Well I’m finally here!
I have successfully moved to the Middle East. That still sounds a bit surreal but day 4 has come and gone of my Kuwaiti adventure and bit by bit I am adjusting to my new home. With not quite a week under my belt, the only real excursion (other than a bunch of shopping trips) was a visit to the science center. Interestly enough it was a lot like the science centers in the U.S.
It did not take long, however, for me to realize a few significant things about my new home:
- It is insanely hot here. Now listen, everyone that grows up in a warm climate thinks they have a good handle on what a hot summer feels like. Floridians, Arizonians, etc. I grew up in Alabama and it gets pretty damn hot in the summer there (plus very humid). I’ve lived in Taiwan where it was slightly hotter than Alabama for even a longer period of time. I’ve travelled to Malaysia where at Christmas time it was impossible for wet towels to get dry because of the humidity. I really, honestly thought I knew what hot felt like. Until now. Now I know that most of the places I’ve mentioned (maybe minus Arizona) has no clue what hot weather feels like. Kuwait in August makes Florida seem like L.A. in the winter. Kuwait is like no other type of heat I have ever felt in my life. You know when the campfire gets too big and everyone has to back up before their face melts? You know when you stick your face too close to the oven as you open it to check on something you have been baking for an hour? That is Kuwait. Relentless, dangerous, breath-taking heat.
- The people are as warm as the weather. I’ve traveled to Doha thrice and had some real positive experiences with the people. But honestly most of them were Indians, Africans and Filipinos. I’m not even sure how many Qatari people I have actually met! I’ve already met many local Kuwaiti people from my neighborhood of Hawalli and their welcome has rivaled any Southerner I have known. They are happy, kindhearted and willing to serve your every need. Even if it’s to unload a huge truck of groceries, furniture, appliances, etc. in the 121 degree heat. True story.
- My school is a family. I just teared up while typing those words. If I had any worry of feeling like a didn’t belong at my new school. If I feared the possibility of making new friends and embracing them as a new family. Those fears quickly dissipated within hours of landing in Kuwait City. The ENTIRE admin team were at the airport to greet us with snacks, water, our moving in allowance (around $1,000 USD) and a welcome packet with everything we need to know about our first week in the country. I didn’t arrive to my apartment building until nearly 2:00 am but there to greet me were my building hosts. A Scottish couple (she is due with her first child in two weeks) who have taught here for the last couple of years. That same couple had all of the new hires within our building over for dinner after our first full day here in Kuwait. I could go on and on but A. I don’t want to make you too jealous if you are a school teacher in America and B. My jet lag is kicking in so I need to hurry this blog up!
There are some other funny and cool observations that I have been able to make over the last few days like a biscuit is not a delicious breakfast food it is a mobile internet router and other such things. But I have plenty of time to add to my list and report my findings here.
Around the time the moon was fully blotting out the sun in Nashville, TN (my American home) I was eating Johnny Rockets by the Marina with a few of my new friends from school. I was explaining to them (one from Texas, one from Idaho and one from Toronto, Canada) that oddly enough Nashville was the prime spot in all of North America to take in the solar eclipse. That people were flocking there from all over the world to see it. That people were renting their couch for literally thousands of dollars! But then I told them that even though it would be awesome to see the eclipse from Nashville, that I was grateful to be with them experiencing my new beginning.
I thank God for bringing me here. I am grateful that through recovery I can come here with a healthy and full heart. I am thankful that the real eclipse in my life is Him blotting out my disease and allowing my life to shine as bright as the desert sun.
And trust me, that is mighty bright.