Saturday, November 2, 2013

Arrived at Hotel and First Evening in Jeddah

Well, I have arrived at the hotel in Jeddah - staying at the Intercontinental Hotel, just by the Red Sea. It is a beautiful city and the Hotel is outstanding.

The Travel
The travel went very well - no hangups at customs, no layover problems, etc. - accept that somehow my bag did not get transferred from United Airlines to Saudi Airlines. I think the lady who checked me in with United didn't notice that I was moving on through Dulles Airport and I didn't make it a point to ensure that she noticed. So, I am going to be working on getting my bag back. I've talked to, called and emailed as many contacts as I can find with Dulles Airport and with United and Saudi Airlines, so hopefully someone will identify the problem, find my bag, and get it to me on the next plane from Dulles. Even if it doesn't make it, I will be just fine, here. I would rather receive the bag, of course.

It was pretty cool to fly over the Atlantic Ocean (which I couldn't see to well because it was dark), but the night sky was pretty amazing. I woke up in the morning and realized that we were flying over a giant dessert, likely African. The city of Jeddah is quite pretty, and the weather really is quite pleasant. Reminds me of Las Vegas in the wintertime.

It sounds like tomorrow we will have some time to see parts of the city and the region. We will then work with the university Monday through Thursday. I am quite excited to meet the SEU faculty members and see how we can learn together!

This Evening
Had some time to rest for the afternoon and then we went out to dinner with Noura who does public relations with Saudi Electronic University (SEU). We ate at a lovely cafe facing the Red Sea and learned more about the university and the area. Noura was very kind and thoughtful and is taking care of all of our needs. It sounds like tomorrow is a day to get to know the city and see some of the beautiful sites around town. I will certainly share some photos of the day.

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