Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

One week in...aka 'learning to use a bidet'

We tagged along with David to work today so we could use unlimited, fast internet on a computer with a REAL keyboard. 

Yesterday marked one week here in Kuwait. It's getting better each day =).  We really like our's very large, and it has a view of the ocean, which is so lovely.  We have a pool in the building here, and we've swam just about every evening, much to L&A's delight ;). The college David is working for furnished the apartment for us, and now we're just filling in the they bought us one towel. One. But I don't mean to complain because they did such a great job in so many ways! The couches still had tags on them, the bedding all still in packages, brand new box of pots and pans, etc. 

If I had to sum up our first few day & nights here, it would be Hard. We were (are) jet lagged, and still have colds. (ya know how there are always those annoying people on planes coughing horribly into the recycled air? That was our family...sorry to our fellow passengers! It could not be helped.) We were all very off on our sleep and our first afternoon here I came down with a nasty fever and spent hours on the couch in a fevery dream stupor. Not awesome. The most upsetting part was I dreamt I got a bunch of unpacking done, only to finally wake and learn I had not. Boo.

The second evening here I kinda hit a wall emotionally (and by "kinda" I mean I ran smack dab into it with full force) It reminded me of when I had my postpartum visit after the twins, saying to my doctor through tears "I think I have postpartum depression!" and she was like "you are tired. Exhausted. And so you have zero coping skills." That was me that night. I had zero coping skills. I sat on our couch and read a letter one of my best friends wrote for me to open when we arrived in it, she called me brave, and with that the dam burst and I just sat on the couch and cried. Brave was the LAST thing I felt. Tired, weak, scared, isolated, doubtful....those things for sure, but brave? Not in the slightest.

And I would have kicked a puppy to be able to time travel back home and be able to hug her and talk with her in person. 

(I'm a animal lover...just being honest)

But each day - with more sleep and slowly (FOR THE LOVE, SO slowly) recovering from our colds - we are getting our bearings more and more. 

When the twins were infants, and sleep deprivation was at it's height (nursing every three hours, which took 90 minutes each time, so sleeping in 90 minute chunks only) I had to remind myself that feelings are fickle and can't always be trusted. Normally, I am a person led by my heart and therefor by my feelings...which I think is mostly a good thing ;)...but in times of exhaustion, or illness, or time-zone change, or all three, I have to rely on only my head to remind me of what is true. I had memorized Psalms 91 when I was pregnant with the twins and would practice reciting it from memory anytime I felt myself overcome with fear that I was going to lose them or that they were going to come too early. 
(I don't mean that in a "Name It and Claim It" kind of way, because I don't believe that to be the Gospel, but I wanted a way to take my anxious thoughts captive and reset them on what I believed to be the truth)
I've been working on memorizing it again =).

We are here, we are (mostly) healthy, we are together and we are blessed.  
All truth.

Each day we've made our apartment a little bit more home (thank you Ikea!) and each day we're getting our sleep a little more sorted out. Yesterday was the first day I didn't have to ask myself "if everyone is up at three am, what time do I serve lunch?" So. That's a good step.

We've met a few other people from our building, and everyone we've met has been SO INCREDIBLY KIND. We met a family from Lebanon at the pool one evening, and they've lived here a few years and had tons of helpful information for us...where is the best place to grocery shop, best restaurants in our district, etc. The mom even asked if our daughter would like to start ballet classes with her six year old daughter later this month! 

The other tenants on our floor (only two apartments per floor) are from Jordan, and are a family with four kids. They have 10 year old boy/girl twins (!!!) a six year old, and what the mom keeps telling me is a one year old, but something must be lost in translation because she seems about three to us =). They have a really cool pedal scooter and a little bike, and they love to play in the entry way between our apartments. The mom, Reem, has told me we are welcome to play with anything out there. She is the sweetest, and the first day I met her I asked if I could hug her =). I love that about Motherhood. It's the great equalizer, and it can unify two women from different corners of the World who only understand about 70% of what they are saying to each other. She told me to knock on her door at any time, any hour, to ask for anything. 

