Many of the expat families who live here in Saudi Arabia send the mom and kids back to stay with family during at least part of the summer. They are starting to return, and I’m seeing lots of posts on facebook saying that they are ‘dreading it’ or that they don’t want to go back. That makes me sad. I understand and appreciate children being able to run around in the grass, being around trees and gardens, and spending time with extended family. I miss those things! But I also understand and appreciate that this is where we live right now. And I choose to like it! I get to see Stephen everyday. My kids see a culture they would never see anywhere else. We get to drive out to the desert and see camels. This is home for now. Home is with my family. And I love my home.
I’m learning to play the guitar! A friend here has a Learn to Play Guitar dvd series, and we get together about once a week and watch a lesson or practice together. Going through the lessons with someone really motivates me to practice most days. We’ve been learning for a month or two now, and the one downside is that it takes time! So I’m not cooking, making things, or writing on here as much, which is disappointing for me. I’m not great at balancing several activities at the same time, so when I add something to my life everything else tends to get lost for a while. But I’ll figure it out!
Stephen starts a five day break tomorrow! It’s Eid – a celebration at the end of Ramadan. The end of Ramadan also means the end of Stephen not being able to eat or drink at work! I’m know he’s looking forward to that. During his time off we have plans to go out to the desert one day and to Khobar another day, but mostly we’ll stay home and enjoy being together. It will be wonderful!
For those of you who don’t know, Ramadan is the Islamic holy month. It started on July 9th and will end tomorrow, August 8th. Muslims fast during Ramadan: eating and drinking nothing during the day but feasting after sundown. In Saudi Arabia it is illegal to eat or drink in public, even for non-Muslims. Which means Stephen cannot eat or drink at work (nope, not even water) unless he finds somewhere private to do so. Restaurants are closed during the day as well, so Stephen and some other guys from work go to a friends house and eat lunch there.
Other than not being able to go out to eat sometimes, it hasn’t really affected me that much. I’m home all the time anyway. We still go to the neighboring compound’s restaurant for dinner once a week, and can go out to eat in the evening after sundown.
The feasts each night are called Iftar. The company Stephen works for threw an Iftar party a couple weeks ago at a hotel here in Jubail. I don’t think I have Ever seen more food. It was a large buffet and constantly replenished. I love free food!