Maasalama and More

July 16, 2015

I can’t believe I’m writing these words… my year in Saudi Arabia is nearly complete!!!! A little more than a year ago when I first signed up to come to Saudi, a year seemed like quite a long time and I hesitated to sign for two years… but this year has gone by so fast!!! My last day of work was July 12… a Sunday morning… a very relaxed day in the clinic as it was still Ramadan. I wasn’t on the schedule, so I begged to be able to work in the Oncology floor female treatment area with all my girlfriends. Thankfully the head nurse was very thoughtful and allowed me to.       We had hardly any patients throughout the shift so there was so much time to sit and relax and chit chat… and I’m pretty sure I took a million pictures with all my coworkers in the area… but I love having the photographic evidence of the memories created! I returned a day or two later for a meeting with my head nurse, only to find out that it was really just a “meeting” for them to give me a beautiful bouquet of Thankyou and goodbye flowers. So thoughtful! My first “goodbye” party was a birthday party for a friend… and I had to officially say goodbye to many friends that I wouldn’t be seeing the next weekend at my official goodbye party. One of my closest and dearest friends in Saudi Arabia was leaving on vacation for a week and would be missing my official goodbye party, so I had to say goodbye to her this night… it nearly broke my heart. I realized how many goodbyes I’d be saying over the course of the next few week… some would be permanent goodbyes as those friends would also be leaving saudi for good, and some of the goodbyes were only temporary as I’d be coming back and see them again. But still… there’s that bit of uncertainty as I don’t know for sure when I’m coming back… and what if things didn’t quite work out the way I wanted them too… scary thought!!!!! Anyways… it was honestly the loveliest night filled with laughter and music and good friends… like the majority of Saudi nights actually…                    The very next day was yet another goodbye party… Not for me… But for a few other friends who were leaving… Another pool party 😄 loving this summer weather for all the pool parties!!!     Another day another pool party… with my former colleagues in the Radiation Clinic… We sat out by the pool and had delicious lamb biryani rice… And spent as much time in the water cuz it was ridiculously hot out in the sun!!!    My second and semi-official maasalama party was actually a birthday party for a friend that we had planned ages in advance, because we needed to have something to look forward to. I might have hijacked the party a little and turned it into a maasalama for myself and Vivian, as well as a birthday party. About 50 people showed up for our party… and that’s not even half the good friends I’ve made in Saudi Arabia. Honestly… so blessed!!!!! I have many different friend groups here in Riyadh, and I don’t often hang out with the different groups at the same time, accept at maybe an embassy event… but it always amazes me how many of my friends know each other and how much they all mingle and enjoy meeting each other… It’s awesome!!                At one point I had to say goodbye to the lemons… The running lemons… The loveliest group of girls who I run with… When it’s not 4000 degrees outside!!! A couple of them are leaving and moving out of Saudi for good while I’m away… So it’s an official goodbye to them 😢 we had a great night out at Riyadh village compound one night… And then the famous Bastille day celebrations at the French embassy…

Honestly, m Honestly… My last couple weeks in Saudi were amazing… Thanks to the absolutely gorgeous people I’ve met in my year here!!!!! So…

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