More steps…

Yesterday I got my e-tickets: Las Vegas to London to Riyadh and then Riyadh to Buraydah.  There is a 7 hour layover at Heathrow and then a two day layover in Riyadh.  I am sure there will be paperwork to do at the Company offices in Riyadh. Maybe I will even have a chance to see a little of Riyadh while I am there.

The other big step accomplished: Norah managed, with a little help from me, to trap Spitz, Smokey Joe and OliverOrangeKat and transport them to a feral colony in a sanctuary supported by Heaven Can Wait Animal Society where they will live out their days with other cats either too fierce or too shy to be adopted.  Norah rescued Spitz and SmokeyJoe when they were in to HCWS to be spayed and returned to the trailer park where they had been living.   But both were such pitiful little bags of bones and we had to hand feed both of them for many days – after, of course, Spitz managed to sink her teeth clean through my fingernail.  They were both past the age where they could successfully be tamed but Smokey Joe would come in the mornings to take crunchies from my fingertips and, over the past week or so Spitz would sit back behind the pack and grab the crunchies that I tossed her way. MissWhite also left yesterday, but she is going to live with Krystal, who also has two other small cats adopted from HCWS.  That just leaves me with Charlie – who will go live with my sister and Katy – who is on her way to Norah’s as soon as she gets over her cold.

Coraline still needs a home – she’s bossy with other cats so will do well as an only kitty. This is the one who put Boris-the-Pitbull in check, in no uncertain terms, when he got to enthusiastic about being “friends”!

Coraline: Turn the drink on, Please

Coraline says "I can haz drink, pleez?"

CoralineDrinkingfromBathtub

AAAhhhhh, I wuz SOOO thirsty!!

Paul Simon, who was stuck in Canada for a while, finally has his paperwork rearranged and will be coming down on December 6th to spend help me through my last week here. I will be glad to have an extra pair of hands!  He’ll then drive the Subaru up to Salt Lake as Jay will be driving the car while I am gone.

I also got my second Hepatitis A&B shot – don’t need the third one until my birthday, next year. I’ve also had shots for meningitis and typhoid as well as the usual flu+H1N1 and pneumonia.

Posted in Getting ready to go to KSA | Leave a comment

Saudi Arabia – How it ALL began…

Dr Badrul KhanWell, I can’t go back quite that far, but I can start in 1998 when I met a young man from Bangladesh at an AECT conference in Albuquerque, NM. I was very impressed with his knowledge about web-based teaching and learning.  As conference chair, I was on the look-out for keynote speakers for the NAU/web98 conference to be held at Northern Arizona University.  So I invited Dr. Badrul Huda Khan to be a keynote speaker, not realizing this would be the first of many such opportunities for him.

Fast forward to 2008 and I was working as an Instructional Designer for Distance Education at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  Badrul had started McWeadon Education USA and asked me if I would join him as an instructor teaching Instructional Design and then Second Life courses.  In Febrary 2010, after I had left UNLV, he asked me if I would work with him on a proposal to the National Center for eLearning , Saudi Arabia to offer a two week workshop to be held in Washington, DC.  The workshop was held September 17-30 at the Mason Inn, on the grounds of the George Mason University in Fairfax, VA, with 22 Saudi professors and adminstrators in attendance. Click here for pictures from the workshop.

It was during the workshop that I met Dr. Mohammad ibn Rashid Al-Fuhaid, Dean of Educational Services at Qassim University in Buraydah, Saudi Arabia and three of his colleagues. After the workshop, I was invited to join his staff in a newly created position as the Director of the eLearning Center: Ladies Section.

I knew, as soon as he asked, that this was exactly the right opportunity for me and what I should be doing next with my life.  It took me about 2 nanoseconds to make up my mind – it was as if a door had opened before me – I could see the pathway clearly and all I had to do was set my feet on it and walk forward.  It was indeed an answer to my prayers.  It was only then that I could see how many recent events, that had been painful and deeply troubling to me, had all served to put me in that workshop and to free me from responsibilities that may have held me here in the USA.

I came home and renewed my British passport, then sent it to the Saudi Consulate in Los Angeles for its visa stamp and then today, November 28, 2010 I received my itinerary for my flight to Saudi Arabia.  While that was happening I started the process of sorting out all my S T U F F and packing what could not be replaced.  My house will go back to Bank of America as my gift to them!

Posted in General | Leave a comment