Bringing Skills® Abroad

Hi! My name is Peter Farag and I am a workshop Supervisor for the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD). I am also working on the video development for the Skills® department.

I have worked for CARD for 10 years and have spent much of that time living abroad. After my first few months with the company, I was asked to work in Abu Dhabi, UAE on a 4-month contract. I loved it so much that I ended up staying for approximately one year. I recently worked with an affiliate in Dubai for two years… that one was originally a 6-month contract.

I am sure that you have figured out that I like living in different countries. Well, I do, but when I got back home from Dubai last year, it was time to settle down. I bought a new car, went back to school (I am hoping to one day have those three lovely letters behind my name), and got engaged. Translation… I can’t live anywhere outside of Los Angeles County. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to travel for shorter trips and supervise cases overseas!   YES!

I recently had the privilege to travel to South Africa for work. I was asked to join a team of supervisors going to a CARD affiliate site out there. I love to travel and will always jump at the chance to help families wherever needed. It was great meeting with different families and experiencing different cultures.

First off let me say that the staff in South Africa are very excited that they can track progress so easily and share it with the families using Skills®. It has made it much easier for them to answer questions some of the families have about where their child is and what things they should be working on at home. In South Africa they are hard working and enjoy making such a big difference in the lives of the affected children out there.

South Africa was a great experience for me. It was exciting to see how far our reach is and how many families we are helping across the world. I also met up with some old friends that I made in my two years in Dubai (I’ll have to share that experience with you at another time). My friends know that I am a big foodie and they wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to enjoy some authentic South African food. They took me to an authentic African restaurant and I ordered the Springbok Potjie (poy-key).

The Potjie is a traditional South African dish that can best be described as a stew… it is so much better than any stew I have ever had. I had the opportunity to try it before in Dubai and this was just as I remembered it. The spices were just right and the meat was so tender that it melted in my mouth.

Although I loved the meal…

the best part of my evening was the company. The hospitality of my friends there is matched by few… they became like family to me during my time in Dubai and it was great to catch up with them. One of them also works with children who have been diagnosed with various developmental disorders. We had the opportunity to talk to her about Skills®. She was excited about the possibility of getting families in South Africa access to Skills®. She expressed the need for more help in South Africa due to extreme poverty and lack of understanding there. We chatted for hours about how things are changing in South Africa and the hope the people have for more resources.

Well, I have to get going now. I hope you enjoyed reading about a small sample of what my trip was like. I look forward to my next trip out and sharing my experiences with you all again.