|Arabian Bread - A staple here along with hummus (also a staple!)|
|What we would call Souvlaki, is actually a Turkish fast food... barbequed meats wrapped in Arabian bread. "Kapoks"|
And now for our Friday activity this week. Myself, 10 Finns and a Portuguese fella drove an hour or two southeast to a canyon just north of the Yemen border. It is called Wadi Lahab or another name for it is The Rift Valley, known for its high mountain passes, narrow canyons and flash floods.
From the parking lot which is a couple kilometers off the highway, we started walking, rock hopping, swimming across pools (back packs held high) and climbing cliffs. We swam through caves and climbed underground waterfalls upstream with blinding water splashing our faces and running down our backs. We scaled and climbed cliffs, jumped canyon walls and boulders the size of cars and houses. We swam through small holes with barely enough room to squeeze through. It was physically demanding but well worth it. I started out in Jeans and work boots but quickly learned that this was the wrong combination because I bravely stepped in a pool and disappeared. It was such a struggle to get back to solid ground. (I don't know how they do it in the movies because I damn sure can't swim well with boots and jeans on...) Thereafter I swam bare foot with my boots tied and looped around my neck, and my backpack perched on my shoulders.
|Antii, Juoni and Mika|
|This is the entrance to Ladi Wahab (Rift Valley)|
|This is me soaked to the skin after many swims through pools that were deeper than I am tall.|
|L-R Bottom: Myself, Mika, Karri and Matti, Top: Petri, Ricardo, Jari, Jouni, Antii and Jonas|
And so it begins, another week in Saudi Arabia. My visa only permits me to be here for 30 days at a time so I booked a flight to Dubai on Feb 4th for 2 nights which will be a nice break. Work is going fine as I try to pull an out-of-touch corporate health and safety team into alignment with my department and the people who are doing the work. It is less the credentials I have and more my ability to get people to work together that serve me best in my role as OHS Manager.
|These are SARs (Saudi Arabian Riyals) One Riyal is about 38 cents Canadian|
|Local Market in the village where I walk for fresh fruit and veggies after work.|
|Seemingly wild camels roam the countryside...|
|Local Monkeys here, known by the Finlanders as "Red-Assed Monkeys"...|
|The titanium smelter in which I am presently employed...|