About River

kids and me jumping

Through and through, I’m a Hoosier. That’s what we call ourselves in Indiana (USA). Born and bred there, daughter of a Methodist minister, daughter of a poet, baby of the family, I was raised on the cusp of Momma’s wings and propelled into freedom by the breeze from Daddy’s praise. After graduating from Indiana University where I discovered a world beyond my own through a double major in Religious Studies and African American Studies, I ventured to Japan where I met and married my husband and began a family.

The children have grown now – daughter Eliza is a Baron Baptiste yoga instructor and accountant in Houston, Texas; son Isaiah is a digital marketing manager in the fashion industry in New York city, and Sam and I are blessed with the “best divorce ever”.

I’ve wanted to work in the Middle East for nearly 20 years, so with the kids now independent and no grandchildren on the horizon, I knew this was my time. They gave me their blessings. Their father, Sam, also gave me his blessing. My 97-year-old mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s supported my dream, and my sisters, while admitting they would miss me, also gave me their blessings.

So here I am: Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. Employed by the Ministry of Education as part of an initiative to revamp the educational system, in particular the instruction of English, I teach English at a small girls’ junior and senior high school in Al Bidyah, located on the coast of the Gulf of Oman.

Before leaving Indiana, I had no idea what to expect in my new life, but I was full of confidence in this being the right thing to do, and the right time to do it. I knew there would be challenges and I felt ready to take them on. I named this blog “A River in the Desert” because I believed I would face many possible “deserts”, both literal and figurative. The use of my name, River, is both obvious and symbolic as I aim to be a river in the desert, whatever desert I may find, and whatever form the river may take.

It is my daily prayer that I will flow as I am meant to: may I bring refreshing joy, calming peace, fierce strength; may I cut through dry rock, forge a way for others to follow, beacon curiosity.

I love to meet new people and learn new things; I love to write, kind of like to read, and in spits and spurts, I enjoy cooking. Sewing, yoga, swimming, and exploring are favorite activities. There are many, many things I don’t know, and a few that I do know: I know that I treasure my children more than anything in life and that it is my responsibility to them to live my life as fully as I can. So here I am: Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. My name is River Lin, and this is the story of my days in the land of deserts.