21 November 2013

Stormy Weather

The kids were excited to finally start school this week.  They had already waited for two weeks. . . First we waited for an appointment for their assessments (to make sure they speak English and to verify the grade they should be in) and then we waited for the results of their assessments and a couple days for the teachers to get ready for them.  They were all set to start, but the weather changed our plans!

It started with a dust storm:

This picture was taken during the middle of the afternoon--when the sky 'should' be blue.  I took this picture from our front doorway, and even there I could feel the sand/dust swirling around.  I wasn't brave enough to take myself and my camera into the street to see what it looked like there.  :-)

After the dust storm started calming down, the rain clouds moved in.  It rained off and on for 3 days.  If this same storm had happened in Houston, we wouldn't have thought anything about it.  But, here in Saudi things aren't built to be able to handle so much rain in such a short amount of time.  This is a look down our street after the first day of rain--a little bit of flooding in the street, but not too bad.

This is a view of the side of our house--with our one drain.  Not only is our roof flat, but it also has approximately 4 foot walls around the perimeter.  Which is nice if you want to go up on the roof, but in the case of rain it makes our roof a swimming pool just waiting to be filled up.  Our drain has been working over time these past few days trying to keep water off the roof.  Fortunately, it has done a good job and we haven't had any flooding/leaking problems.

But others have not been so lucky.  The worst flooding happened in Riyadh:

Here in Jubail things weren't quite a bad.  At Ben's work, someone came in several times each day to squeegee the water off of his office floor, but work continued as usual.  The rec center in our compound experienced a little damage from the roof leaking, and the kids' school had some flood damage.  We haven't heard how extensive the damage is there, only that they do hope to be open again for school on Sunday (after a week of the school being closed).  The nice thing is that over here they are set up to do "Virtual School".  So even though school was cancelled, the kids still have assignments and are in email contact with their teachers.

Hopefully Erik and Elizabeth will finally get to go to school next week!