Blogs from Saudi Arabia, Middle East - page 10

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Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dhahran October 13th 2009

Both of these photos were taken within the last 24 hours. One was taken in Minnesota and the other was taken on my way to work this morning in Saudi Arabia. Can you tell which photo goes to which place? OK, that might not have been the hardest quiz question. While it's been snowing and below freezing in Minnesota, it's been 100 degrees F. (38 C.) here in Dhahran. I think I left at the right time! This is looking like it's going to be quite a short trip. Since the plan is for me to leave a week from tomorrow, I will only have one weekend, which is this Thursday and Friday. A bunch of us are planning an excursion on Thursday with Hal, an Aramco person. Hal wants to take us to a camel ... read more
Mystery Photo #2

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dhahran October 11th 2009

I'm back in Saudi Arabia for trip #4 to Saudi Arabia and Aramco. However, this time I'm only scheduled to be here for about two weeks (including travel) and my plane ticket is scheduled to leave Saudi on October 21 (to arrive back home on October 22). The reason I'm scheduled for a shorter amount of time is that my primary mission this time is to train a couple of new internal employees to do the administration at the assessment center. However, based upon my previous experiences here, one never knows for sure; I could be here at late as November 4. A few people who knew I was coming here again asked me if I intended to blog again. However, I don't want to be repetitive and my perspective is certainly different than when I ... read more

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Jeddah August 23rd 2009

First few trips to see the campus.... read more
Driving Range
Water for the golf course
Statue

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Jeddah August 23rd 2009

A few lads in the desert, driving 4x4's like they were stolen.... read more
The crew
The Crew
Damo and Driver

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Jeddah August 20th 2009

The air steward walked doen the Isle handing out Immigration cards, in large bold print beside a skull it reads "Death to Drug Traffickers". We stepped into the terminal building where hundreds of toweled pilgrims were waiting. They had arrived to visit the holy city of Mecca and perform Umrah. Air France looses my bag for two days..... great start ... read more
Museum In Jeddah
Museum
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Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dhahran June 4th 2009

Well, I thought I had written my final blog entry for this trip. I’m using this loophole: the previous entry was last EVENING in Dhahran and this is the last DAY in Dhahran. Think of it as like being an extra on a DVD. (However, there will be no director’s cut of this blog.) The last day of the last assessment session is kind of boring because I usually use the afternoon to do the preparations for the next session. But of course on the last day, there isn’t a next session. Koen had some extra time too because one of his two participants was a no-show. I then got the idea that if we hurried, we could go to the Saudi Aramco Exhibit, which is this multi-million dollar building that is all about drilling and ... read more
Prayer Session
Saudi Aramco Exhibit 2
Assorted Kings or Important People

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dhahran June 2nd 2009

I would like to thank you all for taking this journey with me, especially those of you who have slogged your way through three trips worth of blog entries. It’s been a fun journey and I’ve enjoyed sharing it with you. As in any trip, no matter how interesting and fun it is, I’m looking forward to going home. When the exotic becomes routine and the new experiences grow old, it’s time to go home. I miss my family, friends, and co-workers. I miss falling asleep watching TV, I miss reading the Sunday paper, and I miss all of the routine things that you look forward to leaving behind when you are packing your suitcase at the beginning of a trip. I have lots of great memories and experiences and I’ve met lots of great people ... read more
And for dessert

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dammam May 31st 2009

Last night I ate at a place called Heritage Village in Dammam, which looks like an Arabian castle. Keep in mind that there aren't tourists in Saudi, so this place survives on the locals; most were traditionally dressed. (Just what makes a building qualify as a “village” is another Saudi mystery I cannot solve.) The building is privately owned, which is pretty amazing in itself. It looks like an Arabian castle, complete with turrets and rooftop lookouts. You come in the door and there is a large three-story entry that includes a lake, swans (fake), and parrots (real). We were led into a waiting room and instructed to remove our shoes. The purpose of this room is to welcome people with Arabic coffee and dates. There are carpets on the floor and many Arabic artifacts around ... read more
Heritage Village
Heritage Village in Dammam
The group

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Ras Tanura May 30th 2009

Friday was spent at the beach in Ras Tanura (RT to those who are in the know). But first it was a trip to the Hobby Farm. I mentioned this in another blog, but failed to explain what this is. First off, it not just any hobby. For example, this is not a farm for stamp collectors, coin collectors, or even Beanie Baby collectors. Well, truth be known, it’s not even really a farm. It’s a place for horses. From what I understand, the Hobby Farm is a place where Aramco people (known to everyone as Aramcons) can own and ride horses. Undoubtedly one of you will know why it’s called a Hobby Farm as opposed to perhaps a Horsie Place. Or a stable. What’s even stranger is that we don’t go to the Hobby farm ... read more
There are always rules!
Chillin' at the Hobby Farm
Koen eats a Dutch Breakfast

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Khobar May 28th 2009

Today was an eventful day, but not everything comes out as planned… The day started with a $2.00 breakfast consisting of a Spanish omelet (no tomatoes), toast, and coffee. This is a weekend tradition with me, unless of course I have the famous Dining Hall waffles or perhaps the pancakes. Well, the coffee is a tradition. After breakfast, I caught the 9:00 am bus to Al-Khobar with “no photos please” Dave, Koen, and Andrej. We visited my favorite gift store to make some strategic purchases and tried to stay cool in the 116 degree heat. The staying cool part didn’t work out so well, especially in my long pants and long sleeve shirt (I can’t show any skin, you know). I took them to Latif, which loyal readers will remember as having the best Zatar (a ... read more
Belt Maker
Belt Making - Part 2
Part 3




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