Arabian Return Chapter XXVII: Beginning Changes for Our Group

Arabian Return Chapter XXVII: Beginning Changes for Our Group

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Oran started driving back to Mubarraz on his new job Monday morning, but, at least, this would be a short work week for him. Things were beginning to change for our group as a whole, both men and women. Sheila went to work at Community Maintenance, and Marge and Marvin Williams were going to move to Udhailiyah. 

Arabian Return Chapter XXVI: Oran's Trip to London

Arabian Return Chapter XXVI: Oran's Trip to London

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Oran found out on Wednesday that he was being sent to London for a week, starting February 13th, 1977, to recruit men for the Water Injection Operations in Udhailiyah. That was a pleasant surprise for him. I wasn't being sent on this trip with him, but really didn't want to go anyway, as it was still very cold there.

Tim Barger's New Collection of Stories: Christmas in Khobar

Tim Barger's New Collection of Stories: Christmas in Khobar

BY Aramco ExPats / /

Tim Barger’s new collection of stories, Christmas in Khobar, will be released soon. There are more tales of childhood adventures in the Dhahran of the fifties and sixties, as well as stories told to him and accounts of hapless situations he encountered in Riyadh and Jeddah as a 20 something adult.

Arabian Return Chapter XXV: After Second Vacation - A New Job

Arabian Return Chapter XXV: After Second Vacation - A New Job

BY Colleen Wilson / /

January isn't the best time of the year to travel through Europe, but we didn't have much choice, so we started our third return back to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, the 16th, 1977 from Dallas, Texas. By the time the plane arrived in New York, it was snowing so much we had to circle over the airport for an hour again before landing.

Arabian Return Chapter XXIV: Home for Christmas Again

Arabian Return Chapter XXIV: Home for Christmas Again

BY Colleen Wilson / /

I met the girls at the Dining Hall at 9 o'clock for our "breakfast club". Sheila had received her film of our rug laying party at the Steindorfs, so we went to her house to watch that. It was really funny with everyone acting crazy, dancing, etc., but we wouldn't have wanted that film to fall into the wrong hands. It would either have been misinterpreted, or everyone would want to join our group.

Arabian Return Chapter XXIII: Settling into a Holding Pattern

Arabian Return Chapter XXIII: Settling into a Holding Pattern

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Saturday, October 16th, 1976, Oran flew back to 'Udhailiyah for the start of another work week. Our lives were just settling back into a normal routine, and we were taking things one day at a time. Things came up at work every now and then that could have had an effect on what we did about staying, but so far Oran just remained calm, and didn't give an answer or reaction until he had thought about it for awhile.

Arabian Return Chapter XXII: New Lease on Life

Arabian Return Chapter XXII: New Lease on Life

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Oran was able to take his resignation retraction letter by his boss’s office before he caught the morning plane back to 'Udhailiyah on Wednesday, September 22nd, 1976. With a new lease on life, I had a spring to my step as I went to the Post Office to mail Vicky's birthday card...

Arabian Return Chapter XXI: The Pendulum Swings

Arabian Return Chapter XXI: The Pendulum Swings

BY Colleen Wilson / /

The day before had been invigorating and uplifting, so we went to our breakfast in the Dining Hall with the other regulars in a much better mood, but the rest of the day was just routine. Back at the apartment, we discussed the pros and cons of Oran's resignation and different possibilities.

Arabian Return Chapter XX: Night Visit with the Bedouin

Arabian Return Chapter XX: Night Visit with the Bedouin

BY Colleen Wilson / /

There would be another cocktail party, dinner, and performance by the "Creative Source Group" in 'Udhailiyah Tuesday night, so that afternoon I went in a taxi to the airstrip with Trish Miller and Sharon Green, waiting there 45 minutes for the late plane to arrive. 

Arabian Return Chapter XIX: Oran Resigns

Arabian Return Chapter XIX: Oran Resigns

BY Colleen Wilson / /

My worst fears came true the next day, July 28th, as Oran turned in his letter of resignation to be effective between September 23rd and October 23rd. He said he had decided that trying to re-adjust to living and working in 'Udhailiyah again just wasn't worth ruining his mental and physical health.

