Try, try again

It seems like every time I try to write another update, that’s what some program on my computer needs to do… update. Then I have to restart, and so I’m trying once again.

Eid break was great! It was so nice to just relax and only do a few things. I splurged and got a pedicure. I hung out with friends, shopped a little (I now have 2 Turkish rugs in my apartment), and did a little sight seeing. My friend, Kelly’s mom was here and it was fun to hang out with them. They spent quite a bit of time at the beach though, and I hate sun bathing.  We went to one of the older malls in Kuwait, called the Souk Shark. It was right along the water and we had an enjoyable lunch there one afternoon. We also went to an Eid Festival at the AWARE center. It was lots of fun! They had clothes you could dress up in for pictures, henna, Arabic calligraphy, and a huge buffet. I met some interesting people there who were not teachers.

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henna at Eid festival

 

When Gabe got back from Dubai, several of us went to a little Ethiopian hole-in-the-wall restaurant that Gabe and Kelly had been to before. It was so very good and the owners incredibly kind. Everyone eats with their hands by scooping/grabbing with injera (a flat bread).

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Ethiopian noms

Then this last weekend there was a big concert in which several of my teacher friends were either singing or playing. It was held at the British Embassy and it was beautiful to see. The concert was outside (nice that you can almost always count on good weather here). Then there were pay-as-you-go buffet tables, and alcoholic beverages afterwards.  They also had a DJ and so I danced the night away.  Got home and tumbled into bed by about midnight.

The next day Kelly and I were up for a tour of Old Kuwait City. We first stopped at a preserved gate from the old wall.

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gate at old wall

The sign said it was built in 1919 and I realized that Kuwait is a terribly young country. The land and people have been around for ages, but Kuwait as a country has not. Then we continued on to visit one of the oldest mosques in the city, and we were able to climb up in the minaret.

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minaret at old mosque (note railing about midway up)

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Kelly and me against the minaret at that railing

The VERY narrow spiral stair was completely taken over by birds. They swooped in and out of the windows,

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awesome star windows in minaret

coated the stairs with their droppings, and there were even baby birds. It didn’t smell too badly though (amazingly enough). From there we went to Naif Palace.

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Liberation Tower from inside Naif Palace

It is still in use for some special occasions today. This included a square where hangings were publicly carried out until just 10 years ago. (The hangings have been moved to a different place, but they still happen I guess. YIKES) Most of it looked pretty dilapidated and appeared to be mostly used for storage. The jail was sort of the high light and provided a photo opportunity that I couldn’t resist.

in jail - haha

in jail – haha

After that we went to a restaurant that is reputed to be one of the oldest in Kuwait and is housed in an old house. Many early things were built with imported wood and lumber. Now, everything seems to be made from cement or steel.  The price of our tour included lunch at the restaurant and featured native Kuwaiti food. Since they’re right on the Gulf, fish figures quite prominently in their diet. Then we headed back to the AWARE center. I met a UN official who was on the tour. He seems quite well connected and I hope we can remain in touch. He is originally from Peru, but spent a lot of time in NYC and has traveled all over the place.

This last week I also signed up for the Color Run in Dubai, UAE. I then bought a plane ticket. It’s on Dec. 14 and I’m really looking forward to it! That will be my first venture out of Kuwait since I’ve been here.

Now I need to get on to purchasing tickets for Christmas!!

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