Well, I had intended to keep this up as a journal of my days in Saudi Arabia – but, as you can see, that didn’t happen, for a number of reasons. I have, however, posted many public pictures to my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/ms.mauri.collins). I will find a photo plugin for this blog and add them all here eventually.
I have been here in Saudi Arabia on a “business visit” visa for the past 6 months and Al Khaleej Training and Education, who hold my contract, are sending me back to the States for the summer to get my work visa, inshallah. That will allow me to have useful things like an “iqama” (the official identity card depicting an individual as a resident of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and a bank account – oh, and exit and re-entry visas so I can leave the Kingdom to visit my cousins in South Africa at Hajj time, and come back.
Packing is not fun! I bought two more big suitcases and have divided my stuff – souvenirs and stuff I would be heartbroken to lose comes home with me – the rest is packed into my two huge original suitcases and will be stored here. If the unthinkable happens and I don’t come back, I have friends who will bring those suitcases back to the states for me when they travel.
I am looking forward to a week or 10 days in Vegas, cat-sitting at my sister’s house while they are off on my mother’s 96th birthday cruise. While I am there, I will get everything done that I need for my visa application. Then I will be cat and Alex-sitting at my son Jay’s house in Salt Lake City, so that he can go on tour and sell Benjammindyes all summer. I have an invitation to my Saudi sister Amal’s family Eid party starting August 29 – the end of Ramadan – so, inshallah, I will be back in the Kingdom by then!