Arabian Return Chapter XVIII: Oran Returns to Udhailiyah

Arabian Return Chapter XVIII: Oran Returns to Udhailiyah

BY Colleen Wilson / /

All good things must come to an end, so after nearly six weeks of living and working in Abqaiq, Oran had to fly back to 'Udhailiyah to continue his work there on Tuesday June 15th, 1976. For a couple of days, I felt rather lost and just tried to adjust to the old routine of being in camp alone again. 

Bedouin Connection Chapter I – My First Days in Saudi Arabia

Bedouin Connection Chapter I – My First Days in Saudi Arabia

BY Mark Lowey / /

In the days before desktop computers and smart phones, we used adding machines, and charts and graphs were hand-drawn, I performed entry-level project management tasks for different projects including construction schedules, manpower histograms and organization charts.

Arabian Return Chapter XVII: Teaching Arab Class in Abqaiq

Arabian Return Chapter XVII: Teaching Arab Class in Abqaiq

BY Colleen Wilson / /

The next day, Saturday, May 8th, 1976, started a new period in our life, though, that was different and stimulating for both of us. Oran didn't return to ‘Udhailiyah as usual, but started on his new job in Abqaiq teaching a class of 12 Saudi Arabs about the new Sea Water Project. He was very pleased to be "back in civilization", but a bit leery of teaching...

Arabian Return Chapter XVI: Oran Assigned to Sea Water Project

Arabian Return Chapter XVI: Oran Assigned to Sea Water Project

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Another trip to Al-Khobar was warranted Monday, so I made the usual bus connections and found another gold bracelet to buy on my one day shopping spree. I had finished a role of movie film on the way, so took that to the Post Office before visiting with Ruby and Frank Adams.

Arabian Return Chapter XV: Sorority Chapter in Abqaiq

Arabian Return Chapter XV: Sorority Chapter in Abqaiq

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Monday morning, I went to a bridge lesson at the Women’s Club Portable, and was taught the Staymen Convention, which I didn't like and probably wouldn't use. Marge Williams and I went to lunch at the Dining Hall afterward. All that afternoon I worried about whether or not to join the Sorority because of so many other activities. I finally decided not to, so called Marge to tell her I wouldn't be at the beginning meeting that night.

Arabian Return Chapter XIV: So Much for Good Intentions

Arabian Return Chapter XIV: So Much for Good Intentions

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Believe me, I mostly rested the next day after Oran flew back to 'Udhailiyah. On Sunday morning I went to a Newcomers' Welcome Tea at the Women's Club Portable then walked to the Post Office with Marge Williams and Harriet Fretwell. Marge went on to my apartment with me, and we visited about the dance and future activities.

Arabian Return Chapter XIII:  Amine Plant and Compressor Station 961

Arabian Return Chapter XIII: Amine Plant and Compressor Station 961

BY Colleen Wilson / /

On Sunday, February 1st, I bussed to Al-Khobar to meet Pat Smyth and her sister, Phyllis, who was living in Arabia as well now, with her husband, Roy Boyd. We had known Roy in the early 50's in Ras Tanura, when he was married to Ilene, who later died. We had also known Pat's sister after several trips to Phoenix, Arizona, over the years to visit Pat and Guy.

Arabian Return Chapter XII: After First Vacation

Arabian Return Chapter XII: After First Vacation

BY Colleen Wilson / /

After an enjoyable five-week vacation in the United States, which included Christmas and New Year with family and friends and putting Vicky on a plane to Hawaii for her semester of school, we left Dallas on Sunday, January 11th, 1976, at 2:25 p.m. on a Braniff flight to New York.

Arabian Return Chapter XI: Preparing for First Home Leave

Arabian Return Chapter XI: Preparing for First Home Leave

BY Colleen Wilson / /

For the next three days Oran was off work, so he stayed in Abqaiq. We did an assortment of things – visited with friends, played some bridge, and bowled. On Wednesday we went to a Halloween parade at the school and later sat on our porch passing out candy to the trick-or-treaters who came by.

Arabian Return Chapter X: Visit to a Bedouin Tent

Arabian Return Chapter X: Visit to a Bedouin Tent

BY Colleen Wilson / /

Oran had stayed in Abqaiq on Tuesday as he was going to have weekend duty again, and I would be going with him to 'Udhailiyah on Wednesday. So we slept late, had coffee on the porch before a big breakfast, ran errands around camp, and got clothes ready for the trip.