It’s raining here in Kuwait. Actually, torrential downpour is much more accurate. The rain isn’t really much more than what we’d see back home in North America during the Autumn or Spring seasons, but Kuwait simply doesn’t have the sewage systems and infrastructure to deal with the amount of rain we’ve been getting – probably because this type of rain is very rare in this region of the world.
Our bus home took a major detour yesterday (our 30-35 minute commute took 2 and a half hours) through parts of Kuwait that I hadn’t yet seen. Typically we drive down the highway straight to our neighborhood in Mahboula, but after giving that a try for just under an hour, our bus driver abandoned our regular route and opted for the Gulf Road instead (a road that boarders the beach). The poor weather conditions made for very rough traffic. What’s more is that the African-Arab Summit is being held this week. This means that many of the major roads have been shut down or blocked off for the dignitary visitors. So, the commute home from work was painful yesterday.
I’ve witnessed some bizarre happenings since the rain first fell. The Avenues – the massive mall that is literally endless – flooded and the drain pipes were acting like geysers, Kuwaitis had tied inner tubes to their SUVs and were “tubing” along down flooded streets, the football field at our school is nestled under at least a foot of water, and many of my friends and colleagues experienced extended periods without power.
I haven’t written in far too long. I’m forcing myself to write today. I am forcing myself to write for the catharsis. I’m forcing myself to write because I simply have to get out onto paper what I have been keeping bottled up. I am forcing myself to resurrect my Bucket List.
First, I have been wrapped up in work. I really have been – I can be slightly neurotic and OCD at times which results in my need to constantly work in order to get ahead of the game. I also have the need to perfect everything. Working in Kuwait has really challenged my perfectionism. I know (all too well) that I am not perfect, and it’s a struggle to see so many things fail because I still do not fully understand the culture when it comes to education and its value. I also fail because I really struggle with using and understanding the Kuwaiti pedagogy. I’m very hard on myself. I don’t take time to write in my blog because I hate the idea of taking time away from work. Having worked so much means that I’m not staying true to my goals of visiting cultural sites in Kuwait and immersing myself in what culture this country has to offer. I want my blog to have meaningful entries, but I haven’t done any meaningful activities that are Bucket-List worthy.
Secondly, and most importantly, I have been actively avoiding my blog because I know that I need to write a follow-up on a topic that I hoped I wouldn’t ever have to.
The love of my life, my beloved puppy R, passed away on 2 November 2013. It’s been an incredibly difficult struggle to try and cope with this new reality. I haven’t truly been able to find closure with her passing because I wasn’t there to experience her decline and her death. I saw her briefly on Skype on 1 November and she wasn’t herself. My wonderfully strong and kind Mama Bear’s sadness and testimony to my dog’s suffering was enough to break my heart, but it wasn’t enough to make this whole thing feel real. And I’m not entirely sure it will ever feel real. We received R’s ashes in her urn as well as two paw print stamps, two clippings of her rusty-coloured fur, and a clay imprint of her paw a few days ago. I hate the finality of these relics of my dog. I hate knowing that, forevermore, those few items are all I’ll have of her. She did really well for a while, and she fought hard to stay healthy. I am glad her sickness is over, but I selfishly want her back. And I cannot seem to shake the guilt that I feel over having left for Kuwait while she was dying.
I’ve tried so hard to get out of my apartment and do things. Anything. I have been working myself to the bone, but I desperately need the distraction. There have been a few missed opportunities for excursions, so instead I have been spending more time watching movies and visiting with friends to keep my mind occupied.
The truth is, Kuwait has been pretty depressing for the past few weeks. Back home, the rain makes me feel blue. It always has. But for some reason, here in the desert I felt uplifted during the rainstorm. There was something about seeing the desert transform from looking dusty and arid to looking lively that really made me feel refreshed. It has been a most welcomed change of scenery for the past few days. And, in some weird and inexplicable way, it has made me reflect on my personal struggles and sorrow over the last month or so.
I am the type of person to strive to be an optimist. I’m also the first to admit that it’s not yet a habit and I can be very unsuccessful with optimism at times. I’ve made a list of all of the upcoming things in my life that I’m looking forward to. I’m a lists person, after all.
- We have 21 more working days until Christmas vacation.
- I’m spending Christmas touring most of the major cities of Italy with my Mama Bear. FINALLY I am going to Europe – a lifelong dream, fulfilled!
- I get to hug my mom in exactly one month’s time. (I miss her so much.)
- P is doing BIG & EXCITING things in his career back home (that’s all I’m willing to divulge, but you should all know that my heart is beaming and I am so proud of him!)
- I’m going to see Pilobus Shadowland this Thursday with some of my exceptional friends and colleagues.
- I had a beautiful and loyal dog who loved me – and who I adored – for 13 wonderful years.
- I have a job as a teacher – doing exactly what I love – right out of University.
- I get to see the world.
- I have the greatest love in my life that also just happened to be the best dog dad I could ever hope for.
- I have the strongest, most compassionate mom who did everything she could for my puppy and who stayed with her, comforting her until the very end.
- I have the most gorgeous friends here in Kuwait. Thank you E & M for your wonderful gift, your company and your sympathy.
And I have the rain.