Sunday, June 26, 2011

Felez Cumplanos/Happy Birthday

Today we were invited to a birthday celebration for the neice and nephew of one of our soccer son's. It was a great Mexican celebration complete with great homemade food (tamales, rice, beans) and a great Pinata-smashing celebration.  This was a great example of what Pelican Rapids is all addition to us, there were Bosnian families in attendance also. Thank you Escobar/Diaz families for continuing to welcome us into your celebrations. 

What Do I Miss About Kuwait when I'm Gone?

The other night at Dinner, my friend Jo asked what I miss about Kuwait. I had to really think..hard...because everything I need and want is supplied to me in North America so I really don't miss anything. As far as missing friends, if I were in Kuwait, our friends wouldn't be there anyway as they are travelling far and wide working on replenishing their souls, same as us.
But I do miss my cat, so here is a picture of Germo. Hopefully he is watching over the apartment and keeping all things in control (with the help of Mali, the wonderful maid).

Here's an update of our first two weeks back in MN

**Friendship Festival 14: It was a great celebration of all the cultures in PR. Having moved away and experienced living in another culture myself, I can appreciate and applaud the importance of everyone's culture being recognized.
**Catching up with the Fam: I have a large family as I have stated before on this blog. I've been in contact with most of them and have managed to see many blood relatives (and others that I consider family too!) It's good to see that, for now at least, all are well and happy.
**Purchased an IPAD: Now I know this sounds awfully superficial (I don't live in Kuwait for nothing ;-)!! But this little machine has really been a lot of fun in learning. Although I can't download pictures for the blog, so you won't be getting that somewhat pretencious message ("sent from my ipad") on this message.
**Circle of Life: MJ, a very vivacious and prominent member of the Pelican Rapids community passed away last week. Her funeral and celebration of life POTLUCK (love this idea!) was yesterday. It was "good" to be able to be present for that event, yet I didn't want to be there anymore than the other 300+ people who were mourning her passing. A true example of someone who loves life and shares her passion. RIP Lady
**Getting things in the water: Cabin ownership comes with responsibilities that include cleaning up the mouse turds (not many), opening up the windows, airing out the bedding AND (my favorite!) putting the docks and watercraft in the water. Since we only do these things once a year, sometimes we forget how to do things or what NOT to do. Ask David sometime about how he shouldn't leave on the hot water switch when there isn't any water in the tank.
Oops. Oh well, we do our best to support our local plummer.
**Coffee, Laughter and More Coffee: Again this summer, I've done my best to keep the local coffee shop in business. You know it's bad when I start getting phone calls there (the owners refer to it as my "summer office"). But sitting on the deck, laughing with friends, catching up, trying to solve the world's problems, it's just a part of the summer ritual.
**And the FUN continues: Okay, I just received a hollar (the normal way of communicating here) from David that indicates I need to be outside and help with some sort of maintence issues. Usually that means I supervise while he does the work, but it's good to know that I'm needed.
Such is the Life...and the Life is GOOD!!
PS To Uncle Doug...get up here soon. We Miss you!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Why I love summer and life in PR

Just tilt your head to the left and you'll get a good idea of the great times we have on the deck. I know, I was supposed to make this straight for you to see, but I decided that it's sorta cool on it's side.

Dinners on the Deck at Riverside Cafe with my FAVORITE people are what make our summer's very special.
 And of course, there's the sunsets on Lake Lida..AH LIFE IS GOOD
(I am still pinching myself, I'm afraid i'm going to wake up and I'll be back in the desert!)

Makin' it Through

I didn't say much about Anna's graduation..well, not as much as I wanted to say. I guess I'm still a little choked up at the thought of my baby graduating and moving on in the world. I will say this...if it wasn't for JJS and Spud (pictured below)..I know I would have been in a lot worse shape. So, here's to you both for being there. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. ILY

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oh no I will never have a life with humans again!

Thanks to friend ay from Kuwait I am learning how to blog on my new iPad . My life will never be the same. Don't tell my husband .....


Monday, June 20, 2011

My Wish for my Children

 The world is yours my flesh and blood. And if you screw it up, which you will at least once, know that we're here. And if we're not, we'll leave a message ;-) LOVE YOU

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Studs Terkel's Working - Fathers And Sons

This is for my daddy and all daddies. Hope you have a great day!

IFF 14 Continued

 The CREW who put IFF together...a talented, tireless group of volunteers.
 Fan Dance on the stage at IFF
Me after my final stint as MC for the event...all smiles!

Scenes from IFF 14..Saving the best for last

The International Friendship Festival in Pelican Rapids has been a highlight of this multi-cultural community for the past fourteen years. Americans-Bosnians-Somalians-Hispanics-etc etc join together for one great day of celebrating Friendship and Community. This is the last year (unless someone else picks it up from the current Multi Cultural committee) for this event. I personally think it was the BEST!

