We made it back safely last night around midnight. Who would’ve known that a 24 hour trip would turn into such a mess. On Sunday we ended up taking a taxi an hour and a half away to Abu Dhabi to the Saudi embassy. In the typical Saudi fashion, they opened when they wanted. Then we sat waited (on the ladies side of course) for about 45 minutes as the employees walked back and forth with these briefcases; setting them by the door and walking away. When we finally got up to the window we were told it would take 2 days. We had had it and started getting upset and told the official that we had flights out in a few hours and needed to get this done right away. So we were told we had to go to a different location to have someone fill something out online and then we had to come back again and it would only take 30 minutes. We were very wary by this point and starting making plan B plans (like walking across the street to the US embassy and just having them send us home).
We hopped in our taxi and had a little difficulty finding this travel place, but we did find it. Then we were informed we had to have passport photos. So we were directed to another shop where we had our mug shots taken (literally..we will show you when we get home). Luckily the guy at the travel place spoke decent English so we were able to clearly communicate with him. After that we headed back to the Embassy. Only to have them tell us we would have to wait another two hours. That was not going to fly with us and luckily the guy got it done sooner than that. Six hours later we were back in the taxi and on our way back to the hotel.
We said goodbye to Papa Dave as he boarded the plane to go back home. We were all very jealous and wanted him to take us with him. The Dubai airport was beautiful so we killed some time there doing some duty free shopping and sitting at a wine bar. By then every one of us was running on 4 hours of sleep and was extremely crabby. We didn’t even know if the visa would work this time around. Fortunately the plane was very empty and we were all able to lay out on the plane. Customs went fairly smoothly besides Jen getting harassed by her officer. We got picked up and got in bed around 1am. Left at 7am to work at the new hospital. Needless to say we all are still exhausted mentally, emotionally, and physically.