adult. www.heritagesociety.org Panto Cinderella- A Family Musical Shown until 28th December Book and Lyrics by Kate Hawley Music by Gregg Coffin This holiday season "Stages" introduces Houston audiences to the beloved British tradition of Pantomime with this rousing new version of one of the world's favorite stories. The storytelling style gave new life to the humble Cinderella, her fairy godmother, her awkward prince, and her hideous (and hilarious!) stepsisters. Packed with sharp wit, wild fun and original music, this unusual twist on a magnificent classic is spectacular fun for grownups and kids alike! www.stagestheatre.com Old Fashion Christmas at Old Town Spring, Texas Until December 24 If you are looking for a traditional, fairytale Christmas experience, Old Town Spring can be worth a visit. A small Texan town just to the north of Houston, which got the name when the railroad from Houston reached the area in springtime of 1873. With the railroad came the settlers of the "Republic of Texas," which were mainly of German descent. Through its narrow cobblestone streets, one can walk from one small unique shop full of gift ideas to the next, with Christmas Carrols, scent of the season, small restaurants with homemade food, antique stores, arts and crafts shops, just to mention a few. Some gift shops have original products, one-of-a-kind designer pieces, as well as selling traditional goods brought in from all over the world. The best time to visit the Old Town Spring is at nighttime, when the shops are lit and the decorations are twinkling. www.associatedcontent.com

Events in Houston

Messiah Sing-Along and Children Musica December 14 & 21 www.chapelwood.org "Art and Power in the Central African Savanna" Until January 4 www.menil.org Lone Star Motorcycle Rally December 11-14 www.lonestarrally.com Reserve Champagne Tasting December 11 http://www.vino100.com The Birth of Christianity A Jewish Story December 12 www.hmns.org "Home for the Holidays" Pet Adoption Center Until December 28 Houston Pavilions at 1201 Fannin TunnelWalk & Rail Tour: Houston Museum of Natural Science & Downtown December 30 www.hmns.org Heights First Saturday Art Market January 3 www.yalestreetmarket.com Photo Class for ages 12-15 January 12 www.hopestoneinc.org 20th Annual Concert of Arias February 5 Wortham Theater Center National Acrobats of China February 14 www.spahouston.org A Midsummer Night's Dream January 23, 25, 31 & February 4+6 Wortham Theater Center

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

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EXPATS SHARING EXPERIENCE

Calling all car enthusiast expats!

(BMW ones in particular)

By Adriana Diesen

If you are a German car enthusiast who has been in Houston for a while, you've probably realized by now that one of the, say, `perks' about your US posting is that these greatly engineered machines cost much less here in the States than they do back in Europe. Which leads us to the second great thing about your US posting when it comes to our car passion: enjoying the ride! My husband has been a `BMW man' pretty much all his life, having owned many of these great cars back home in Norway and quite a few more since his arrival in Houston in 2002. I became a total `BMW-nerd' when I lived in Germany back in the late 90s and fell in love with the handling characteristics of these machines. After a short while in Houston I realized that car clubs were not only popular, but [were] also a great way to meet other people with the same interest. Doing some research I came across the BMW Car Club of America and learned that it was very easy to become a member (annual membership is currently at $40 for primary membership [you?] and $15 for associate membership [your spouse?]). As enthusiasts we soon learned that membership benefits were numerous, including financial ones (visit the BMWCCA website for details). Once we had joined the club, the national BMWCCA automatically assigned us to the local chapter, which in our case was the Houston Chapter. And there my friends began the fun! Our first experience with the club was in November 2006: a weekend trip to Fredericksburg in the beautiful Texan Hill Country. We met the group on a perfect sunny and dry Friday afternoon at a pre-established location in the west area of town and were immediately warmly welcomed by the members of the club. The caravan left for the Hill Country at around noon. I must say it is a nice sight when dozens of BMWs cruise in line along the road. Long story short by the end of the trip on Sunday afternoon we had made new friends, had had a wonderful time and were very excited about having found our `BMW peers'! From there on we just got more and more involved with the club and the activities. I have become a sort of Group of friends at the "Hair of the Dog 2008" (Jan-01) `event organizer' putting together many different social events along the year and in 2007 I became the `official organizer of the Fredericksburg weekend', which this year included a Halloween party at the hotel since our first tour day was October 31st, Halloween Day itself. In 2007, we spent 3 days at the BMW Performance School in Greenville, South Carolina where the American BMW plant is located. It is there that the current X Series (X3, X5 and X6) are produced for both the American and overseas markets. Annex to the plant is the Performance Center where we attended the School. The Performance School consists of a classroom portion and a hands-on-portion, which means having BMW's professional instructors take you out on the tracks for one-to-one lessons on safe handling and car control, emergency situations and handling and, saving the best for last, a Team A against Team B track competition at the end of the `curriculum'. What a blast we had! Although the local Houston chapter currently has more than 1,200 registered members many people just want to take advantage of the membership benefits and do not participate at events. Others just come for the annual dinner or tech sessions. Others, like us, will join pretty much most club events. Members will usually go for the events they enjoy the most (i.e. social events only), so it is not uncommon to see the same familiar faces again and again, which brings people closer and closer together with time.

