Routine and yet, not

Life has settled into a routine by now. Mind you, I am still amazed on a daily basis by various things here: crazy drivers, construction, green, construction, servitude, construction…  Routine consists of getting to school with Gabe and Daniel by about 6:25 am and climbing to the 3rd floor then on duty downstairs by 6:45. Students come for first period by 7:25. Then it’s pretty much go, go, go until 2:00 when students are dismissed. I teach grade 3, then grade 2, grade 1, grade 4, grade 5 in that order with an extra grade 1 on some days. Usually I try to catch the 3:00 bus back to Mahboula (which means, crazy woman, in Arabic. I love that.). I am trying to get in the habit of going to the little workout room they have here and then climb the stairs to the 4th floor. Everyone tells me I will gain weight while here. Ugh. I can see it would be easy to do. Every place delivers: most all the restaurants, the little shops (called bakalas), the person who cuts hair even comes to your home!! That would make it really easy to just stay inside and hardly go out. I have not yet ordered in, and am determined not to.

I am trying to learn as much as I can about this culture and find it quite a contradiction often, in appearance. I posted recently on Facebook about Kuwait’s desire to keep gays out of their country, and yet by observation men are VERY affectionate with one another here. They kiss in public, walk through the mall holding hands or with their arms around one another. NEVER is this done with mixed genders though. So, when I heard about an exhibit of photos of Marilyn Monroe, I was curious. It was a very small exhibit, but I was surprised that it was even allowed in Kuwait. The intern sitting with the exhibit said the market was better in Dubai, so it would be moving there permanently after 2 more exhibits.

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  Exhibit tagIMG_1025 

The Last Sitting

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in Kuwait?

 

Following that, we went to a diwaniya sponsored by the AWARE (Advocates for Western-Arab RElations) center, about the Hajj, which is the spiritual journey to Mecca required of physically and economically able Muslims. The thing I was most struck by is how much Islam, Judaism, and Christianity have in common. I admire some Muslims dedication to prayer.  It was a fascinating time and was followed by dinner! I am continually glad to have joined this center. They sponsor some fabulous tours and experiences!

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Our speaker at the diwaniya

On a more mundane note, I thought it interesting that ibuprofen is sold without prescription in 400mg or 800mg strength. I think 400mg is the lowest available here. I haven’t sought other meds yet, but others have and have been impressed with the level of care here.

I am currently on Eid Al-Adha break (it begins on the evening of Monday, 10/14 and ends the evening of Tuesday, 10/15, but we get the whole week off!!). It is nice to have more than 2 days to relax and enjoy some down time. I am going out to dinner tonight with a group from school to a Korean restaurant. All types of food are available here, including American, except if it is pork. Weirdly enough, pork, alcohol, etc. are available in the American (and others, like Canadian) Embassy and if you have connections you can get it. My buddy teacher has connections on the pork, but I am not craving it. Many teachers are traveling over this break, but until the sale of my house is finalized (yes, it is under contract!) I will not be traveling.

 

 

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie
    Oct 13, 2013 @ 11:54:02

    Pam, I love reading your updates! Keep them coming!
    Steph

    Reply

  2. Ellen
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 02:30:23

    Hi Pam – I really enjoy your blog postings! Thanks so much for the updates.

    Reply

  3. Kathy
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 12:12:35

    Thanks for sharing your adventure. We miss you! So glad to hear you have a contract on your house. Enjoy your downtime!

    Reply

  4. Ronna
    Oct 14, 2013 @ 17:23:04

    What a great adventure you are having. I love hearing your enthusiasm.

    Reply

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