It’s been a month and two days here in Saudi. I have to admit that each day is getting better. I had a rough one month anniversary and really just didn’t want to be here that day. I didn’t want to leave for good. It was just a day of overwhelming reflection I guess, mixed with the unknown of what my future holds for me while here. I am so grateful for the support from my husband in this journey. He doesn’t always know what to do in those moments while I struggle, but he is trying his best and that’s all that matters.
Our social life is expanding as of late. It’s so interesting to meet new people and share stories, and time together. Having people over for dinner and spending time with others on the weekends really has been such a boost for my mood and outlook here. It’s so important to have the contact with others in the desert. Without it, I think I would go mad. I actually have a legitimate smart phone for the first time in my life, so now I can chat with others! What?!!?!
Meet a couple who have been here for five years. He is from Michigan, she from New Zealand. She wore a head scarf when we met up and I asked her if she wore it all the time. She told me that in the five years, she has not worn it twice and both times got reprimanded by the Mutawa (religious police). It’s so strange that not once have I been called out in the time I have been here, yet another woman can have such a different experience with it. I have only covered my head twice now since I’ve been here, and both times has been out of the convenience of not wanting the wind whipping my hair around my face. We meet another couple also, she was born in Russia and her husband is from Oklahoma. She has yet another opinion about it. She wears it loosely just in case and yet she also does not go out without her husband in public. I have been told a few times that I shouldn’t but opinions range, and I will continue to go out without my husband as long as I am here and able. It’s not my style to stay indoors ALL the time. She has only been here a few days longer than me, so meeting her and talking about our lives here up to this point was such a breath of fresh air for me. I haven’t yet met an American woman and had the same conversation about it (covering hair). I have met a few American women recently, but they live on compounds and don’t have to cover while inside the gates. While I was on the compound myself, it felt strange but also nice to not have my abaya on for a period of time. Guess I have been getting used to wearing it. 🙂
I went on a road trip out to the middle of more sand this past weekend with my husband. We just got it the truck and drove west. We saw thousands of camels along the way and one large group was close enough to the road for me to get a few nice shots of them just hanging out. It’s exciting to me every time to see them out. We ended up in this small town that I can’t remember the name of. It seemed to be a town that catered to the camel herders as there were many trucks full of hay and there was even a trailer factory that made mobile trailers for the herders to live in while in the desert. My husband’s advice that day was to tell me that if I ever get lost in the desert and spot a camel, I need to follow it, because it will always go back to its home. I had the mental image of tapping one on its hind leg and asking “hey mister….mind if we just hang out?”
I was able to finish the baby quilt that I had mentioned in my previous post. This is my first ever hand pieced,and quilted blanket. I plan to give this away to an expat here that is expecting. I had the orange fabric that I had brought with me and then the other fabrics I found at a store that was selling everything at low prices because they wanted to start a grocery store instead. Shirt fabric works just fine for quilts, and since I haven’t found batting, I used a fleece throw for a substitute.
We are having more dinner guests over tonight so that meant a trip to the store for two more plates to make the serving set 6. I’ve already prepared a dessert and my husband and I are cooking spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner. In a couple days we are having a Thanksgiving get together at another couples home. Really looking forward to Thursday and whatever it may bring us! I miss my family back in the States. And to my friends back home…I miss you all too. Happy Thanksgiving week!
Much love, and cheers (in a non-alcoholic way of course) – wifeabroad