It's been far too long since I last blogged. Happy 2010 everyone! The past few weeks have passed quickly...I had my one year anniversary in Kuwait and at my job, I traveled to Beirut to celebrate New Year's Eve, and I did a quick 22-hour trip to Bahrain this weekend! I can't believe it's now almost February. The weather is beautiful here- somehow we bypassed winter and are enjoying gorgeous spring weather for as long as possible before the oppressive summer heat strikes again. It's hard to believe that a year ago, I was huddled up against my little space heater trying to stave off the bitter cold, depressed and lonely and wondering what possessed me to move here. I still have plenty of those thoughts, but they are far fewer than before. The past year has felt like a roller coaster. There have been great times, and horrible times. The year was marked by many new friendships, and also quite a few goodbyes. In this highly transitory community, I have come to realize that I miss true community. I long for solid and stable friends...to live in a place where I don't always wonder when I'll get the call that someone is on their way to the airport or has just turned in their notice to quit. But even in the midst of loneliness, God has put some amazing people in my life...and it has been good.
As I look at 2010, I don't really have a clue where God will lead. I feel a bit lost. There are moments when I really enjoy life here. And of course, there are moments when I am just tempted to pack up my bags and drive to the airport. But I wait and I pray and I hope that God will soon illuminate the next journey in my life. The nomad in me is restless, but the time just doesn't feel right yet. So we will see what happens!
One of my favorite parts of living in Kuwait is having the opportunity to travel. This weekend I flew over to Bahrain. It was my first time in the country (country #41 in my country count!). In addition to hitting up the local Irish pubs, I also had the opportunity to visit the Saudi Arabian border. Bahrain and Saudi are connected by a huge bridge/causeway...the most expensive bridge in the world. I was able to take a taxi out to the mid-way point and look into Saudi from a tower built on the Bahraini side. As a single female, it's unlikely that I'll ever be able to cross into Saudi (I would need to be accompanied by either a husband, a brother, or a father to enter Saudi...yeah, I know, a bit ridiculous!). But it was still fun to be able to say I've been at the border. I also checked out a local fort, and then settled down for the evening in an awesome Irish pub, complete with a Kiwi live band! The pub was frequented mainly by westerns (tons of Brits), so for a few hours it felt like I was suddenly transported out of the Middle East. I was shocked by the outfits, the amount of skin shown, the freedom people felt to be in "close contact" with one another...all this a sure sign that I've been in Kuwait a long time. Despite the culture shock, it was so refreshing to be away...to be western in a western world for a few hours.
I think that's all I have to say for the moment. I'll try to blog a bit more often in the weeks/months to come. I'm sure there will be many more stories as I navigate the world of Kuwait!