We live in the desert.

Update: I found this post of a Kuwait blogger who went “behind the scenes” at the camel races. Jealous!

Saturday we had one of those moments where we realized that we live in Kuwait. In the desert. Seriously!? We joined 250 other people at the AWARE Center, climbed on buses and headed into the desert.

The ride out was pretty uneventful but it gave us a chance to watch out the window. We were completely surprised by the amount of trash. It was everywhere. Probably the hardest thing for us to see is the complete disregard (by some people) for their surroundings. Kuwait could be much more beautiful if ย people used trash cans :/

After about 45 minutes we arrived at the camel races…in the middle of nowhere.

We had just under 2 hours to explore and relax before the races started. Luckily they fed us treats…

…dates, camel butter and camel milk…

…and tea.

We had the opportunity to ride camels. We decided against it. NOT!

(We did not edit the sound so you might want to turn the sound down. Also, sorry for the orientation of the video. Blame the camera man – Jeff. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Abby and I made Jeff go first – it was just a little intimidating! The camel grew more unhappy with each rider – it refused to stand up fort he rider after me. We did notice that my camel ride was recorded by Al Watan TV…maybe I’ll become famous ๐Ÿ˜‰

We went back to the diwaniya to watch the start of the camel race on TV. The older the camel the longer the race. The races on Saturday were 6k and 8k. They start far away and finish at the grand stands. The whole time there are cars following along on the outside of the tracks. Luckily people don’t ride the camels (except for this crazy guy), robots do! The people in the cars control the robots and their little flexible arm that spins around and slaps the camel. It’s crazy to watch!

Although we didn’t start our watch (what kind of runners are we?!), we think the camels ran 6k in 10-15 minutes. The weather was pretty decent (not too cold, not to hot and cloudy) the wind did pick up and we got to taste some sand. The Kuwaiti men had the right idea covering their mouths!

After the last race (there were 3), we headed to a ‘farm’ in the desert for the typical buffet spread.

All sorts of Lebanese food.

On our way back to the the AWARE center we got to see desert camping for the first time. There was even more trash, but this time we saw where it was all coming from. From November to March people are allowed to set up tents in the desert (leave them there) and go out to their camp whenever they want to. They practically make tent cities! We had no idea! But we’re pretty excited to try it for a night or two ๐Ÿ™‚

Sorry for the crappy iPhone photos!

Yes…those are blow-up slides!

Just another day in the life of Lissa, Jeff & Abby! To see our entire photo album, click here. Or watch the video below!

We hang out with kids…voluntarily

Our Friday started out quite foggy again.


The day also ended quite foggy! Luckily it turned out to be a gorgeous day in between. We don’t really follow the weather here so we don’t know why it has been so crazy (we’ve heard it hasn’t been like this in past years) but it’s foggier by the Gulf so it has to do have something to do with the water being warmer than the air. We’re practically meteorologists!


I forgot about our dessert on Thursday evening! It was at the Chocolate Bar by Dana’s place. We had dark chocolate fondue…no idea how I forgot about it!




Friday morning we got up WAY too early for a weekend and headed to a ‘yard’ sale. Abby got a few things for her classroom and Jeff and I picked up a pizza paddle. We also came home with 3 Disney movies! We had about 10 that we wanted to buys but narrowed it down to Fern Gully, Mary Poppins and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Abby and I had a great time reminiscing about our childhood ๐Ÿ™‚

After the yard sale I made a breakfast that was ALMOST as good as the Cocoa Room…pumpkin pancakes ๐Ÿ™‚


We did buy the movies and pizza paddle for a reason. After a workout and a chill evening, we voluntarily hung out with 3 cute little girls (ages 4, 6/7, & 9). Even though we don’t really want kids of our own, we do enjoy hanging out with other people’s kids! You can’t call it babysitting when we volunteer to do it, don’t get paid and have fun! The girls played with our kittens, made their own pizza, played with balloons and watched Fern Gully. Pretty sure the 3 adults in the room enjoyed the movie more than the kids!


Next up…camel races!

Happy birthday!

This long weekend is in honor of prophet Mohammed’s birthday (PBUH). We’re taking full advantage of the extra time to have fun, eat good food and relax!


Treats from the Arabic department for Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.

The excitement started on Wednesday morning when we booked tickets for Andrew to come visit during his spring break! His girlfriend, Shannon, is studying abroad in Barcelona and will be meeting Andrew in London for a layover before flying together to Kuwait for a week! We’re all pretty excited ๐Ÿ™‚

Wednesday night we enjoyed Turkish food and shisha at Afendim with some friends that we took Arabic classes with. It was a great time had by all…even though the three of us think we have had some side effects from shisha (feel slightly sick).

Thursday morning Abby and I joined some other friends for breakfast at Cocoa Room. It was amazing as always. We shared the cinnamon roll French toast, eggs menemen and hash browns. As we were finishing up our meal, a server came over with an order of peanut butter pancakes. We told him they weren’t ours…but a few minutes later another server came over and told us they were on the house. We were all full, but could you pass these up?!


Peanut butter pancakes!

After Abby and I recovered from our sugar coma, we decided to take advantage of the day and head outside…for some geocaching!


