Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

What I'll miss about living in Kuwait:

- The Australian carrots:

 Man do I love these carrots. In fact, our whole family does. I fill and purchase a huge bag of them nearly every time I grocery shop because we just tear through them. 
I feel like all future carrots will be a disappointment to me.

- The freedom to walk to so many things:

Multiple grocery stores, H&M, several coffee shops, two different movie theaters, dozens of restaurants, two different parks, the beach, - pretty much any time of the day.
I realize some of this is based on our home's location, and if we were to have an apartment in downtown Portland, it'd likely be similar. 
But here, I can go out at 11pm, by myself, walking, and feel totally safe.
Also, eight months of the year, I can enjoy wonderful weather as I do so. One evening in the very end of November, I walked to the grocery store at 7:30pm, wearing just a lightweight zip up hoodie for warmth. 

- The view from our living room:

To be able to see the Persian Gulf from our apartment? Amazing.

- Talabat:

Okay, so we really haven't taken advantage of this amazing service as much as we could have, but I've loved knowing it's available! 
Our apartment has proved challenging for delivery drivers to find, so it just rarely feels worth the frustration of trying to give directions over crappy cellphones with a language barrier, but we do have Pizza Express deliver on the regular, and KFC has no trouble finding us either =). 
Plus if I'm honest, it's just cool knowing I could have Krispy Kreme bring me donuts right to my front door at 1am if I wanted.

Also, both Sultan Center and Saveco will deliver groceries to our door as well. 

- Having the bakala right downstairs:

It's tiny - like, claustrophobic tiny - but it sure is handy. 

Need toilet paper? Right downstairs. Need laundry detergent? Right downstairs. I have a super bad habit of starting to cook a meal and then once I'm knee deep into the process, realizing I am lacking in a key ingredient. Recently Dave was headed to the grocery store and I asked him to pick up meatballs so I could make spaghetti for dinner the following evening. The next night I opened the freezer to pull out the meatballs, only to see we already had a bag in addition to the one David purchased. Huh, well, no problem. I got them started cooking and the water boiling for the noodles, only to learn we didn't have any spaghetti noodles. Oops. Well I figured I could run downstairs and big up a package. When the meatballs were finished sauteing, I went to add the sauce to the pan, I learned we were also out of spaghetti sauce. 
That's right. I asked David to pick up the one thing we already had, and neglected to ask him to get the ingredients we actually needed. This is just so Classic Kendra I can't even begin to tell you. 

- The swimming pool:

Having a pool downstairs has been AWESOME for our family!! We've made use of that thing pretty much any time the weather allows us too. It's been a huge blessing, as it's provided an opportunity for our kids (and us!) to get some exercise and burn some energy, even without having a yard to do so! 

We're there so often that our kids have actually learned to swim here in Kuwait. When we came here, they needed puddle jumpers, and even then they'd only jump in if you were there to catch them. Now, just this very morning, we went swimming and the boy dove into the pool before the rest of us even had our shoes off. 

 - The nightlife:

I love that Kuwait is hopping until 1am every night of the week. 

- Our neighbors:

Apartment living is often far from ideal in regards to privacy or quiet, but in our case the upside is it afforded built in playmates right next door. We recently had a "goodbye party" with our neighbors and our friends from the 4th floor in our building, and everyone had such a great time!

- The food:

So many fantastic places to eat around here. From fancy restaurants to the tastiest street vendors in all the of the land. Our favorite is this place...

This is the equivalent to Muchas up, honk your horn, order chicken swharma burritos, extra garlic, take home and devour...


- The travel opportunities:

Being from the Pacific Northwest, it's challenging (that's a polite way of saying expensive and grueling) to cross either the entire Pacific Ocean or the entire United States. Living in Kuwait has allowed us to easily travel to so many different destinations. We've seen Bahrain, Oman, Sri Lanka, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. David also traveled to Cambodia. All in 22 months of living here! 
And before we land back in PDX, we will have visited France, Amsterdam, and Iceland.

- The expat community:

Kuwait is a melting pot of expats. There are far more expats here than Kuwaitis, and there is (most of the time) a quick camaraderie among everyone as we're all here - away from home - without extended family. 

Being exposed to so much culture:

I love that we are daily exposed to people from all over the globe. Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, India, South Africa, England, Canada, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Germany...the list goes on.
The kids and I were at a playdate last summer and throughout two hours time we heard families speaking Afrikaans, German, Spanish, Arabic, and Tagalog. 

I had a Kuwaiti friend teach me the ins and outs of Shisha the other night at dinner...

 I did it the regular way, but also with ice as well, because I am awesome here.

The quote at the top of the blog from David Sedaris talks about living abroad transforming you into a citizen of the world, and while I don't quite feel comfortable claiming such a title, I feel closer than I ever have before =). 
I've been paying close attention to all the latest news regarding the Gulf Nations separating from Qatar, which is something that likely wouldn't have caught my eye three years ago. 
When I heard about the recent rain slides wreaked havoc in Sri Lanka, my heart sank to see the wreckage in areas we'd actually visited, and I worried about our Sri Lankan friends here in Kuwait who still have family members back there. 

I feel like we've been able to instill the truth in our children that different isn't necessarily wrong, and that means more to me than gold. 

- The family bond:

David created a little book for our family last week...

...and not only did I fall crazy in love with him all over again, but I got all emotional thinking about what a beautiful experience this whole journey has been for our family of four. Through good, bad, challenging, and delightful; the four of us have made it through, as a team.

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