Saturday, February 26, 2011

Final Fireworks

Anna and the Brit StudMuffin in a final Tango...Cheers to our brother AD and his family!
Thanks to friend JL who showed this photo on his facebook. is the photographer/blog for great Kuwait photos As a part of our continuing efforts to celebrate the Big 50/20/5 Celebration here in Q8, we set off for the Fireworks display at the Kuwait Towers. We also have friend AD, also known as my Brit Studmuffin trainer (back when I was working out). It was his last night in town as he was heading to Colorado to be with his wife and child before they tackle a new adventure in Abu Dhabi.
Anyway, we set off in what we thought was plenty of time. But NO..we got caught in a genuine Celebration Traffic gridlock. We were unable to get to Gulf Road, so we got out and walked about 10 blocks. Again we thought we'd have time to eat before the fireworks but that proved to be too much. Think "MN STATE FAIR" size crowds all along a road. It was fascinating to see the Kuwaitis out to celebrate their big event...all sorts of appearel, signs, flags, masks, water guns (remember, no foam this year!). It was a little overwhelming to be among the only white people there (I think many Expats went out of town).
Although we didn't plan it, we did get to see the Royal Motorcade with the several secret service type guys, ambulances, police escorts, etc. That's always a little weird but fun to watch.
We enjoyed people watching for a while, but got hungry. So, like several others, we ended up at McDonald's which offered a fabulous seated view of the fireworks/laser light show location. However, AD got a little nervous thinking he could possibly miss his flight and as he hasn't seen his wife and child for about 6 weeks, I couldn't blame him.
We caught a cab (easily) back to our apartment and went up on the roof to see if we could see any fireworks. But no just a little light show and some neighbors trying to see the same thing.
At 8 pm, AD got in a cab and was off to the airport, leaving us behind with tears and hopes for his families well-being. (just HATE IT when people leave.. you really never know if you're going to see them again despite everyone's good intentions)
At about 9:15 we heard what we thought were fireworks, which made us glad we didn't wait from 4 pm to 9 pm to see fireworks. And this morning, I found this photo on facebook. So it was sorta like being there.
So the title Final Fireworks is more directed at AD and our wishes for his family. There's supposed to be more fireworks tonight but I think we've had enough of masks, squirtguns and honking horns.
Best to stay home and watch it on TV!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy 50/20/5 Kuwait

I love the dichotomy of this photo. She's wearing traditional Muslim dress, but yet filled with Bling! for the holiday. Thus, this picture says "Kuwait" all over.
Yes, the colors of Kuwait ARE red, green and black. All people in these pictures were thrilled to have their picture taken.

This cake, that fed our 900 elementary students, was presented to our school a couple weeks ago when we gathered to sing the Kuwait National Anthem as a kick off to the Celebration.

Q8 Celebrates

One of the most bizarre traditions in this country is the driving up and down the main road (Gulf Road) and sticking your head out the car window (or sunroof) and waving a flag. Or decorating your car/pickup like you're in a parade. Up until this year, you could also shoot silly string or shaving cream at people but they've put a stop to that (bummer, it always seemed harmless to me). We walked home last night along the Gulf Road and I was the crazy photographer running up to people and taking pictures. It was quite entertaining.

Kuwaiti Kuties

One thing for sure-- Kuwait Children are Darling! Here's a couple of recent pics from the Celebration event.

Operation Bird Poop

David and I participated in an attempt to set a Guiness Book of World Records for the most doves released. It was successful (over 5000 were released at one time). It was definately an...interesting event. Here's a few of the pictures. Our yacht is just offshore waiting to take us back home ;-)
The crew from AIS: the brave and mighty.

One of our owners on left who was involved in the effort, the produced and the Official guy from the Guiness Book. It's official!

A few of the 5000 doves (pigeons) that were in the air at the time.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rock On Kuwait!

This weekend, Kuwait is celebrating the 50/20/5 which is the 50th year of Independence, the 20th year anniversary of the Liberation and the 5th year of the current Amir's reign. David and I hope to get out and see a few of the activities. We'll keep you posted.

Our Chance to Make History

During the occasion of Kuwait's National day Golden Jubilee, 20 years since Liberation and 5 years for HRH The Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah. Al-Sayer Group will extend a message of peace from Kuwait to the world and place Kuwait in the Guinness book of records.An historical event when the world will witness the releasing of 5000 doves into the sky at Marina Crescent on February 24, 2011 at 3.30PM and fireworks in the evening.

David and I will be a part of the Dove Release team along with our AIS colleagues. Will give you more details after the event!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Family Matters"

All of these beautiful people I consider family. However, some of them aren't related to me by blood, others are related by blood but I've never met them. Living away from blood family (except my spouse and daughter) makes me lonesome for my real family. Which is sort of odd because they actually live in Angola, Alaska, North Dakota, Minnesota, England, Colorado, Wyoming,New Hampshire so it's not like I see them daily.
Recently I was blessed with the birth of my 7th great nephew. This brings my GREAT AUNTI status to: 3 Nephews , 6 Nieces , 9 Great Nieces , 7 Great Nephews , 9 Great-Great Nieces and 5 Great-Great Nephews.
As mentioned, there are a couple in this batch that I've never seen but I hope to remedy that this summer.
I am also aquiring quite a lil group of honor neices and nephews here in the desert. They keep me smiling and fill the aunti urge for the moment. Some are pictured here too. The other day one of the moms said "if there's a baby present, Nadine is there". Guilty as charged.
My blood family has started a chain letter email attempting to keep in touch even if a short sentence or two about life. We don't have family reunions very often. Much like other families, we dont' gather unless someone dies ...sad isn't it? But the love is still there.
SO to all family --blood and sand, I love you and am proud of you! Cheers from your favorite aunti :-)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Phellow Phantastic Photographers

DU in Petra

DU in Petra

DU in Petra

Here's a couple shots NOT taken by me but I think they are pretty darn PHANTASTIC! Thanks to ME and DU for posting these on your facebook. Coffee comin' your way soon for letting me "snark" these photos for KKDTM.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm 18 NOW!

