After much coaxing from friends, I have finally spent enough time in front of this computer to get this blog up and running! Thankfully, I noticed the link in the Coco blog, that said "create blog", and clicked that this morning. Whew, after, spending my night navigating the sign in page in Arabic, I was whipped. Praise the Lord for shortcuts!
So, we have been here a little over three months, and I have to admit, I am very happy! If you are planning to read this for sad posts and stories of all the terrible things I am enduring in this country, you won't find it. Yes, there are a lot of differences. I have several opportunities, on a daily basis, to be bitter and ungrateful! I choose to find the opportunities to be happy and thankful, though. My children have adjusted so easily, which surprises me everyday. Yes, this was God's plan, I know! We prayed long and hard before this move and continue those prayers. This would not be so easy without our faith. Saudi Arabia might be the LEAST Christian place in the ENTIRE WORLD...anybody wanna disagree or been to another place more anti-Christian? I would love to hear other perspectives. It is very eye-opening and makes us appreciate all of the religious freedoms we will enjoy in the summers.
Okay, enough with the serious stuff! I'll let you in on some of the funny/different stuff we have experienced.
1. Being asked if I am Adam's only wife, then being told by the same man that he has 3. Polygamy is very common for Muslims.
2. Pork is illegal in Saudi, but it is sold in Bahrain (just over a bridge). It takes about an hour with security checks of passports and the car. We were told you can buy pork and bring it home if you have it "Saudi wrapped". Well, our first attempt was not successful. We had our pork taken at Customs. We were told "Sank you veh-we much" and let go. Later, we found out our passports could have been stamped with "PORK OFFENDER". Now, that's funny! Now, no wrap, and we smuggle like pros!
3. I wear an abaya in Saudi anytime I am not on my compound. It saves me from picking out clothes everyday. Nobody knows if you have on sweats or an awesome dress!!!
4. I can only see the eyes of most women in stores everyday. I have this CRAZY urge to go up to one and pull the cover off of her face!
5. I can't drive in Saudi ever, but it's the highest death rate in the world in car accidents. So, I wouldn't want to get behind the wheel.
6. We bought a new Sequoia, and it's about the equivalent of $11 to fill it up with gas.
7. I feel extremely safe! Crimes are still punishable by beheading and chopping of the hands, so I don't worry about things being stolen or any harm being done to me.
8. EVERYONE local wants to kiss my baby girl. That is getting a little old. A lady with a cold sore on her lips gave H some chocolate then asked for a kiss. Umh, no, we gave back the chocolate.
9. The men here are RUDE....well, most of the women too. It's a "get out of my way" mentality. Imagine when you are in a check out line to pay for something, and someone cuts in front of you every.single.time! You have to learn to tolerate this, or you will become very frustrated.
10. There are calls to prayer 6 times a day. Two of these happen before any of the stores open, but there is one just before noon each day. For that one, the stores close then do not re-open until 4 o'clock. Basically, there is NOTHING to do...no place to shop, take the kids to do activities, places to pop in and out for errands (think dry cleaners, postal service, tailor). Restaurants are open, but they will not serve for the 30 minutes of the next prayer around 2:50. I won't ever adjust to this, but it has taught me to plan accordingly and not procrastinate. SO, the funny side to this is, our new car came with a free prayer rug! Yes, when the call to prayer sounds, Muslims will stop and pray where they are...even in the desert!
Okay, that is 10. I think in each post, I will list for you, several things that are new for me! Hopefully, it will give you a glimpse into our daily lives.
We miss our family and friends! We feel blessed by this opportunity, however. Jordan was mentioning things he is thankful for yesterday, before we ate our Christmas meal, and he said,
"for the opportunity to see and be a part of other cultures". Really, what 9 year old thinks of this as part of giving thanks? My Children continue to amaze me on this journey! Don't worry, I will go back and fill you in on the beginning of our transition to the "land of sand". It is hard to believe we have already been here 1/12 of our time!
Blessed be your day!