Trying to spice up the routine

Once school started back, I was quickly into the routine. I did drop one of my students for tutoring though as it was just too much and I really like working with older students more than younger ones.

Then the Saudi king died and school was cancelled for Sunday the 25th of January. As nice as it is to have a shortened work week, the kids tend to be crazy when this happens. We try to come up with things to do for fun, and so someone suggested and sponsored a “Sixtathalon,” which was a couple’s competition in darts, foosball, Guitar Hero, ping pong, pool, and poker. I was one of many spectators and it was lots of fun. The evening ended with dancing.

Many of us have visited the local farmer’s market equivalent, which is held on the top of a parking deck the first Saturday of each month between November and March.

One of the food stalls and looking down the aisle at the rooftop market

One of the food stalls and looking down the aisle at the rooftop market

My friend, Thom, standing in front of a gorgeous flower stall

My friend, Thom, standing in front of a gorgeous flower stall

Then it becomes too hot to have things outside. It doesn’t have a lot of actual produce, but there are tons of soaps, candles, artwork, clothes, snacks, and local food vendors. It seems to be predominantly expats in the stalls, so it doesn’t feel typically Kuwaiti, or even Middle Eastern for that matter. I go to Friday Market or the Old Souk for that.

It felt like a long haul through February and then we had a long weekend for National and Liberation Days the 25-26th of February.

National Day celebration at school

National Day celebration at school

I had planned to spend the time relaxing at home, but volunteered and was taken up on the offer to be the female chaperon for the HS choir trip to Oman. Hard to look at an all expenses paid weekend and say no. The school it was based at in Muscat is gorgeous and incredibly well equipped.

The American International School of Muscat (TAISM)

The American International School of Muscat (TAISM)

TAISM courtyard and that's real grass, not astroturf

TAISM courtyard and that’s real grass, not astroturf

courtyard garden at TAISM

courtyard garden at TAISM

the surrounding mountains of Muscat

the surrounding mountains of Muscat

TAISM

TAISM

Covered play area at TAISM

Covered play area at TAISM

Weight room at TAISM

Weight room at TAISM

auditorium and stage at TAISM

auditorium and stage at TAISM

The students (we had 9) were put up in home stays and we had individual hotel rooms! I was even given a generous per diem. Awesome! I’d volunteer for this again in a heartbeat!