So who remembers what it was like to be 18? Thinking that you'd finally achieved adulthood? Thinking that you could do ANYTHING you pleased because, well, BECAUSE? Thinking that life was all about you, you, you? I know I did...and the lil apple I raised didn't fall very fall from the tree. She's an adult now (as I've been reminded at least three times this week). We raised this monster (which I say in all kindness and love); we raised this girl to be independent, fiesty, challenging, interesting. We've definately got what we deserved. I DO remember what it's like to be 18 and for that, I applaud my daughter's spirit.
Now, where's an asprin so I can deal with the headaches that come with that?
In case you're wondering what sort of awful mother would say these things about their child, this is mostly said in jest. I'm not really mad at my wonder child. Just ah shaking my head in awe. I really wouldn't have her any other way. I'm also slowly recognizing that it's pretty much out of my control. The Amazing A in Amsterdam (above) and Amman.

It's Good to Have Friends who have Friends

Today I was invited to a farewell bbq for a friend who is leaving. It was at a beautiful home with even lovelier people. It was nice to see how the other half lives and eats. I think I'm going to have a food hangover tomorrow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait: Two Thumbs up!!

Photos and information courtesy of the Tareq Rajab museum. Tell your Kuwaiti taxidriver to take you to Jabriya, Block 12. Well worth the 2 KD charge! Plan to spend more than one hour.

The Tareq Rajab Museum houses a collection of over thirty thousand items collected over the last fifty years, of which approximately ten thousand are on permanent display. Tareq Sayed Rajab was the first Kuwaiti to be sent abroad to study art and archaeology. While a student in the United Kingdom, he met his future wife, Jehan Wellborne, who from her childhood was interested in folklore and particularly the arts and life of exotic peoples and minorities. They got married in 1955 and after their return to Kuwait; Mr. Rajab was appointed as the first Director of the Department of Antiquities and Museums of Kuwait. He resigned from his post in 1969 and together with his wife opened the New English School for Kuwaiti and foreign children. By then they were already involved in collecting material for a future Museum of their own. They travelled all over the Islamic world and beyond to Central and South-East Asia and the Far East, collecting artefacts and photographing monuments, peoples, their customs, everything they believed could be used and exhibited in a museum. As a result of their hard work and research, they were able to open the Museum to the public in 1980.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Random Sightings

So if President Obama comes to Kuwait, he'll know just where to get his hair done!
NOTE: In case I haven't mentioned it, barbershops/hair styling places are interchangeably called "Salons/Saloons". I don't laugh anymore because I know they speak English here better than I speak Arabic!

Insider's view

The Bread Man at the Iranian Bread bakery in the Old Souk. The waiter (below) insisted that I take a photo of how the bread was made. As you can see, the dough guy was more than willing to pose. Today my friend CR and I were the only women in this part of the Old Souk restaurant around noon. The waiter, a very friendly chap, took good care of us and was willing to pose for a final shot. As CR says, "As long as we've got plastic on the table, it's a good day."
The meal included two lettuce salads, iranian bread (see above), hummus (probably the best i've had in Q8) and a wonderful lamb/rice dish.
We were also given an insider's look at how carpets were repaired when we wandered by this carpet show and watched a young man seeming to "paint" a carpet. When asked, we were told that he was "applying medicine to the carpet" (cleaning it). The owner then asked us inside his shop, which we thought FOR SURE we were going to be given the "but for you I have a special price on this carpet" speech. Instead, he wanted to make sure I also took a picture of the young man sewing on this carpet.

It was a good day to have a camera in Kuwait!!

Let the Celebrations Begin!

Cutey patootie during AIS National Sing The Anthem day a week ago. All schools in Kuwait were requested to stop all of school and sing the National Anthem of Kuwait to commemorate the beginning of the month of celebration. Not so odd if you think about the fact that many schools in the US regularily say the Pledge to Allegiance.
As you probably guessed, the colors of Kuwait's flag are red, white, green and black. You can buy ALMOST anything with these colors on it, as this pictures details.

The bigger, the better when it comes to displaying your flag.

On February 25 and 26, Kuwait is celebrating the 50th year of their Independence (from England); the 20th year of the liberation (thank you US) and the 5th year of the reign of the Emir Jaber Al-Ahmed Al -Jaber Al -Sabah. So there's a lot to be happy about!! In addition in two weeks, we will be celebrating the Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) birthday (which was moved from Tuesday to Thursday in order to properly celebrate) We've been given three extra days off from school. I guess you could say it's the equivalent of celebrating 4th of July, Armistice Day, President's Day and Christmas all at once!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Today I Wish..

Golden Days for my daughter
Fields to Frolic
and a lamp for a 1000 more wishes
Happy 18th Birthday Anna Leigh
I wouldn't trade you for all the dinar in the Gulf
(I'm sure this heart-felt message is on a greeting card somewhere in the Middle East!)