Moved in

I food shopped and moved into my villa today! I managed to get all of the sheets, towels and dishes washed and put away or on. Additionally the kitchen is done and the coffee pot and vacuum are up and running.  Feeling pretty accomplished considering the directions aren’t in English…or even French or Spanish that maybe I could do something with.

I hope to learn to speak some Arabic while here but don’t even plan to attempt reading or writing! Seeing these letters makes me realize how complex the written language really is. We ask our children with Autism to match letter to letter or to write the letters and can’t always comprehend why that is so difficult. Well, let me tell you…I would be slow and struggling to match Arabic letter to Arabic letter without an error, forget trying to form them!  They all look so similar to me. Which, I assume, is exactly how our letters look to kids with a language or cognitive disability.

On a lighter note, I am really pleased with my job so far.  My colleagues are really friendly, as is my client. My colleagues are an interesting group of people. They are not Saudi’s but are from Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia and the Philippines.  All of them speak Arabic and English and some of them another language as well. My driver is Moroccan and speaks Arabic and French, not so much English.  Between my very limited French, his limited English and lots of hand gestures, we are getting by.

It seems as if I will only be working about 25 hours per week but that will be spread out over six days. I am not complaining.  So far I haven’t really “worked.” I have spent time with and observed my client and his various staff members and will continue to do that for tomorrow, at least. I think I will meet my client’s guardian tomorrow and also determine a proper work schedule. But, possibly not.  Things work at a much slower pace here and not everything happens right as planned.  A favorite phrase is Inshallah, which means “God willing.” It seems to be a euphemism for “it will happen when it happens” and this piece of the world functions this way. An example was yesterday when I asked what time the stores open in the evening in order to plan my linen shopping. I was told “ten o’clock, Inshallah.” So I planned to shop at 10:30, safe bet.

Our August travel plans are still on but now it looks like we will be in London.  I was looking forward to Spain but enjoy London and haven’t been there in years so am not disappointed.  It will be lovely weather compared to our stifling 115 degrees and I will be able to travel around on my own. I do miss my independence and the opportunity to just head out to a restaurant or simply tourist around.

I think I will get the opportunity to head out into the desert later in the week.  I am really looking forward to seeing some of the amazing sand dunes…and scouting out a good sand kiting location! I plan to purchase a sand board upon returning to Riyadh from London and can’t wait to try it out!

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