More text without pictures

NB: I’ve written a week’s worth of these and intend to post them all. They are still without pictures, because I am not at leisure to post for as long as it takes. I suspect I will not be able to keep up this pace of posting (I know, what a relief, right?) once school starts next Monday.

8/22/13        Shopping today. We went to the most enormous mall I’ve ever been to called The Avenues (though I’m told there are bigger ones) and I made my first trip to an Ikea.  I got lost. Once I found my way out, with a clock and a pillow, I progressed toward Carrefour (I think that’s how it is spelled), which is akin to Walmart or Target. 

Everyplace we go is by taxi bus and all the first year teachers go together. Some are talking of getting cars, but I’ll stick to the taxis. Everything looks so much the same here and there are few street signs except on the main thoroughfares, plus driving is a sport with few rules. There is some activity planned for everyday, and much of it is divided between social and work. During the workdays we are at school from 8:00-2:00 and the first week had something on for every afternoon or evening. That gives us a bit of down time somewhere in each day. The weekend was this big shopping trip today and then out for a very nice dinner at a Lebanese restaurant. Tomorrow is a trip to the beach. Some people have a view of the gulf. Every time I look, I can’t tell if it’s water I see out there. I’m told I need to watch the sunrise, so I’ll see if I can get some pictures of that.

 I did my first load of laundry and have some lovely unintended tie-dye on some things. Even though I have not turned my water heater on, the water is solar heated to such a degree that it caused the colors to bleed. Oh well, I’ll do better next time.

I brought some 3M Command hooks with me and am very happy I did as they have come in handy for getting things up on the wall right away. I’m still without a light in my bathroom and I am still not able to get the outlets to work.  I charge my computer at other people’s apartments or in common areas. There’s a community room (with books and DVDs to swap, a pool table, ping pong table, and benches), a gym with all sorts of equipment, and a pool to which all of us have access. My building is outside of the guarded gated place, but I feel quite safe here.

The high school and middle school are spread over 3 floors each and there is a large green space with a straw roofed hut in it between them and the elementary school. There is a CDC (Child Development Center) for 3 year olds, KG-1 for 4 years olds, and KG-2 for 5 years olds, then grades 1-5.  The CDC and KG classes are on a separate hallway and have a separate play area (high awning covering an AstroTurf soccer pitch size field). Grades 1, 2, and 3 are on the ground level and grades 4 and 5 on levels above 3rd.  There is a pool and a basketball court covered by a quilted-pillowy looking building made of canvas on the school grounds as well!

Those of you who patiently heard me out when I bemoaned the hurdles I had to jump through with medical exams, blood tests and x-rays might be interested to know that I will be going next week to have them all RE-done here! Seems a bit of overkill to me.

It seemed like a Harry Potter kind of day today, so I watched the Prisoner of Azkaban in stages during various breaks. Now it’s time for bed. I do wear earplugs to bed every night due to pretty constant and often loud street and construction noise.

Showings and school

It’s hard not to just sit back and enjoy the newly uncluttered space in my house! Now all my sorting and packing has to be able to tidy up in about 15 minutes. The next step was to finish packing up my things at school and get them into storage. Oh, and the “official” check-out at school. That finally happened today! My son came and helped me get my 8 or 9 heavy boxes of books down the stairs, into my car, and into storage. I have to brag a little about getting my 20 years of accumulated teaching stuff down to 8-9 boxes! In all likelihood I could still pare down even further. Maybe when I UNpack. 🙂 I am encouraged by the space still left in storage, but it is hard to gauge the amount of stuff that still needs to go in. 

Another big project that I got finished was going through all my photos and packing up a box to send off for scanning ( They will return the photos with a DVD that has them all digitally on it and I think I have most all of my photos in one place now. Whew! 

Now I’m focused on getting my son ready for his month in China. He leaves next Monday. It will be so exciting for him. I will miss him. A lot. His sister will come visit for the weekend before he leaves. I love having the house full of my kids!

After that I hope to be more focused on getting rid of more of the furniture and clearing out certain rooms. I’m trying not to focus on all the good-byes and leave-takings though. That part is sad. 😦 Trying to celebrate the little accomplishments and focus on the exciting new adventure. 


Photos done!

I have been working really hard at getting things stashed and stored so that my realtor could come take pictures. It finally happened today and the listing should be active as of tomorrow! I have butterflies in my stomach, but I think it is mostly from excitement! There is still lots to do, but showings could start happening soon. This will make for creative packing so that things can be stashed again for when people come through.  I would say the thrift shop is getting the majority of my stuff and not always gladly. Yesterday, my dear friend, Jena helped lug stuff over there and when I told him I had two carloads he said, “You do not!” I assured him I did and it was all he could do not to roll his eyes and groan. 🙂

Meanwhile, I still have not checked out from school as I have boxes there too. I have one or two more to pack up from there and then I’ll have to turn in my keys. That brings a mixture of gladness and sadness. Many of the people I have worked with are like second family to me and I will miss seeing them on a regular basis. I am so excited for Kuwait and the adventures it promises though. I figure I’ll be back in this area and will be able to check in with these friends again. 

Now I’m ready to take a little break from the strenuous prep for a few days. I think I’ll have some eye surgery. No joke, I’m having laser surgery today on my left eye. The right eye was last week. It is amazingly NOT traumatic. I can drive myself home afterwards. It is to repair a small tear in my retina, as was last week’s. So I’ll probably head in to school tomorrow to continue that project. 

This takes lots of energy

What a whirlwind couple of weeks! I came down with a cold (which for me usually passes quickly) that is still lingering and disturbing my sleep. Friday (15th) my class went on a field trip leaving at 6:00 a.m. We went to Beaufort and were steeped in piratical! Then it was off to one of the aquariums here in NC. I drove to Wilmington to see my son honored for making straight As this semester! I should have spent the night as the drive back was difficult. On Sat. I helped one of my best friends celebrate her 60th birthday! Woohoo! That meant little was accomplished in terms of preparation on the house that weekend.

I’m feeling even worse this weekend, but I still managed to go through most of the stuff in the attic with another of my best friends. She went home with a carload! I have also started of list of things intended for certain people. A couple of boxes of books are packed to keep. Next I need to cart clothing to the thrift shop, check on storage rental fees, and call the Embassy of Kuwait.

Here’s hoping my cold will be shortly conquered and energy restored!


I had a delightful visit from my son this week for his spring break. He worked most of the time, but we had a few opportunities to talk and sort through some of his stuff. He is a really thoughtful and wonderful human being.

I also got my contract from the school! It was in English and Arabic, and the Arabic version is the binding one. Wish I knew what it said…haha. It established some options in case things just don’t feel right, but I don’t anticipate using them. I’m determined. It arrived with the handbook, so that has been interesting reading. I am going to need to supplement my wardrobe to some degree.  I also got an email responding to my query about putting on productions. To my great relief that is primarily up to the music teachers, not me. They said they wanted the focus of drama to be more on literacy, hence the interest in reader’s theater. I feel well suited for that.

March is such a busy month–many birthdays, Arts in Action just finished, long day field trip to the beach, Easter, and all the packing and purging at home. I’ve tentatively suggested that my family take turns trekking out here to help in the process. We’ll see how that goes.  Now it’s time to start the school week, so until next weekend…