Friday, January 29, 2016

إذا شاء الله

Week 4 Update
Today, which is the 19th of Rabi al-Akhir 1437, marks yet another week in Saudi Arabia for me.  6 days I have toiled in the local titanium smelter producing Job Safety Analysis on an upcoming "dry tap" of the furnace which is scheduled for Sunday.  We are responsible for two brand new titanium furnaces, both of which have had catastrophic drains resulting in massive fires and melting of everything within hundreds of feet; one is out of commission and  the other is limping along at a fraction of its capacity. We hope to tap it and drain the molten titanium into a field that we have prepared for what will be a river of about a hundred thousand tons of 1700 C material. All will go well if God wills it... Inshallah!

Today, on our one weekly day off, about ten of us loaded up and drove to a beach about two hours north following the coast of the red sea.  It is a barren landscape around here, void of anything but for the odd date palm, a few camels and lots of rocks which were here long before Moses came across from Egypt.
At one point a jeep with a couple of Saudi Military police suddenly pulled up to us.  The driver, who never spoke English, was barking orders for us to produce our Iquemas (Landed Immigrant Visas).  The guys scrambled for their passports and he went through a couple of them, including a letter from our employer.  After a few tense moments, they drove away.

The beach was unremarkable save for piles of garbage discarded everywhere.  Families sit cross-legged on carpets scattered here and there, fathers and children swim while ninja-like women watch.  We shared snorkeling gear and took turns diving along the coral reef which was nice... thousands of multi-coloured tropical fish swam through the thick underwater forests along with rays.
We all brought some meat and a barbeque and enjoyed ourselves.



It has become windy here; we have had several sand storms this past week

Next week I am required to leave the country as a condition of my visa.  I will fly to Dubai on Thursday February 4th and return to Baysh on the 6th for another 30 days. Inshallah!