Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Holidays from Saudi Arabia

Hello everybody,

I was going to comment back to you all on the post that C created, but there was just such an overwhelming rush of well wishing that I thought I'd take a moment to create a post and thank you all here.

First of all, thank you so much for all of your messages. I did get them and they meant a lot to me, being so far from home. Unfortunately, for some reason I cannot perform many functions, like get into blogger to update my blog, etc., with the service that I have in my room here, so basically I just pick up and send e-mail from there. however, there is a dive center at the palace that has satellite service and that is how I am able to do this post. I use it occasionally for chat and internet browsing.

Christmas here was pretty funny. I went to the house of a British friend in a Western housing compound (the kind that like to get car bombed) and as it housed Western diplomats we wound our way through checkpoints and cement barricades and army trucks with rear mounted machine guns with guys sitting in seats attached to them and then through an inner guard station and gate to get to his home. That was how Christmas began. Their house was decorated with the center piece being an artificial fig tree with christmas lights and ornaments. in the back courtyard we barbecued and where the courtyard was positioned we could hear the call to prayer from three different mosques mixing together and echoing in the couryard in a surreal caucophony.

For those of you who don't know, I am a sort of court artist and designer for a faction of Saudi Royalty and do a variety of art and design projects for a specific palace on the Red Sea. My primary reason for being here is to do maintenance on 10,000 Square feet of murals that I perfromed years ago in the marina where His Excellency's yachts are docked in the Red Sea. In additon I completed and had presented at the request of H.E. (we call him "the boss" here) a design that I have been working on for a couple of months now for a private shark aquarium about the size of half a football field with underwater acrylic tube and 360 degree underwater observatory. It is a crazy design that I might share with you later and was met with approval to send on to the architects and engineers for detailed plans. There is a possiblity that the meeting with said architects and engineers will be in Cyprus where the primary contractor has his offices. The architects and engineers are from England. Last project I went to England but I'm hoping this one will be Cyprus for something new and I can take Cindra with me!

So, that's a slice of my alter-life that crops up in between terms of teaching and here and there as the need arises. Mystery no more. I will be bringing home pics so that the curious can see what I am talking about.

Again, thanks so much for dropping by my blog and may peace and love fiind you wherever you are and whatever you may be celebrating this holiday season.

With Love,


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas from here to there

Hello Bloggers,

This is Cindra, just hijacking my husband's blog for a moment.

As most of you know, Tom has been in Saudi forever, I mean, for awhile, and he will be there through Christmas this year since our collective brood is scattered about with their other parental units and it won't be Christmas until we are all together anyway. Well, seeing as most of the peeps who work with him have gone home to be with their families for the holiday, although his stoic damned self would not admit it, Tom is understandably getting a wee bit lonely. He has a but a few days left until he is safely home again enjoying his own happy Christmas, but in the meantime, knowing full well how embarrassed this will make him, I encourage you to wish him a happy holiday in the comments area which will go directly to his email, where he will be surprised and thrilled to receive them, I'm sure.

Thanks for that.

May you and yours enjoy a warm and wonderful holiday!