Nancy- Saudi Arabia


What is it you Khan’t face?

This weeks  guest is Nancy Chatham , mother of 2 sets of  talented twins.

Nancy and her children
Nancy and her children

Welcome to WIIYK-F Nancy. Thanks for your time we are seriously interested in your story, well  at least I am I can’t speak for the readers!!!

Where were you born and where are you currently living?I was born in the most beautiful city in Canada, Victoria, BC.  We are living in lovely Jeddah KSA

What brought you to this place and how long have you lived here?My husband’s job brought us here.  Julio moved here a year before us, we arrived in Jeddah on October 20th 2008.

What other places have you lived? I went to Spain for an adventure when I was 25, I ended up living there for 10 years.  My kids were all born there.  After Spain we moved to Mexico. We were supposed to be there for 3 years and ended up staying 5, then a year in Canada with the kids while Julio was in KSA, and then here.

What languages do you speak?  English and Spanish

How many children do you have and who are they?I have 4 children,  Julen and Liam, both 16, Emma and Sara, both 13

What do you love the most about your children? Their sense of humor, their many talents, art, guitar, singing….their ability to adapt…everything about them makes me love them madly but also makes me climb walls as well.

What shits you the most about your children? sorry inappropriate question!  The list would be long! 4 teenagers in the house is giving me lots of grey hair!

What school do your children go to?  American International School of Jeddah

WHAT is the most challenging thing about being an expatmumma? The most challenging thing about being an expatmumma is the schools and if your kids are not happy or adapting. My boys are not very happy here in Jeddah as teenagers. The life is very restricted and they get bored. They get angry at how the local or middle eastern kids treat the teachers and the other kids. They are disrespectful and arrogant.

What is the BEST thing about being an expatmumma!meeting people from all over the world

What is your job? If you are lucky enough to be a lady of leisure then what are your hobbies? Sorry, no job!  I do a fitness class 2 times a week, I play tennis between 3-5 times a week, pilates, French, cook, clean, read and once in a while I leave the compound to do my least favourite thing, Mall crawling.

 What was the easiest thing settling in? The compound is set up to help women meet each other. There are lots of different activities for women to do and the best way to meet people is to join and try out all that there is on offer.

What was the hardest thing settling in? When we first moved to KSA we lived in Rabigh for 3 months, horrible, a Saudi compound where the abaya was a must just to go to the shops. There were no non Saudi schools on the compound or in the town. The kids had to leave the house 2-3 times a week to go to school in Jeddah. All the *good* schools were full and I had to send them to Global International, a really crap school.  Our first year here was horrible. But we made it through! The compound where we live now is an easy place to live. I found it hard meeting people in the beginning; I am not the most gregarious of people, so that made life a bit more difficult.

 Describe a usual day?I get up at 5 and have breakfast with Julio, get his lunch together, he leaves for work at 545. I have my coffee and read the paper and relax a bit before running up and down the stairs umpteen times trying to get the kids out of bed.  Then it is either,  French, tennis, pilates, or fitness class. Clean,think about dinner,  pop out to visit friends. Normal everyday stuff.

 What is the best thing about living in this place? The social life here is fantastic.

Where would your ultimate expat posting be and why?  Somewhere green and not so hot!

What is it you simply KHAN’t Face anymore about  living in this country?  The fact that I can’t drive and not be spontaneous.  The abaya on really hot days!  The mutawa      ..vvvv


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