Outside our walls

The restaurant on my compound has re-opened now that most of the fasting in completed so a friend and I went there for dinner last night.  I am again amazed at the courtesy shown here. We ordered our meal and decided to take our drinks outside as there was a nice view from up high where the restaurant is located.  Our waiter then came outdoors and asked if we would like to take our dinner out there. Mind you, there were no tables outside. We said yes so he grabbed another guy, hauled a table and chairs out and then brought out the place settings. Never this level of courtesy have I been shown in the states and I have been to some very nice restaurants. This is just a small, simple restaurant on compound.
I find myself thinking often about some of the negative comments tossed around at home about the middle east. How many people cautioned me against this choice. When the topic of my move came up in conversation, I rarely heard “wow, how exciting!” but instead “oh my gosh, why are you going there?” It is sad how very ignorant or country is to other cultures.
While there are radical Muslims and there have been tragic issues here, that can be said about any most any culture or country. The US proudly boasts our share of crazies. And looking farther back, most all religions have killed in the name of their God, the Catholic church being one of the worst. But, no one cautions about being wary of “those Catholics.” Interestingly enough, many of the people here believe that Muslims and Jews have no issues with each other. They believe that the issues are political, not faith based. It is a hot topic here right now, as is to be expected. Enough of my soapbox!
I went out this morning to take photos of some of the old city outside of the compound. I shot over the walls as I am not yet convinced I want to travel out there on foot. The city proper is safe for a female alone but this is bit outside of my comfort zone. I hope to have the chance to get there, it looks incredible!
Regarding my day to day world, work is great, I am liking my colleagues more and more as I get to know them better. They care immensely for their client and it is easy to see why. He is an incredible young man. So happy and friendly, he is a joy to be around.  I have gone horseback riding a few more times, it has become one of the things I most look forward to in my week.  Additionally, I have started a swimming routine as running is out of the question here due to the heat this time of year. I have a friend who swims and we meet up a few times a week to work out together and I try to make myself go solo the other days…I am pretty slow on my own..swimming is hard work!
I have confirmation that I leave on 4 August for London. It appears that it will be for approximately 3 weeks and then on to Sardinia. I am thrilled as I haven’t been to that piece of Italy yet and hear that it is gorgeous!  I am hoping to get some kiting in while over there.  London isn’t exactly a hardship, either!
This wall surrounds our swimming pool
The lights in the foreground here are around our tennis court

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