Continued on page 9

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

Outpost Houston Newsletter, Page 8

NEW ARRIVALS

Calling all car enthusiast expats!

By Adriana Diesen

Continued from page 8

If you are a car enthusiast I strongly recommend that you get out there and find your club of interest. Not only will you meet other people who share your passion, but you are bound to have a terrific time. Besides, as an expat, you will have the chance to interact first-hand with locals on a personal level. When I come to think of it, many of the members in our chapter work in the oil and gas industry ­ directly or indirectly ­ and we have also made some professionally interesting acquaintances since we joined the club. As for our BMW club, although almost all of our members are BMW people, we also welcome other car brands and enthusiasts. All we ask is that you be interested in cars and be game for a lot of good time! Below are some BMW links and, in an effort to be unbiased, I also included links to the other German car clubs in Houston. If I were to describe our club experience in a nutshell, I would say that the Road trip to Messina Hof Winery in Bryan, TX (Sep-6 2008) best part has definitely been having the chance to meet the people we have met. We've made some really good friends who, as a start point, also share our passion for BMWs and for driving. We enjoy road trips together (always on twisty, back roads of course!), coffee mornings, dinners, autocrosses (great fun!), driver's education courses and so much more! I invite you to come to the next monthly coffee morning on Dec-13 at 9am at Hungry's Cafe and Bistro (1414 Memorial Drive). Drop by, meet other club members and then decide if you want to join the club. Feel free to contact me at [email protected] for more information about the BMW Houston Chapter. Greetings, Adriana Diesen Links: BMW Car Club of America: www.bmwcca.org BMW CCA Houston Chapter: www.houston-bmwcca.com Roundel Magazine: www.roundel-digital.com/roundel/sample (free, digital edition of the BMWCCA magazine) BMW Performance School: http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Content/Experience/Events/PDS/Defau lt.aspx BMW North America: www.bmwusa.com Mercedes Benz Club of America: www.mbca.org Porsche Club of America ­ Lone Star Chapter: www.lsrpca.com Here you will find lots of links to other car and driving clubs: http://www.automotivechronicles.com/articles/2005/may/01/index.php

NEW ARRIVALS

Maartje Jorritsma-van Krieken & Eelco Jorritsma Luisa Swanston Mehta Preeti Sebastian Regis & family Hend & Sam Ezzeldin Jonathan Kinisu Evgeny Schetkin Renata Paradeda Benjamin Soo Gavin Tennant Arpana Singh & family Tracy Kearns Ellen & Neill Gunn Carl Mesters Jacob Bouman Elia Pliego Vidal Carlos C. Gonzalez Guy Lovett & family Chishimba Kantu Mark & Marion Harms Emiliano Bruzos & family

Welcome to Houston!

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

Outpost Houston Newsletter, Page 9

WHAT'S ON IN HOUSTON

What's on in Houston

Kids' Fun Run supporting Texas Children's Hospital (part of the Chevron Houston Marathon) January 17 Time: 8-11:30 am Registration: www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com Children of all abilities are invited to participate! Come to George R. Brown Convention Center and be the one to make a difference. Every kid is a winner, as you will learn that fitness can be fun, a lesson that will last a lifetime. All children from age 5-15 years old can participate in the 3K (or 1K) Run or Walk; also children with special needs are welcome.

CHARITY EVENT "Holiday Cooking Using Local and Seasonal Ingredients" Date: December 18, Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.

NATURE & KIDS Arboretum at Night - Owl Prowls 1830s Jones Stock Farm and the 1890s Davis Mansion to see how the holidays were spent in yesteryear, then join the cowboys around the campfire for some singing, storytelling and a few surprises. Location: George Ranch Historical Park Price: $45 www.georgeranch.org ART "Tête-á-Tête" Mon-Sat until December 27 For the exhibit "Tete-a-Tete," Houston artist Lisa Qualls focused on the changing of cultural identities. In New Moon, we see the image of a man dressed in African garb, a fat baby on his knee. Two text narratives overlay the image. In Liberty, we see an indigenouslooking woman in profile, her long black hair gently morphing into feathers as it falls down her back. This time the text is under the image, as if Qualls had drawn the portrait on the page of a book. Free entrance. Location: Art League of Houston Address:1953 Montrose Blvd www.artleaguehouston.org

Date: December 12, 19 & January 9 Time: 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. Enjoy the Arboretum's owls on a guided walk through the forest looking for these nocturnal birds of prey. Eastern Screech Owl, Great Horned Owl, and Barred Owl are present here and nest in the winter months. Owls are strongly territorial in the winter and will investigate any disturbances nearby. Join staff naturalists for a brief presentation on the owls of Houston, and then venture out on the trails for an unforgettable encounter with our secretive night predators. Minimum age 12.

