The Prodigal Returns

We didn’t exactly kill the fatted calf but there was much rejoicing in our house when our prodigal pet Cyclone was found. He turned up on a neighbor’s doorstep and they held on to him until I got there – the poor man got himself scratched for his trouble.  However, we are thrilled to have the beastie back. We missed him and worried about him and how he was faring in the hot desert sun. He seems happy to back with us too.

We are just returned from a trip to the Dead Sea. It was wonderful – the scenery was beautiful and the hotel was lovely. More of a resort than a hotel really – several restaurants and pools that looked liked they ended where the Dead Sea began. Swimming in the Dead Sea itself was quite an experience – bobbing about like a cork and trying not to let the water into one’s eyes or mouth. That salt water stings like crazy – the life guards are very patient about helping to rinse out eyes etc. At night, you can see the lights from the opposite shore, Jericho and Jerusalem, according to our waiter – should only be one hour by car, but five hours with all the checkpoints, also according to our waiter.

KAUST is very quiet at this time of year. Most people are away for at least a portion of the summer. The KAUST ladies are staying in touch with each other via email and Facebook – everyone enjoying their vacations but looking forward to returning home to KAUST, maybe even a little surprised that they have missed their new home. It’s been less than a year since KAUST opened its doors but we have become a community, of students, professors, researchers, staff, and families. We’ve come from seventy different countries and we’ve become friends.

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2 Comments on “The Prodigal Returns”

  1. Bill Spence Says:

    Hi, my wife and I are considering making the move to KAUST if my application is accepted. I had read that visiting Israel from SA was forbidden if you want to get back in SA. Were there any problems?

    We have really enjoyed reading your blog. We both feel better about going – not that we didn’t feel good about the possibility, it just sounds more like a place to call home the way you describe it.

    • irisheyesksa Says:

      Thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. My family and I visited the Dead Sea in Jordan so I don’t really have any first hand information about going to or returning from Israel. We travel with our 19 year old son who is autistic – high-functioning but travel to unknown destinations is tough for him. Consequently, one of our priorities when we travel in the region is that it be a direct and non-stop flight. Amman, the capital of Jordan, is a mere 2 hour flight from Jeddah and the Dead Sea is less than an hour by taxi from the airport there. We highly recommend the trip if you are looking for something that’s fun, interesting, and still relaxing.

      The community here is growing and changing all the time. It’s an amazing place and very exciting to be here at the beginning. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.


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