It's been too long since I spent some time blogging. So here goes! The past couple of months have been full of decisions and change. For any readers who are not on my facebook, the big news is that I've decided to leave Kuwait (hmm, does that mean I need to change my blog title?). My time in Kuwait has been memorable- at times amazingly good, at times dark and lonely. But it has been a journey that I do not regret. However, it's time to move on and start something new. I've decided to move back to the US for a time, to be near friends and family. I'm planning on moving to DC in April...so I'm starting the job hunt and setting up my life there! I'll try to keep this site updated as the journey continues, but today my mind is here. Although I'm incredibly excited about DC, I'm also feeling sad as I consider the end of this incredible adventure. Here are a few recent highlights from life in the desert!
1. Last night I went to the US embassy social hour (also known as happy hour). Once you get through the layers of security, you emerge into an oasis of american-ness. There was a live band playing classic rock, good food and drinks, and fun company! There's something special about this kind of event when you live overseas!
2. Filled up my gas tank this week for $7. I am soooo going to miss gas prices in the sandbox!
3. Sitting at work surrounded by my coworkers- 2 Kuwaitis, 2 Egyptians, a Jordanian, an Indian, an American and an American-Venezualan! The conversation flashes between english and arabic. I just love the multi-culturalism!
4. Paying $9 for a doctor visit, and getting refills of all my meds for $11. Gotta love living in a social welfare state.
5. Realized today that when I visit India next month, it will be my 17th trip of the past 2 years. I've visited the US twice, Ethiopia twice, Dubai twice, Lebanon twice, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, and Turkey. So many suitcases and plane rides. So many memories.
6. Spending time with the girls at the filipino embassy (shelter for domestic workers who have run away due to abuse). This past week we had about 25 new girls that are going to start our program (a combination of teaching the 7 habits and skill-training). Although hearing their stories is heartbreaking, it's such an honor to be part of this kind of work.
7. The food. Even after 2 years here, I never get sick of amazing Lebanese food...hummus, tabouleh, pita bread. I realized this week that I had eaten pita and hummus for 5 consecutive meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, breakfast and lunch!).
8. I always feel such a sense of accomplishment when something gets done...mostly because even the simplest things become complicated! I finally got my heat working in the apartment- after 2 visits from maintenance and many conversations in a combination of broken english and arabic!
These are just a few of my favorite moments from the past week. I have been noticing that my cynicism at the culture here has been increasing daily since I decided to leave. It's as if the filter I force myself to wear (so that I don't become "that girl" that walks around criticizing everything) has been slipping. There are many things here that just tear at my soul...so many things that are wrong or evil. But there are also so many amazing aspects of living in this part of the world. There will be a time later for me to process the negative things I have seen and experienced here. But for now, I also want to take in all the amazingly unique parts of life here. I can honestly say that every day is an adventure! More thoughts to come soon...