Monday, September 27, 2010


“And so I climbed into the cab and then I settled down inside. He asked me if I'd seen a road with so much dust and sand….” - Johnny Cash

It was very early in the morning, we were notified that it was time to go.  So, we loaded up our kids in the car while they were still sleeping and headed to the middle of the desert.  The fog was so thick that you could barely see the sides of the road.  Our driver was an Iraqi man with a strong accent.  We hoped that he know where he was going and that we would be safe.  We traveled through the desert until the sun began to rise and melt the fog away enough to see the sand, rocks, dunes, and desert trees jutting up like tombstones.  In the distance we could see the mountains of our destination… Oman.

Apparently, some “official” documents are more official than others.  We had thought that we had all the paperwork we needed (passports, marriage certificate, birth certificates, etc) so that everyone in the family could get their resident VISAs to live in the UAE, but we were wrong.  We found that some of our “official” documents are only official inside the U.S. and if we wanted them to be of use in getting a VISA, we actually had to order new, different “official” documents. 

Anyway, to save you all the boring details, getting the new documents has taken longer than we thought and Yvonne and the kids were running out of time on their 30-day visitor VISAs. In order to renew the visitor visas and be able to stay in the UAE, we could either pay a hefty visa extension fee for each person, or travel out of the country and come back in.  We decided to make the trip to Oman.

The problem was, we didn’t have a car.  Fortunately, there was another family new to the U.A.E that was in a similar situation that offered to give us a ride.  They are a wonderful Muslim Iraqi family with 3 children.  It was a tight squeeze to fit 9 of us in their vehicle, but we made it work.  We got an early start before the sunrise to beat the heat, traffic, and avoid any delays.  It was fascinating, educational, and a little surreal.  Who would have guessed that there would be such thick fog in the middle of 90+ degree weather?  Who would’ve thought that we’d be passing border patrols carrying AK-47s?  Would you ever guess that our kids would be sharing candy, crackers, and playing games with some new Iraqi friends while waiting for paperwork to be processed in a government building on the Omani border.  I can’t say that several hours in an overstuffed car driving through the desert was ‘fun’, but our Iraqi friends offered wonderful/interesting conversation and it was a fascinating ride.

We couldn’t take many photos because of the fog, and then for security reasons, but here are a few of the trip.


Some residential houses (villas) along the wayP1010353P1010354P1010356


A little patriotism for the U.A.E. once we crossed back over the borderP1010358
Want any pottery?
Oman has some mountains… with lots of caves


In the U.A.E we saw a lot of sand
And a few camels… apparently just roaming free in the wildP1010370


  1. WOW. I would have been scared to death. Afraid that we would have been put in prison or booted out of the country. What an adventure. By the way, our Joseph has received his mission call and is going to the Michigan Lansing Mission and will enter the MTC Feb 2. It will be good to have him here for Christmas, but we could have had him ready in a month. Take care now and God bless you daily. LuAnn

  2. I love the blog, Mr. Anderson... keep it up! I love reading all the details. You'll enjoy reading it a few years from now when you're looking back.

  3. Wow! That would've freaked me out! But then again, I'm living a very sheltered life :) I love hearing about all the cool adventures.