Friday, October 29, 2010

Whew - Busy Time!

I just realized that it has been quite some time since I last posted a blog. Whew! We're chasing ourselves around the world this time of year. Just got back from yet another wonderful visit to Saudi Arabia - Riyadh this time. Thank you Sami, Majed and your associates for your generous hospitality during our short visit. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed the authentic Bedouin-style meal of chicken and rice. The desert is lovely this time of year, very cool and peaceful at night and the stars are amazing.

We got back to the ranch on Tuesday, after a bit of a delay in New York on our return flight. We're relaxing for a few days, and then it is off again next week. Terry and one of our regular grooms, Peter Wurschy, will accompany 5 miniature horses and 3 Arabian horses to Amsterdam. Peter will stay for a short vacation in Amsterdam and Terry will continue to Bahrain with the Arabian horses. At the same time, I go to Luxembourg with 5 precious miniature donkeys and 3 Rocky Mountain Horses. Looking forward to some quiet time in Luxembourg!

We're starting our next EU quarantine group on November 8th, and are in the process of preparing horses for shipping to South Africa, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in December.

We're very excited about some upcoming opportunities for shipping to China, Brazil and Colombia in 2011.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Our visit to Dammam, Saudi Arabia

What an extraordinary visit we had in Dammam, Saudi Arabia last weekend! Thank you, Abdulaziz, Dhafer, Mohammad, Ali, Khaled and all of the other gentlemen who made us feel so welcome. The horses all flew really well and offloading went smoothly.

When the horses were safely loaded into their trailers and on their way to the stables, Ali drove us to guest quarters at Abdulaziz's beautiful stable. We were pretty tired, so we had a nice rest time in the early afternoon. Then we were treated to a delicious lunch of kebab, rice and a mezzah platter. When the evening arrived, it was time for visitors. We sat outdoors in the cool of the evening and enjoyed tea, coffee, dates, pomegranite seeds and lively conversation.

After visiting for a while, we went to another stable where we were treated to a tour of the beautiful facilities. Several of the horses were exhibited for us - magnificently beautiful horses that are cared for so very well. It was truly a joy to see them all working in the arena.

Then it was time for dinner! We were treated to an authentic Bedouin-style dinner, with cushions on the floor, lots of tea and coffee and dates, followed by a delicious feast of camel meat served on a bed of rice. We ate with our hands and enjoyed every minute of the experience! After the feast, a young man came around the room with a container of burning aromatic wood and we cleansed ourselves in the smoke. This was followed by a spritz of refreshing cologne and then the evening was over. Time to go back to our lovely guest room until we had to go the airport early the next morning.

Terry and I felt very honored to receive not only the spectactular hospitality of our Saudi hosts, but also some very lovely gifts of Lebanese sweets and I received a gorgeous hand-embroidered silk abaya and sheila. I will wear these with great pleasure on next visit to Saudi next week when we take horses to Riyadh.

Again, thank you so much to our hosts for making this trip one that we will cherish forever in our memories.