We have two small markets directly next to our building, so we can pop in there for any little things we need, and a larger (but still small, if that makes sense) market a short walk away. We've taken cabs to the Sultan Center (like a Target with full groceries) as well. Our daughter even hailed a cab herself =). Our district is really safe (we've sensed that, and it's been confirmed to us by several people in and outside our district) and we're learning new things about our area each day. We took a cab over to the Avenues Mall yesterday and we're instantly overwhelmed! There are several malls closer to us, but we needed Ikea and wanted to see The Avenues for ourselves =). Everything is in English and Arabic, and so it's been fairly easy to find what we need. Nearly everyone speaks English as well, even if only a little, it's usually enough to communicate our needs. 

The kids are adjusting really, really well to their new surroundings. They played out in the entryway with the neighbor kids for hours yesterday afternoon and had so much fun. They've seen a lot of new things, and have really taken it in stride. I have a twin-momma friend who is currently in Malaysia with kids only slightly older than ours, and she has been a wealth of information. She and her husband agreed to not say "weird" or "wrong" and instead say "different" or "interesting" when their kids point out some crazy things they may see =). I love that, and we've adopted that as well.

We're hopeful we'll have the internet up and working in our apartment soon, as it's really thrown us for a loop not having it working upon arrival as expected. When that happens I'll be able to upload and post pictures! I want to show our families and friends our apartment and our new city, and of course our cute kids =).

Ok- gotta let my husband have the computer for actual work purposes now =). Hope to be in touch again soon. Please forgive my lack of correspondence on gmail and other things, our older, knock off tablet that is (kind of) working has a cursor that is possessed and moves on it's own, and has been our only source of internet thus far.

Oh- and also, we have bidets here. The twins think this is the COOLEST THING EVER.

So much love to everyone from Kuwait!!


  1. Thank you for posting. I read every word about 10 times...somehow makes me feel closer. You are a great writer. Excited to see pictures. LOVE YOU!!

  2. Eeek, yes, thank you for posting. I know you are exhausted and overwhelmed and tired and overwhelmed and trying to get settled in and help your family adjust and trying to recover from being sick, and all that. I agree with Mom, reading the post makes me feel closer to you. I have traveled all over and dealt with jetlag and language difficulties and all, but never as THE MOM who was supposed to help everyone settle in and get comfortable and be strong. You ARE brave. And I'm so glad you are making wonderful mommy friends. Much love, Amanda

  3. Kendra! I tried to post a (very witty) comment at least 3 times this morning on the max, to no avail. I don't want to spread any rumors, but I think your blog has a mean-girl complex against me. Which is ridiculous, of course, because I DON'T EVEN HAVE A BLOG ANYMORE SO GET OVER IT, GEEZ!!

    But seriously though - I loved this post. Justin and I have been praying fiercely for your family, especially for your physical health as this plague is no joke. I can't wait for pictures. I'm so proud of you for feeling your feelings, even if they seem irrational at the time. Get 'em out, sister. And then pull your hair in a messy bun, slam some coffee, bust out some gangster rap, and deal with it. You are a boss.

    Also, if it's any consolation, I'm signing for your house tomorrow afternoon. They are sending a mobile notary to my office. Like some kind of freaking fancy pants or something. I even reserved the conference room just for the event.



  4. Also, I just checked out the link to that absurdly gihugic mall, whose tag line is "everything that anyone has EVER WANTED in a lifestyle destination."

    Umm...Hello Kitty Beauty Spa? Yes please.

  5. Dear Kendra! I love hearing about your experiences so far!! You ARE brave! Just think of it as a master class in personal growth, faith, and preserverance for you and your family. Remember when you said, "I can do anything for two years!"

    Then I just have to say, as much as I enjoy your posts Kendra, I so enjoy reading what Natalie has to say! 😄 Natalie, I don't know you, but you totally crack me up!

  6. Dun dun dun..the case of the unknown blogger. I'm soooooo bad at technology, I can't even identify myself!

  7. Love love love this. Keep it coming, as you can :) We're eating it up over here.

  8. I'm really enjoying reading your blog and looking forward to future posts!

    And also looking forward to your return so we can actually have a chance to hang out sometime. It was fun to get to know you a little bit while we waited for Callen's arrival, and I was thinking, "gosh, how awesome that Amy has this cool friend, I should steal her to be my friend, too, and bonus points because I can add to my collection of friends that have boy/girl twins." And then you mentioned that you were about to move *literally* halfway around the world. Gack.

    But seriously, very excited for you and your family.