Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Dust Storm

So about a week ago I got up at 6:45am as usual. I got ready for work and went downstairs to meet my taxi. When I stepped outside my building, I was surprised to see that it was still a little dark. I assumed that it was just one of those gray days, and went about my business. By the time the taxi driver got there a few minutes later, I was starting to feel a bit grimy. I figured it was just the normal Kuwait air. Fifteen minutes later when my cab pulled up at work, it felt like the air was thick and dirty. I hustled inside. When I walked into my office, one of my coworkers greeted me with "how do you like your first dust storm?" that's what was going on. Within an hour, the visibility out of my 5th floor window was almost zero. The water of the Persian gulf had retreated behind a yellow haze of swirling dirt. It came in through every crack and crevice...a mere window could never hold it out. Over the next 24 hours, the poor souls of Kuwait were smothered in an ever thicker blanket of yellow dirt. We wore flimsy surgical masks and scarves wrapped around our heads in an effort to keep out the dirt and dust (and various viruses that float around in it). Our eyes streamed from the dry grit and we canceled every plan that required movement outside. It was my first dust storm, and it certainly won't be my last. There is nothing glamorous about a dust storm. I remember seeing old movies with robed figures guiding their camels through the blowing dust, beautiful dunes stretching out behind them as far as the eyes could see. There was no beauty in this particular prank of nature. It was disgusting. But I survived! First dust storm...check. I'm sure there will be lots more to the meantime, I need to begin the cleanup process and pick up some sealant for my windows. I also discovered that dust storms lead to dust in drains. Dust in drains leads to water problems. Water problems lead to 6:45am getting in the shower...followed by spluttering water, yellowish dust running out of the faucet, and then nothing. Dry as a bone dust-filled pipes. No shower that day. Washed my hair with a bottle of water and ran out the door. Walking through a dust storm + NO shower = misery. But the water was back up and running by the next day, and life goes on.

More to come parents visited for a week and I'm planning to load some pics from their time! I just picked up a new internet device, so once it is working I should be able to upload/download, and even stream video! Thanks for staying tuned.

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