In the window between winter break and spring break, the “slums” of the winter months is pretty much universal. (In the northern hemisphere at least!) Everyone in Kuwait described February as being the most difficult month to make it through; tests, reporting periods, no traveling, and rainy days are no fun in any country. However, I hope I don’t stand alone when I say that February was an *amazing* month! I thoroughly enjoyed this past month even if we didn’t travel anywhere outside of the country. I had the opportunity of accompanying my sixth-graders on a field trip, celebrating a friend’s birthday, and sharing the joy of a new addition of our friends Megan and Andrew, who recently adopted (they claim they are only ‘fostering’) a new puppy! (Puppy is not quite accurate; as you will see it is a one-year old German Shepard, but it’s demeanor and appearance still feel very ‘puppy-like’ to me.)
I also began attending Zumba classes, offered by a friend of mine, Sharon. What is Zumba? It’s a high-intensity workout to contemporary Latin and hip hop music. If I can’t dance in public in Kuwait, then I will join a dance class! I have been loving Zumba—it’s everything I want in a workout and is really motivating. I forgot how much I truly do love to dance 🙂 If you are unfamiliar with Zumba, look it up on Google. I think you will be fairly surprised!
Sean and I have also been attending game nights frequently with a few of our friends. We have found other cribbage aficionados here in Kuwait! I had quite the victory yesterday in a four-player game with friends; it helped make Kuwait feel even more like home.
My sixth graders went on a field trip in the beginning of the month to the National Museum, the planetarium, and the Sadu house. The Sadu house is a unique cultural display of the weaving of the Bedouin people. Sean and I were so focused on snapping cute pictures of our students that we didn’t make time to photograph any of the weaving! I’d like to show you a few pictures from the field trip, so you can get an idea of what our students are like, where we took our field trip, and what a day in the life of Mr. Miller and Mrs. Kriege is like! In the below photos I have specifically not shown any students’ faces for privacy reasons, but I hope you can still get the feel for how lucky Sean and I are!
Here I am, on the left, with my students as they are about to watch a video on weaving at the Sadu house. We have uniforms at our school, as you can see. Also, notice how WELL BEHAVED our students are! By the end of the field trip I might have said something different, but all things considered they are wonderful students and very well mannered. The Sadu house is free and open to the public. If you are interested in weaving and textiles, it is a wonderful place to visit. I think the main thing my students got out of it is that there was a cool video of camels, and a Diwaniya they could sit in. (A socializing room predominantly used by men in traditional culture, but open to everyone in the museum.) It was very educational nonetheless.
While we were waiting for the planetarium, we took a little bit of time exploring one of the dhows. If you have read my earlier posts then you will be familiar with the dhow, but to those of you who are new to Aloha Kuwait, a dhow is a traditional Arab sailing ship. They were used for many things from pearling, fishing, transporting fresh water, and transportation. You do still see dhows in the harbor along the gulf, which I find absolutely fascinating!
Here we are approaching the planetarium. It was a cute half-hour presentation on the solar system. The students really enjoyed it! The planetarium is also open to the public, but is not very well advertised. I wish more people knew about such resources in Kuwait!
After we toured the museum and planetarium, it was lunch time. We took the buses to a nearby park where the students relaxed for half an hour. I could have stayed there all day!
Yes, there is Valentine’s Day even in Kuwait! Although our Student Leadership Council (SLC) calls this project “Friendship Flowers”, which you can buy for 1 KD on Valentine’s Day to give to someone. This is Sean’s classroom where he placed the flowers on his eighth grade students’ desks before they came in. Notice how the desk in the foreground has FIVE flowers on it! Someone clearly has quite a fan base!
This is THE highlight of my month—Megan and Andrew’s new member of the family, ‘Bella’. They are fostering Bella until she finds a forever home, but they fear she will become too dear to give up. She was found on the streets of Kuwait, but has all of her shots. She is microchipped, but without an owner’s name on the microchip, which I don’t understand at all. She also is very clean and fit; no fleas. She is underfed, but is amazingly well behaved. She doesn’t jump up on people, doesn’t bark, doesn’t beg at the dinner table. She sleeps on the doggie bed, too. I have deduced that at one point she had pretty caring, disciplined owners, but no one will ever know. If only dogs could talk…
She is so precious! It makes me want a dog… but it is quite the commitment when you’re living internationally…
Lastly, we went to a birthday party this last weekend for our friend, France. She is French-Canadian and turned 25. I jumped at the opportunity to bake her a birthday cake, which turned out surprisingly well. Everyone loves cake on their birthday 🙂 A good time was had by all.
At this point I must bid you, dear reader, farewell until my next post. I hope you enjoyed learning about the not-so-frumpy-February 🙂 We are off to Sri Lanka in March, but who knows what adventures we may have before then! Stay tuned!