Pelican Rapids Sure can make you feel at HOME

Kuwait City
home for 10 months

Pelican Rapids HOME

Having been on Minnesota soil for one week, I am feeling rested and relaxed. I can't even find the words to explain how nice/calming/wonderful/amazing it is to have people greet us on the streets of PR with words like "welcome home..when are you coming back...we missed's great to see you..." etc

It's like we never left.

Years ago there was a commercial jingle written with the saying above (title of this entry). They weren't a kiddin'...we feel VERY MUCH at home.

Nadine and David

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Brown Family Invites You

To a Party 
Celebrating the Achievements of our Children:
Ben's graduation from Alexandria Technical Institute with a degree in Criminal Justice and 
Anna's graduation from American International School of Kuwait
Saturday July 30th
Brown Family Cabin on Lake Lida
noon onward

Monday, June 13, 2011

When I woke up in the mornin', what did I see?

We stayed at Brother Peter's house our first night home...partially because we wanted to catch up with him and partly because we wanted to wake up in a place where there was water (the cabin takes a little bit of prep). Peter's beautiful home is a sacred space for us as there are lots of memories there plus it's just plan beautiful. Due to Jet Lag and my overall excitement at being home, I woke up at 5 am and so walked out to greet the morning. I wasn't disappointed with the response.

This has a very special significance for me. Five years ago when Peter's wife, the lovely Lo, passed away, we were all searching for a sign that things were "going to be all right". Their wedding anniversary was 15 days after she died and on that day, we were treated with a magnificent rainbow over the property. This morning, I was treated to another greeting from Lo.

Flying Home: sunrise on the way to Frankfurt

We call it the Freedom Flight...the flight that we take from Kuwait to Frankfurt, then to a destination in the US (for us it's Chicago) and then to our final location (Fargo). It takes 26 hours of flying and waiting in airports. It's all worth it in the end...because, well, you're home!

Flying Home: Babes on the plane

This is Baby Charlie's first flight. Mom and Dad were superb flyers. I will miss them as they return to Can-ah-da to be with family. Sigh!
This little darlin' was my seat mate. She speaks about as much English as I can Arabic,
but we got along just fine.

News from the Gulf

Death upheld for Kuwait woman for wedding carnage

Death upheld for Kuwait woman for wedding carnage AFP/File – The Justice Palace in Kuwait City, 2005. Kuwait's supreme court upheld a woman's death sentence …
KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Kuwait's supreme court on Sunday upheld a woman's death sentence for setting ablaze her husband's wedding tent, killing 57 women and children.
Nasra Yussef Mohammed al-Enezi, 24, was condemned to death by a lower and appeals courts for the apparent act of revenge against her husband for taking a second wife.
Under Islamic laws, men in Kuwait can take up to four wives at a time.
The ruling against Enezi is final unless the emir commutes the sentence to a life term. Death sentences in the oil-rich Gulf state are carried out by hanging.
Enezi, who has two mentally-ill children from her husband, denied the charges throughout the trial and her defence lawyers argued there was no material evidence to convict her.
The August 15, 2009 inferno engulfed the women-and-children-only tent in minutes and triggered a stampede. The final death toll was 57, including Saudis and stateless Arabs.
If Enezi is hanged, she would be the first Kuwaiti woman to be executed in the Gulf state's history. Three foreign women have been hanged.
Kuwait has executed a total of 72 people since it introduced the death penalty some four decades ago. Most of those condemned have been convicted murderers or drug traffickers.
The last execution in the emirate dates back to mid-2007 although dozens of convicts are on death row.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A lovely evening on the Arabian Gulf

As a farewell gift to DU for giving me fabulous clothes (she's pictured below) AND as a treat for friend SH and JJS who is still partying with us in Kuwait, we went on a Dhow Dinner cruise last evening. It was fabulous, relaxing and the food was top notch. Although it was a bit dusty (after all, TIK...this is Kuwait!), it was a great way to spend a final evening. Permission granted to come aboard.

Imagine sailing on the "ocean", looking up at the moon and star
(no that wasn't a typo, we really could only see one star). It was a bit hazy due to the dust, and okay the air was still like being blasted in a furnace (record high of 53 yesterday...which is about 125!) was a great time!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

For One Brief Shining Moment all is right in the world...

We have visitors from North America. Our son Ben and long time friend Jim have come to help us celebrate Anna's graduation. We've had a great time showing them "our" town. Here we are shopping in the Avenues Mall and enjoying the sites of the Old Souk. Humdullah!