This morning we checked out of our hotel, and then crammed an obscene amount of people onto a coach bus so that we could ride around Abu Dhabi.
Our first stop of the day brought us to the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. The hospital is dedicated to taking care of falcons whether it’s for routine check ups, broken feathers, or other ailments. We got to walk around the grounds and go into one of the rooms where they let falcons fly around. Sadly, none of the falcons were dramatically swooping above our heads. They seemed content to sit on the perches and ignore our general presence.
Once we were tired of being ignored by the falcons, we returned into the hospital and we got to see all the falcons that were there for routine check ups. We watched one of the veterinarians anesthetize the falcon before giving it a very thorough manicure. He clipped the falcon’s talons, filed them down, and then clipped the falcon’s beak. Before we left, he let us hold a falcon, and one of the girls even got to hand feed another falcon a quail.
Our next stop was at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. The clinic opened this past spring, and is a joint venture between the Emirati government and the Cleveland Clinic. We watched a video explaining how many people have to fly out of the country to receive medical care, or travel extremely far. By opening its doors, the Cleveland Clinic allows people to receive proper care without traveling too far. The Clinic employs many caretakers and has about 345 single-bed rooms. When we went on our tour, we got to go into the simulation area where they train many nurses and doctors. We got to see a mock ICU, and hear how the simulation area will create different scenarios based on which skills the caretaker wants to improve.
Following our visit to the Clinic, we went to the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival. At the festival we got to walk around and learn more about the history of the Emirates. We also got to see some amazing performances by singers and dancers (we even got to watch a couple of our classmates hit the stage). We got to taste more dates and date-based products such as date syrup and date juice. Then my friends and I snuck away for a bit to go souvenir shopping. I managed to snag some awesome gifts for my mom and my friends.
Our day was so busy that I immediately passed out when I got back to the hotel.