We are still living out of a Jeddah hotel as we wait to move to the KAUST campus. This is our holding point - partially because they want to have all of the students in one place and they are still arriving, and partially because the infrastructure of campus is not yet ready to receive 300 students in addition to the faculty and staff that are already working. We should be moved in by August 29th (subject to change, of course).
The hotel is very nice, the all-you-can-eat buffet is very good, the beds are very comfortable, and KAUST is covering all of my costs here. However, I have been to enough hotels to know that I prefer to have my own place. I look forward to moving in to KAUST as soon as we can.
In the mean time, the studnets have all been busy bonding and exploring the city. I have had time to go shopping, and my resident's visa is now being processed. I also got a chance to play soccer with KAUST students and the hotel staff. After two hours of play, the KAUST soccer team won 8-7; KAUST's first unofficial sporting event was a win!
My Irish teammate (resting at half time) is still acclimating to the heat and humidity. The weather here is comparable to Houston in the summer time, but then he might think that Houston is miserable too. My non-American teammates were all stellar soccer players though, and their skill offset the ineptitude of the three American players (I was one)!
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