A view of the beach from the balcony of our villa in Durat Al Arouz.
Last Thursday, March 31, 2011, was the graduation of TCI's 5th batch students. Being a former student myself, I was invited by the school staff at the graduation and the succeeding party at a resort, some 25kms. north of Jeddah. I felt bad not being able to attend the 5th batch's graduation which I heard was so successful, but of course I will not pass on a chance to have a real good time at their party. It's Thursday and it's time for a good time in Saudi Arabia!
If you've read my previous post about my batch's graduation and the party, I've made a mistake about the name of the resort where we had our party. I said there that the name of the place was 'Durat Al Arouz', where in fact it's 'La Fontaine' and it was just last Thursday that I've learned about the mistake. I've already corrected it. But anyway, this time the 5th batch's graduation party was actually held at (where else?) 'Durat Al Arouz'. The resort is just at the other side of 'La Fontaine'. It's much bigger, like a small community, it has a lot of villas inside, the place even has its own grocery store and I think it's much prettier than 'La Fontaine', although when it comes to the villas, I would probably choose those in 'La Fontaine' because of their sizes and their accessibility to the beach because of the stairs at the back. In Durat, only those on the ground floor are accessible, otherwise you have to go down the villa and have a long walk towards the back where the beach is located.
Anyway, only 8 of us from batch 4 went to Durat Al Arouz, Marvin, Nelson, Emil, Khris, Jhun, Epie, Jane and I. For me, the party was not just a celebration of 5th batch finishing the short, yet memorable caregiving study, but it also served as a kind of mini reunion for my batch. The last time I saw some of them was when my other classmate invited some of us to have a dinner at his home, a private graduation celebration of some sort, a week after our 'grand finale' (LOL!) in TCI. It was also great to see our instructors and some of the TCI staff there, especially Ma'am Silna and Ma'am Honey.
The place was in a celebratory mood when we arrived. There was a live band, some of the people who were already there, were singing with the band, while others were dancing. I was amazed at how warm the reception to us was. Jason, one of the graduates, ushered me to the chair and gave me plastic plate right away so that we could eat while listening to the the live music. In fact, most of them were amazingly warm and friendly.
We went walking outside to better know the place. I went wading by the shore and I saw a lot of those tiny sea creatures having their own night-out. I saw little fishes in schools, a small crab and a cuttlefish, it was amazing! Afterwards we went back to the villa and we 'tripped the light fantastic' for a moment. It was like being inside a discotheque, there were laser lights and the music was awesome.
When the morning came, some of us went swimming. The water was OK, but some were looking for waves because they felt like the water was too still, I mean not a ripple and that makes it feel so artificial to them. In a way it is artificial because I think the whole place was a reclamation site, even the sand is not natural, it's desert sand. There were no waves because the design of the beach is in a very small cove and waves from the sea can't get in. The only time the water moved, was when there were jet skis and motor boats around and of course when there were people swimming.
I didn't stay that long in the water. It was already around 8 AM and I should get back home, I was thinking that I've been away for too long and that my cats were probably starving already. It was really fun being there. I was awake the whole time, never had a sleep, but it was all worth it, I got to know some of the people there and experienced a cool party in a wonderful resort. Thanks to the warm hospitality of the 5th batch students and the staff of TCI. Also I want to say 'thank you' to Venice for his generosity of sharing the 'you know what'. Hereon, I'm looking forward to the graduation of 6th batch.