Thursday, June 19, 2008

Saudi






My Thursday Fro' Me To You is about this picture.

In October of 2004 my husband decided to take a job with ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia. What can I say...the pay was REALLY GOOD. The original plan was for the whole family to go. Then we learned that they didn't have school for the (at that time) teenagers on the protected compound, only up to grade 9. I talked to the kids and we looked at Christian boarding schools. They finally decided that they would rather stay here in Arizona. Stephanie (nearly 18 at the time) stayed in our house with an older Christian girl from church and Paul (still 16) stayed with my brother. By July 2005 Jason had finally got me and Henry approved to join him in Saudi.

It was very difficult for me to leave the teenagers behind, but I knew that I'd be back to visit in 3 months. I just felt that God wanted me to be with my husband. It was a tearful goodbye at the airport for all except Henry. He was so excited to be taking this adventure. But when we got up in the air and he looked out the window to see the city and houses below, he started crying which made me cry again too.

It took us more than 24 hours to get to Dhahran, KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia). We went from Phoenix to Denver to Frankfurt to Dubai to Dhahran. It was late at night when we arrived and Henry and I had to go through customs before we could get through to the area to meet Jason. We had brought 4 suitcases packed with clothes, shoes, computer games, books, art supplies, toys etc. I was so worried that they would confiscate my Bible, but they didn't even open our suitcases. What a relief.

After customs we finally saw Jason. He looked so happy that we were finally there. All the way to the ARAMCO compound he was telling me about the car he got so we get around easier, the house they assigned him and how we could decorate it, trips we could go on, etc. He was clearly so excited that we were finally there with him. But I was so tired and miserable (I had weaned off my Zoloft before this trip). Once we got to our house I couldn't stop crying.

The next morning we went to the Dhahran Mall so that I could get an Abaya. They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

I look back on our time in Saudi Arabia fondly now. I never thought I would.

14 comments:

Well Behaved Krissy said...

I swear when I first saw this picture I thought you may be in a wax museum. You look fully and totally unhappy. But I'm glad to hear that things turned out pretty well for you.

Kendrawolf said...

Yes, I lasted about 5 months in Saudi. The teenagers were happy to have me back. Especially Paul. Jason came home to stay a few months after that.

HRH said...

Bless you. What a story. I hope things get happier for you and you can enjoy the time with the family all together.

We are THAT Family said...

What a great experience. I can't imagine how hard it would be!

Do you still have this outfit?

Thanks for participating!

Bunny Bunster said...

I thought you were a nun.

Jessie said...

Wow, I'll bet you were glad to come home to your kids! It would be hard to be away from them like that.

And if anyone could pull that outfit off, it's you, LOL!

Kristen M. said...

Just think, you have a killer halloween costume now. It would be interesting to hear more about your time there.

Tammy said...

To-ga! To-ga!

Wow, I cannot imagine leaving my kids for that long. A couple of weeks, maybe. Glad things all worked out in the end.

Kendrawolf said...

I DO still have the "outfit". I've thought about using it for halloween, but I'm not sure that it would be "politically correct". I do have lots of pictures and stories from that time. Maybe I pull another one out for next Thursday.

Valarie said...

I don't know if I could do that. I would probably look as unhappy as you did. Is your husband still over there, or is he back here now?

Kendrawolf said...

Jason came home a few month after I did. We both actually work in the same hospital now. I'm so glad we made it through that time. It was hard and I didn't think that we would sometimes.

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

Very interesting! We have friends who have lived there for the past 4 years and had to leave their teenage son here...

I'm glad you had a positive experience!

Ok, Where Was I? said...

Oh, that first comment that you look like you're in a wax museum is funny and not. What a time to go off zoloft! I can't imagine how trying and scary and a bunch of other emotions that would have been.

Kendrawolf said...

I would have liked to stay on it but BELIEVE IT OR NOT, ARAMCO would not approve me to go over there while I was on an Antidepressant. I guess they would rather chance having an insane American woman other there instead. And then! When I get there I find out that I can buy Zoloft without a prescription. In fact tons of meds that require a prescription in America, do not require a prescription there. You just go up to the pharmacist and ask for it. BUT, I had to literally leave the country to buy tampons!!