Blogs from Saudi Arabia, Middle East

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Middle East » Saudi Arabia May 15th 2015

It's only been 5 months since my last post, so perhaps I've waited long enough to post again about life overseas and in general. I'll succumb to 21st century ideologies, posting more pictures than sentences, to give you a better idea of my experiences. To sum it all up though, in the last 5 months: Caitlin (my wife) came back with me after months of visa issues Our dog and cat made it safely and have settled Been to Riyadh (brief school trip,) Spain - Barcelona and Madrid (school study trip,) Athens, and the country of Bahrain recently Grown increasingly fond of tea Grown increasingly not fond of triple digit heat (though if you tell yourself it's in the low 40's, it makes it slightly more tolerable) Outside of traveling, I'm busy planning/preparing for end of ... read more
Font de Canaletes
La Rambla
Statue of Christopher Columbus

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Khobar December 12th 2014

It was a relatively quiet week for me here, almost feeling like I've been here a lot longer than a month as I start to truly settle in. I suppose you can say it's been a slow week when the only noteworthy news I bought a rug for my house, although it is handmade and from Iran. Nevertheless, it was a good week capped off by good company and very good Indian food on Thursday night (which is my new Friday...TGIT as someone put it) and enough leftovers to have dinner again tonight. The experience at the restaurant was interesting as the kitchen staff let some of us watch how they made the food, using ovens that looked more like your traditional oval shaped smokers (not old refrigerators like I became used to in Montana) on ... read more
Finished Tandoori Chicken along with the other amazing dishes
Tandoori Chicken cooking
Inside the oven at the restaurant

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Riyadh December 6th 2014

In urma cu doua saptamani am facut o vizita in Al Jouf, o provincie aproape de granita cu Iordania. La ora 4 dimineata eram in aeroport, si la 7,30 dimineata am aterizat in Al Jouf. "Intr-o lume unde culturile se schimba datorita revolutiei din technologie, pentru a-ti descoperi originea trebuie sa calatoresti in trecut" - spunea ghidul turistic primit la intrarea in hotel. Intr-adevar, Al Jouf iti ofera o astfel de calatorie in trecut. Unele locuri vizitate sunt din perioada paleolitica, iar favoritul meu a fost Al Rajajil, o mostenire misterioasa a unui popor antic necunoscut. Mai multe grupuri de pilari din piatra, asezate intr-o oarecare forma circulara, m-au incarcat de o energie misterioasa. Mi-am facut si eu pentru prima data un selfie, rezemata de un astfel de pilar, vechi ca si sufletul meu. Castelul Qasr ... read more
hotel Al Nusl - o piatra antica
hotel sala de primire
in interiorul unui serai (tot hotelul)

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Khobar December 5th 2014

So it's been two weeks since my last post and rather than write about my day to day life (that's what twitter is for), I figured I'd wait until I had something worth sharing. Last week it rained a considerable amount. but not more than I'm used to in the states, especially after living most of my life in Pittsburgh. However, Saudi isn't quite prepared for rain like the US is so it caused excessively large puddles, leaked into my classroom which is on a decently high point on campus, and forced me to take my class/show on the road to the elementary school classrooms for which I had music that day. There was talk that school might be shut down since it's very difficult to travel in the rain as it has no place to ... read more
Neighborhood
Saudi Money
View from my balcony

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Khobar November 22nd 2014

I'm still alive, though I haven't slept much in the last week as I tried to prepare lessons on the fly and learn roughly 350 names (not counting staff,) which proved more difficult by the fact that I only see most of these students once a week. The time at school has been very good as I start to figure out where everything is and who everyone is. I'm still not quite used to the campus feel, as I've been out of college for 3 years now, though as I did in college, I need coffee to function so I make a trip to make it to Joffrey's Coffee Shop every morning to have coffee and the occasional muffin. All in all, it was a great first week highlighted by "International Day" on Thursday in which ... read more
Food from all over #2
Joffrey's Coffee Shop
International Day

Middle East » Saudi Arabia November 17th 2014

Hello again! I've decided to make this a two part entry if only for the fact that I didn't have any time or energy to complete one yesterday. The first day of school was good, though it was extremely overwhelming and trying to process and remember key bits of information is tough when you've slept very little and are still jet lagged. I didn't teach at all that day, just mainly focusing on paperwork, etc. but I did get a chance to meet some of my students which was interesting to say the least. My first class of the day was at 8:00 a.m., a first grade class which had 19 kids, about the normal size of a class. A number of students were extremely shy but one girl in particular was not abashed about meeting ... read more
Khobar
Classroom
Soccer

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Khobar November 15th 2014

Hello! I have safely made it to Saudi Arabia, a little more tired than usual, but I maintained most of my sanity after 3 flights, totaling 15 hours in the air and 28 hours in 4 different airports. After arriving in Dammam, the school district sent someone to meet me and take me through customs away from the general public, for which I was grateful because I was concerned they might question me for something like the alcohol in the mouthwash I brought or the fact that I have 8 razor blades but no shaving cream (I forgot it.) All of my luggage made it (which was my biggest fear,) although it looks like my (brand new) suitcases may have been used as punching bags by baggage claim workers as they were quite ripped and discolored. ... read more

Middle East » Saudi Arabia August 2nd 2014

Hi to everyone from Dubai!! So we have a stop in between, for 2 hours, to chill some. We are currently sitting at the Mc Donalds for some coffee and milkshakes. The flight was reasonably comfortable. A little tvscreen with games, music and all sorts of films on there. Really amazing. Great entertainment. Next flight will departure at 2 o'clock local time. I will include some photos. See ya soon in Australia. Kisses Rosalinde... read more
Plane of Emirates
Films!
Lunch

Middle East » Saudi Arabia June 28th 2014

As soon as Davis and I arrived home we turned on my laptop and looked at the map. It was easy to tell where we had been driving as there were only a few roads crossing in the middle of the desert. Two cell towers also helped by making perfect landmarks. The road we needed to take was the only road we hadn't tried off of the badly damaged tank road. Early morning the next day we again set off full of high hopes and absolute certainty that we would see our destination. We make it to the familiar tank road and turn onto the correct road. Total time to make it further than we did the day before, less than twenty minutes. We drive on, enjoying the scenery and confident in our route. After an ... read more
High Hole
Three More
And Still More...

Middle East » Saudi Arabia June 27th 2014

To travel from city to city in Saudi Arabia may appear to be a simple task for the uninitiated, since there are very few roads and long distances between the urban areas, but it is a false belief. There is a wonderful invention called Google Maps that destroys the need to ask locals for directions or consult a map. I believe everyone knows how it works so I will skip the dry lecture. I researched the way to drive which seemed very simple. Five and a half hours, two turns, and passing three intersections once outside the city. That was it. Very straightforward and simple. Davis and I get in the car and head off to the South of Tabuk. We have never gone this way before but there are few major roads in Tabuk so ... read more
Camels everywhere
Me and a Tomb




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