Sunday, March 15, 2009

Busy Busy Arabia

Let's see, today is Sunday, but it's the second day of the work week here.

Back on Friday evening we went to a "Desert Dinner", but it was put in here in the camp where we are staying. It's a big bedouin style tent with many carpets laid on the sand. And it's not really sand here, but a very deep super fine dust. Hence the dust storm we had earlier in the week.

Anyway, they had a bunch of tables set up, but not enough room for all of us so we actually got to sit on the more traditional rugs and cushions!

There was a man there with some hooded falcons to show off. He did hunt with them and had a display set up.

They had many traditional dances, mostly men dancing. This was a wedding dance with the presentation of the bride and groom. The man on the right is singing, almost chanting and it was quite loud!

This was the bride and groom. They were brought in on camels for the presentation.

There were other dances, this being a sword dance. You can also see the big round drums the men are playing. And the lighting, long strings of bare 100 watt light bulbs!

There were booths set up around the edges sort of like at a fair so I got my hand painted with henna for about $2.50.

They called this black henna and it really did turn out black when it washed off rather than the brown I've always seen.

The next morning everyone except me and Cory went on a "musuem tour" which it turned out was a lady's private collection of Arabic artifacts and I was sad to miss it. But Jackie took Cory and me swimming in one of the two beautiful pools they have here and we had the whole place to ourselves. I'm sure that was way more fun for him!

Then Uncle Joel took him out in the backyard and he was helping Jackie water her flowers. I think he really just liked playing with the water...

Later Andrea and I went in to Khobar to the Desert Designs Shop. It's a high end shop that sells their own uniquely designed things and they are quite beautiful. I thought we were going to take pictures, but it turned out that it was more of a "photo op" where you could dress in traditional costume and have your picture taken, for a fee of course!

But after we were done shopping I was resting and waiting for the bus and a lady came down the stairs behind me and asked if she could take a picture of me since I looked like I was modeling. I said "well, isn't that not allowed" and she said, "well, it's my shop so it's allowed, just don't tell anyone!"

So here I am in her shop.

I then asked if I could take her picture as she had on a really beautiful abaya with colored sparkly embroidery and she let me, but I won't post it here as they really don't like their photographs published like that.

Later in the evening we went out to dinner in Khobar for Cory's birthday dinner since he'll be 2 in 2 weeks and we're all together here. Paul ordered for us and the table was loaded with food!

It was very good, but funny as we had to hurry up and order so we could get our food and then they could "close" the restaurant for prayer time. So we got our food and the waiter left, turning off all the lights in the empty parts of the restaurant and we ate and then he came back! It was rather odd to me!

Cory had a little chocolate chip muffin that Grandpa found and we helped him blow out his candles, but then he wanted them lit again and he managed to blow them out himself!

The poor little guy has been so good, but he was exhausted last night. We gave him a couple of presents and then he was sad that there weren't more and he was saying "more presents?" in a really sad voice!

He ate the fruit out of our drinks and then fell asleep on the way home.

This morning we went to an orphanage, but I'll leave those pictures for tomorrow since we're going shopping tonight and I hope to get some more!


  1. Anonymous8:34 AM

    Thanks for all the wonderful photos. It is like being there with you! :) That table loaded with food certainly looks yummy and I love the one of Cory and his B-day cupcake. I'm sure swimming was a better option for him than Arabic artifacts. Sorry you missed them though. Lots of love, Mom

  2. I have just finished catching up on all your posts of Saudi Arabia...and WOW....this is amazing! I am so envious. Thank you so much for sharing the wonderful pictures and stories!

  3. Your henna painting is beautiful! I've always wanted to have that done.

  4. I've been neglect in visiting, your pictures are so cool to see! :) I feel like I was visiting along with you!! Such a wonderful cool trip!

  5. Anonymous6:49 AM

    I have never tried black henna, only the brown-reddish ones. Looks like you had a great time there and honestly, I didn't expect so many pictures!

    Even the bride and groom agreed to be photographed! (They look like Westerners, by the way)


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