At the moment, we are not leaving our camp very often. Having no car makes this tricky, but every now and then a friend will offer to take me somewhere. We don't all fit, so there won't be many family pictures. However, every time we leave, I realize just how in-the-middle-of-nowhere we truly are. It is not much but sand dunes with an occasional Beduoin tent and camel herd. The nearest city is about 40 minutes away, and they have a nice mall, a McDonalds (and a Cinnabon of all things!) and a well-stocked grocery store.
One of my favorite experiences thus far was walking into The Body Shop last weekend. A veiled woman came up to me with very good English and we started talking. She was so outgoing and asked me to join her for a coffee on her break. Unfortunately, I could not since we had to go, but we made a raincheck for another time. Seems like nothing much, but until May of 2012, women did not have the right to work in Saudi Arabia. So, my chatting with this woman felt deeply historic to me, and I noticed that there were a few more shops with women working. Having said that, the shops all had signs that said "Family Only" as single men are not allowed to enter these shops. Progress is progress, though.
|the souk (market) in a nearby town|
|stacks and stacks of carpets|