A little extra

We came to Kuwait with minimal expectations. Since arriving, we’ve learned a lot about living and teaching abroad (in general) and in Kuwait. Some people might think we make lots of money. We don’t really – we just don’t pay taxes.

We’ve learned that the real money comes from tutoring. Some people tutor just before big assessments, others tutor 10+ hours a week. The going rate is anywhere from 15 to 30 KD…an HOUR! That equates to $50 to $100+ an hour! Wow is all we had to say. And tutoring is extremely common. Lots of students ‘need’ it (elementary through high school), for a variety of subjects and skills. The tricky part of tutoring is making sure that you are indeed tutoring and not actually doing the students work for them. We’ve heard that many students just hire a tutor to complete his/her assignments. Not okay.

Although not many students are looking for tutors in Social Studies or French, Chemistry and Science is quite popular. So I’ve been sitting back waiting for the right time and the right student to come along. After communicating with the father of a grade 11 boy (from Kuwait), I had my first tutoring session on Tuesday. The student came with his driver to pick me up. We drove to their villa passing the Switzerland Embassy on the way. We entered through the garage into a gorgeous room that had a couple round tables and an area of couches for a social gathering (diwaniya?). A maid was just leaving and had left a tray for me with water, juice and a couple pieces of some cake/bread. For the next hour we talked Chemistry – what he was struggling with and where I could help him. He taught me, I taught him. He is an incredibly respectful, nice young man who seems like he actually wants to learn and understand. At one point his mom came down and I was able to meet her. She was nice and very grateful. (I’ve heard that many tutors rarely see the students parents.) After our allotted hour he walked me back to the car, getting his driver on the way out (he lives off the garage). Starting next week, his driver will be at our apartment every Monday and Wednesday at 7:45pm. We’ll work for an hour and I’ll be home by 9:15pm.

Life is crazy…good 🙂


…Nijumi (نجومي)!

When we moved to Kuwait, we had NO intention of getting a cat (we still love Noel…and she’s going to live forever). But then one of our friends rescued an adorable baby kitten and we couldn’t say no. We’ve had Nemr for almost 3 months. He’s bored out of his mind and uses us as chew toys. As we started getting closer to Christmas break and leaving him alone for almost 2 weeks (not to mention nearly 3 months in the summer), we decided we needed to find him a friend. Fortunately we found Nijumi (originally Sundari) on Saturday. Her new name means my stars in Arabic. She is about 3 months old (Nemr is 4 months) and has been fostered since the beginning of September. We said we’d foster her to see if she got along with Nemr. We kept them separate for 24 hours and after 48 they were playing together. Now, they’re practically besties!

We hereby vow that under no circumstances are we getting another cat. Please hold us to this promise. We will not become those people. Cross our fingers, hope to die. We have 3 cats in 2 countries. They were all born in August, all have names that start with N and all three are bilingual. We’re done 🙂

Getting in the (school) spirit

There were many exciting things going on at AIS this week! The high school has had dress up days. Tuesday was Twin Day! Jeff and I decided to participate…so we went though our closets on Monday night to see if we could find anything. We we able to throw a little something together 🙂


The activities this week have been leading up to the Forensic tournament this weekend that AIS is hosting. It is very similar to the volleyball tournament, but with different ‘sports.’ I had no idea what happened at Forensic competitions, so I had to do some investigating. Here is a little more info and here are some of the events. Jeff and I will again be hosting a coach, this time from Amman, Jordan. Hopefully we’ll be able to go to a couple events!

The other incredibly awesome thing this week was the Arts U: An AIS Arts Gala that took place last night. When I stopped by on my way home from the gym and grocery shopping, I had no idea what I was in for. It was fabulous, amazing, incredible…I can’t even describe how great it was! When you first walked into the lobby there was art on display and FOUR artists doing live art. One high school teacher was painting on a huge canvas while another HS art teacher was painting her paint.

Image Credit to L. Marek

There was a student painting a LIVE still life.

Image Credit to C. Botbyl

(That’s a person under there…)

Image Credit to C. Botbyl

(What part of that is real and what is painted? 😉

In the auditorium they had short plays every 30 minutes. In the foyer and tennis courts they had drama, monologues, improv, choirs, bands…they had it all! There was a maze of walls with Elementary art. Students from all grades participated and were able to show off their amazing work. It was beautiful. The atmosphere was perfect too. I think the main goal was to give students the opportunity to perform before the competition this weekend, but it was so much more than that. I hope it becomes a long-standing tradition!

Another thing that has made this week perfect…we found out that Abby will be returning to Kuwait with us in January! We don’t know the specifics of what she’ll be doing, but at minimum she will be substitute teaching (there are several maternity leaves available). She’ll live with us for the semester, sub, tutor…and just have a great experience! I CANNOT WAIT! 🙂

We’ve got more fun news coming this weekend…see you then!