Join Chef Monica Pope, one of Houston's most award-winning and innovative chefs and owner of the award-winning restaurant t'afia as she shares techniques for cooking simple, healthy dishes. The focus of this innovative 2 hr. class will be how to utilize locally grown organic ingredients in cooking for the holidays. Fee: $60 for members, $80 for non-members. www.houstonarboretum.org

Campfire Christmas 2008 Date: Fri&Sat until December 20 Time: 6pm-8pm Yee-haw, y'all! It's the holidays and the cowboys at George Ranch Historical Park invite you to join them for a Texas tradition, a Campfire Christmas. Tour the park's

For more ideas check p.7

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

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NEW BOOKS

New Books in the Outpost Library

Third Culture Kids The experience of Growing Up Among Worlds by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. van Reken

America The Beautiful A photographic journey, coast to coast ­ and beyond by LIFE Books

Footsteps around the World Relocation Tips For Teens by Beverly D. Roman

Widely acclaimed as the first and only book to fully examine the legacy of transition and change shared by those who have grown up globally, Third Culture Kids (TCKs) speaks to the challenges and rewards of a multicultural childhood: the joy of discovery and heartbreaking loss, its effect on maturing and personal identity, and the difficulty in making the transition home. Through interviews, poetry, and personal writings, the authors validate past experience in TCKs, placing into clear context their shared heritage and profiling typical characteristics and emotions ­ from practical social skills and identity development to restlessness and delayed adolescence. For parents, educators, and the thousands of adult TCKs around the world, this book brings to life the essence of the cultural, emotional, physical, and geographical experiences of the nomadic life of Third Culture Kids.

A splendid photographic display of 100 of America's most beautiful, most important, most intriguing places. From the scenic coast of Maine to the thunderous volcanoes of Hawaii, from far northern Alaska to the tip of the Florida Keys..The bounteous natural and man-made artistry that is a source of American pride. The book presents 3 of the finest American nature photographers: Joel Meyerowitz, Michael Melford and Ansel Adams.

This 102 pages book focuses on teenagers' unique relocation challenges. Domestic and international advice to help teens maximize their experience whether they are moving across town, across the country or around the world. Topics include: · Dealing with feelings · Tips for talking with parents · Educational guidelines · Safety tips · Overseas schooling · Repatriation · Over 40 teen-appropriate Internet resources

Amazing Texas by T. Jensen Lacey Fascinating facts, entertaining tales, bizarre happenings and historical oddities about the Lonestar State. Specific locations and visitor information make this a useful guide to further explore the history, folklore, and folkways of this vast and diverse state.

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

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OUTPOST HOUSTON NEWS

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS

Police, Fire Department, Ambulance City of Houston Services Helpline Houston Police Department Harris County Sheriff's Office 911 311 713 222 3131 713 221 6000 1 800 332 7143 1 411 281 230 3100 1 800 275 8777 713 284 6523 1 800 525 5555 713 222 7328 281 376 3472 [email protected] 1 800 554 9299 713 245 4800

Emergency?

Dial

Reliant Energy (power outage) Telephone Directory Assistance Bush Int. Airport Information Postal Service AAA Stranded Motorists Toll Road Assistance (working hrs) Toll Road Assistance (24 hrs)

911

& give

· · · ·

your name your street, number & zip your phone number police, fire or ambulance

Editor: Lubka Elser Assistant editor: Mette Willoughby Newsletter Input: Mette Willoughby Adriana Diesen Margot Verheijen Outpost Team: Lubka Elser Nicole Bos Miranda Mulders Vania Amado Opening Hours: Monday ­ Thursday 10am - 2pm

GEMS Benefits (BUPA) United HealthCare Expatriate Services

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

December 13 (Saturday) Annual Family Holiday Brunch Time: 10 am - 2 pm Location: Discovery Green Park in Downtown Coffee with a Twist Learn Conversational Spanish in 60 minutes Globetrotter Ball Time: 8 pm - midnight Location: JW Marriott in Galleria

Shell Woodcreek, Ste 6115 200 N. Dairy Ashford Houston, TX 77079 ph. 281 544 4600 fax. 281 544 4159 [email protected] www.outposthouston.com

January 20 (Tuesday)

February 7 (Saturday)

The information given by Outpost-Houston is based upon the gathered personal experiences of expatriate families. Therefore, you will appreciate that Outpost Houston cannot accept any liability for damages directly or indirectly resulting from the services rendered or information given.

Watch for specific dates and times in our `Classifieds' email announcements and also on our website www.outposthouston.com

QUARTER 4 2008 Issue #27

Outpost Houston Newsletter, Page 12

Information

Newsletter Q4 2008

12 pages

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