Blogs from Saudi Arabia, Middle East - page 10


Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Khafji February 12th 2010

Written February 9, 2010; Published February 12, 2010 I’ve been in Saudi Arabia for 8 days now. We still don’t have Internet access at the villa. This is strange because there is a network/internet port on almost every wall. The client starting asking for Internet connections for our accommodation about a month ago. They have called the IT department daily since I got here. But still nothing. Every day we are told “tomorrow” inshallah (God willing). Apparently it is not God’s will that we have Internet access. This means we can’t keep up with our work email, personal email, sending reports from the assessment center and most importantly my blog! Things move very slowly in Saudi. I came here a week before the assessment center started to get ready and it’s a good thing I did. ... read more
The Villa
Near the Villa
Rain in the Desert?

Middle East » Saudi Arabia February 9th 2010

Two weeks ago my husband announced that on that upcoming weekend we were invited to one of his student's farms. We would be staying over night, along with a few other teachers and the student. I got excited at the prospect of leaving Riyadh and seing another place in Saudi Arabia. The weekend came soon enough and Andy and I loaded our backpacks into the newly purchased "Galloper" 4WD which the Jones's had picked up just a couple of days earlier. Josh, Kristy and Brian where already in the car. The drive took around 2 hours and as usual was totally unimpressive. Once one has gotten over the intial fascination with the desert scenery, it becomes just another sand dune. Driving through the Arabian desert is nothing like you may imagine it to be. It is ... read more
The bungalows
wohooo! my very own tea butler!
The date factory

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Riyadh December 12th 2009

Reflections on Riyadh It’s a quarter to nine on a Saturday morning. In the rest of our worlds this would signal the beginning of the weekend. In our current world, it marks the beginning of the working week. Our weekends are the hardest part of living in Riyadh. That’s when we feel trapped more than ever, when our surroundings become reality. During the week we both busy ourselves with work and study, Andrew is at school from 7.30 to 4.00 sometimes 5.00 pm, depending on after school activities and meetings he has to attend. We have no time to think about where we are and what it’s really like. What do you do all day? I get that a lot. Well believe it or not, I actually am very busy. The morning starts with cleaning up ... read more
Taxi's in Riyadh
Sunset in Riyadh

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Abqaiq November 1st 2009

at abu booby airport mooching their free internet! flight was good, all is well xxx... read more

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dhahran October 20th 2009

I'm leavin' on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again. Oh babe, I hate to go... But my bags are packed so I'm ready to go... Yes, tomorrow is my last day in the kingdom and I'm not sure if I will be returning now that they have a permanent replacement for what I've been doing. However, I've learned that everything is unpredictable (especially here), so you never know. On past trips I've taken photos of the great food we've been served at the Center. However, this trip has been food-less. So to make up for that, I'm attaching a few photos from lunch today. It's been a good trip. Thanks for taking the time to read these blogs, and especially for your comments. Safe travels. -- Ted... read more
Fruit Dessert
Salmon, Shrimp, and Hamour
Chicken and Rice Dish

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dhahran October 18th 2009

One of the fun things about this work assignment is that I work with consultants from all over the world. This leads to a lot of cultural discussions. Apparently there is a tradition in Sweden of making something called (in English) Pancake Cake. Bjorn has given lessons to Pat and Wolf for making this dessert. What the Swedes call pancakes, Americans (and the French) would call crepes. They are very thin pancakes. So to make pancake cake, you make 10 large crepes (thin pancakes), spread jam on them and layer them with strawberries, blueberries, or whatever fruit you have on hand. Then you cover the whole thing with whipped cream and let it set up in the refrigerator. And voila; you have pancake cake. So if you ever wanted to know what psychologists do when they ... read more
Peng is not so sure about this.
Pat and Wolf photograph their creation
The proud pancake parents

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dammam » Hofuf October 15th 2009

Today eight of us headed two hours south of Dhahran to a town called Hofuf. It's about an hour south of Abqaiq, which is another Saudi Aramco facility. We rented two large Suburbans and two drivers for the day. It was an amazing experience and yet another "I'm not in Kansas" moment for me. Hofuf used to be the capital of the Eastern Province (the area along the Persian Gulf) until 1953. At that point it was moved up to Dammam, which is a city I’ve visited on previous trips. The area is more broadly known as Al Hasa (that’s the region) and it is an oasis. That’s why you will see lots of palm trees in the photos. These palms are the kind that produce dates (the kind you eat, not the type). Of ... read more
Abqaiq to Hofuf
Sand dunes along the road

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

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