Thursday’s weather

Jeff, Abby and I walked a couple miles along the Gulf in the gorgeous weather and logged a 2-part multi-cache.


Geocaching…in Arabic!

Along the way we found a palace that we hadn’t noticed before. we thought about exploring but decided against it ๐Ÿ˜‰


No one’s going in there…

We weren’t the only ones that were out enjoying the day…there were tons of people grilling and having picnics!


Picnicking on the Gulf.

Thursday evening we met up with our friend Dana for dinner and drinks (strawberry juice and 7up sans alcohol, obviously) at her place. We then headed to City Center for bowling! Jeff and Dana were styling ๐Ÿ™‚

It was the first time we’d been to this mall which is known for it’s cheap shops and shoe outlets. I found 2 pair of Nine West boots for 22kd before we headed upstairs to bowl.

The games weren’t our best ever but I did manage to get one legit strike and one computer glitch strike!



We’ll share our Friday soon…right now we’re heading out to the camel races!


You know my sister is here substitute teaching. But there’s more! She signed a contract today to teach Pre-K for the next 2 years! We’re PUMPED to have her here with us! She accepted the position on Thursday and we (of course) celebrated! Abby and I got in comfy weekend clothes and then went for cheap pedicures ($14 w/ tip)! Afterwards, we celebrated with Jeff…

When you live in a dry country your guilty pleasures must change ;)
When you live in a dry country your guilty pleasures must change ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’ve already made plans to go to Greece in late February (while Kuwait is celebrating the 22nd anniversary of their liberation) and we’re currently making plans to go to Thailand for Spring Break in April. We’re so excited for the next couple years and can’t wait to explore the world with our sister ๐Ÿ™‚ All you family members now have one more reason to come visit!

7 hours. 7.5 miles

We had another great weekend! Abby joined the YA lit book club that I participate in with a group of teachers from our school. We have meetings once a month where we eat food, talk about life and discuss the book we read. That evening we hung out with friends at a BBQ on one of the rooftops. Abby got to meet a bunch of new people and we made lots of yummy food (4 dishes for our two events!).

Yesterday was a day for the record books. We left the apartment about 12:30pm to meet up with a friend, do a little geo-caching, eat some bread and shop at ย Marina Crescent and Mall, check out a Co-Op and find a craft store (we found yarn!). Jeff left during the shopping to play frisbee. Abby and I got home about 7:30pm. Except for the time we spent eating bread and ice cream, we were on our feet the entire 7 hours! We were really interested in how far we walked and were shocked when we figured it out. Aren’t we awesome?!


We love sisters!

Did you know that Abby (my awesome sister) is here?! She’s living with us (we have 2 bedrooms) for the semester and substitute teaching in the elementary. Since she got here we’ve been trying to show her around Kuwait and go about our normal lives. Her first weekend here we…


…ate at a Turkish restaurant.

...drank yummy lemon mint.

…drank yummy lemon mint.

…experienced our first shisha.

…celebrated the engagement of our friends with an authentic Sri Lankan meal.


Having family here makes us miss home just a little less. We’re looking forward to the rest of the semester! ๐Ÿ™‚


We don’t always cook

Last night Jeff and I didn’t feel like cooking. On our walk back from the grocery store we decided to call and order Indian to get delivered to our apartment. Normally we don’t like eating out because it’s expensive and we can usually cook something better at home. Luckily in Kuwait there are lots of small, cheap, quality restaurants! After we got home we waited a few minutes and the call came that our food was in the lobby. When we got the food up to our apartment we realized there was a miscommunication on the phone…we’re not really sure everything that we got but we do know it was all tasty! And it was only 4kd with tip for all of it! We had enough food for dinner for 2, lunch for 3 AND there were leftovers!

Indian dinner

Our cab driver has a degree.

Have we mentioned our favorite cab driver before? His name is Mohamed and he’s awesome. Here are a few other fun facts about Mohamed;

* He has a college education in Religious Studies (rough translation) from a university in Egypt.
* He’s from Egypt.
* He primarily drives teachers from our school and makes so much money during the school year that he takes the summers off.
* During the school year he’s available 24/7, with the exception of Mosque.
* He taught himself English, and speaks it somewhat fluently.

And a short story;

Yesterday we were coming home from the vet and Mohamed stops outside of our apartment. Before we can pay him and get out, a police car with two officers stops next to us and they get out and start speaking with Mohamed. (It should be worth pointing out that all Arabic sounds angry, even if the topic being chatted about is fluffy bunnies or how much you love your mother). They ask for Mohamed’s civil ID and then they ask for ours. At this point, we’re getting a little freaked out because we have no idea what’s going on and they look like they’re taking our names down. They eventually give us our civil ID’s back and Mohamed, who has been speaking with the first officer, asks us “how much you want to give me?” in a way that makes us feel like our answer could very well determine whether or not he gets deported. We tell him “5KD” and he starts laughing along with the police officer. The officer gets back into the car, drives off and Mohamed comes back into the taxi and smiles. He tells us that the police officers wanted to make sure he wasn’t ripping us off and that everything was OK. What ended up actually happening was us being scared out of our wits.