Thursday, September 30, 2010

Workers in Kuwait

These are the owners of the nearby corner grocery store (called Bakala). They see me coming, they smile and say "Paper, Water" because I always get the Arab Times and a bottle of water after my walk. I hold out my hand with coins and they take what they need. They say "teacher" and I smile and say yes. Then I greet them farewell and they smile. Sometimes they give me a greeting which when translated means "God go with you in your travels". I like that.

The workers in the yellow jumpsuits have the worst jobs--cleaning up the garbage, moving items, sweeping up the streets. I think they get the equivalent of $210 per month. They live in what we would consider unacceptable conditions with several men in an apartment which probably isn't airconditioned. Yet this IS a better life than where they are originally from. Definately makes one humble.

These are the owners of the Iranian Bread store, which is a favorite of the AIS teachers. It's located near the school, and if you arrive early in the day and wait in line (Ladies on one side, Men on the other) and hold out your newspaper (which is how they are packaged), you will get the BEST homemade flat bread for the amazing price of about 80 cents. (that's FOUR pieces for 80 cents). Their ovens remind me of the Witches in Hanzel and Gretel, and they work in incredible heat. (non airconditioned of course).

I don't say much about the workers in Kuwait. These are people who live here, but are not from Kuwait. Most service/labor workers are not 99.99 percent. They are people who have come from Bangeldesh, India, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Eqypt to make a better life for themselves. Like many of the immigrants to Pelican Rapids they send most of their dollars home. These people work very hard, in incredible temperatures. My hat goes off to them. I have daily conversations with several of them although their English is limited and certainly my Farsi, Indian, Arabic is tragically limited. These people make my life easier. I am thankful for them.

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