Month: March 2015

Sri Lankan Traffic Jams

Wherever you live, chances are that you probably deal with traffic congestion on a weekly basis.  I HATE traffic jams!  For me, I’m not sure if there are many other things in life that are much worse.  I’ve been driving for 15 years, and still have to practice my yoga breathing and play relaxation music while sitting in a jam, to prevent my blood pressure from exploding!

When we were in Sri Lanka a couple of months ago, they definitely had their share traffic jams.  Although it was a different kind of congestion, one that I haven’t really experienced before. . . . . . . . ANIMALS on the road!  I was able to snap a few pics of what I call, “The Sri Lankan Traffic Jam!” I would say about 80% of the vehicles in Sri Lanka are Tuk-Tuks.  A majority of the roads around villages are just dirt roads, however they are starting to get some freeways around the country. IMG_5026 A lot of the traffic jams were caused by little fellas like this guy, a random cow just walking down the highway all by himself.  At least this guy was smart enough to stay on the shoulder! IMG_1933   Here is another guy just strolling around by himself causing some traffic issues.  He was super horny! IMG_1934 Sometimes there was just one cow in the road . . . . . IMG_1947 but sometimes there would be a ton of them! IMG_1948 You could honk and honk, but they weren’t going to move!  They got to determine what the speed limit was. IMG_5143         The cows also enjoyed walking along the country’s new freeway system!   IMG_1984 It wasn’t just cows that would create traffic jams in Sri Lanka.  Sometimes it was these big ass lizards!!! Including the tail, this one was like 4-5 feet long. IMG_5034     We also ran into some wild boars!  These guys were lucky enough to find some garbage on the side of the road for lunch. IMG_5146 Have I mentioned the MONKEYS yet?!?  This big guy ran across the road right in front of us. IMG_5157 We also ran into a lot of flooded roads, IMG_5139   and mud pits! IMG_1954 This guy tried going around a huge mud pit, but didn’t fair to well trying to cut through the grass. IMG_1955 Of course the biggest cause of a Sri Lankan Traffic Jam is when a huge elephant is walking down the middle of the road towards you!!!!!!!!!!!! IMG_1962

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Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – March 30

Happy Monday Everyone!

If we were meeting for Happy Hour this week, here’s what I’d have to share . . . . . . . . . . .

  • MY PARENTS COME TOMORROW!  Rachel and I are very excited for our first visitors to Kuwait.  It’s going to take them about a day and half to travel the nearly 10,000 miles from Minnesota to the Middle East, but I think they are going to love it here.  I’m excited for them to get a little sample into our lives and see for themselves how great it is AND how safe it is!
  • We have all of next week off for Spring Break and cannot wait for our trip to Jordan.  We fly out this Friday and will be there all next week. Sooooooo if there aren’t any new blog posts next week, it’s because we will be off exploring the Dead Sea, the Wadi Rum Desert, the Red Sea and of course Petra!
  • Here in Kuwait there are two radio stations that play english/american music.  It’s your typical “Top 40 Hits” however there is a catch.  The list is from about 10-15 years ago!!!  So there is a lot of Nelly, Shaggy, R. Kelly and all of those other guys from the previous decade.  It’s actually a lot of fun to listen to them because they bring back so many great memories from our college days!
  • IMG_2397I was driving home the other day when I noticed a stoppage in traffic ahead.  There were hundreds of people crossing the street, causing a mini traffic jam.  There were so many people that it looked like a 5k race was crossing the street!  I couldn’t figure out where all of these people were suddenly coming from, until and I looked around and noticed a mosque.  I looked at the clock and soon realized that prayer time had just wrapped up, and everyone was leaving the mosque and walking home.  Living in the Middle East and seeing how dedicated the Muslims are to their faith is such a reenergizing experience.
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  • Even though it still feels like we just got to Kuwait, today we were reminded that summer is coming fast!  We got an email from our employer with our return air tickets home for the summer!  School is over the first week in June, but before we head home, we are going to spend a week in Portugal with some friends.  Now that our airfare is all confirmed, we can start booking our accommodations and stuff for this trip!  We sent our itinerary to our favorite travel app called TripIt, and were informed that we leave Kuwait in 75 days!  Say what!  Where the heck did the time go?!
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Image courtesy of DailyTravelPodcast.com

See ya for now everyone!

The Camel Ride from Hell

**Warning this post is going to contain lots of fucking vulgar language.  Like . . . . . tons!  So to my mom, “I’m sorry.”  The events listed below were a traumatic experience for my friends and I, and swearing is the only way to effectively describe it.  We still laugh uncontrollably when we reminisce about this camel riding experience in Egypt.  Now, let’s fucking begin! (oh shit, there’s another curse word).

Before our recent trip to Egypt, I was reading online that you could take a camel ride through the desert around the Pyramids.  I thought to myself, “cool, what an awesome experience!”  Unfortunately our experience wasn’t awesome. Now that it’s over, it makes for a funny story though.

After a long day exploring around the Pyramids, which Rachel talked about HERE, we headed towards a viewing point.  This vantage point provided some awesome views of the pyramids.  We were able to take a few good pics with our friends Adam & Lauren there.

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It also provided a nice backdrop for Adam to take some great “jumping” pictures.  You know, the same ones that all of the super cheesy tourists take!

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After we snapped some pics, it was time to board our camels to take a stroll through the desert.  As we headed towards our camels, Rachel made it clear that she was not interested in riding another one, especially after her experience in Dubai (refresh your memory by reading about it HERE).  She hates the mistreatment of animals for the benefit of tourists.

As we were walking towards our camels, I’ll never forget Adam saying, “I hope I get Angry Arnold” with a laughter in his voice.  Famous.  Last.  Words.

We were all pretty excited as we hopped on our camels.

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Once we were all up on our camels, they tied them together in a line.  Lauren was first, I was next, then Adam was in the back.  We were led through the desert by an 18 year old kid, who was holding onto Lauren’s camel with one hand and a whip in his other.  Rachel hopped back in our minivan and drove back to the Pyramids, where we had planned to meet her in about 30 minutes.

If you have never been on a camel, it is actually pretty tricky to ride.  There isn’t a saddle to put your feet in to help balance, and it’s a really bumpy, uncomfortable ride.  However when you took a look around, and realized that you were in the middle of the desert, on camels, heading towards the Great Pyramids, you realize that this is a pretty sweet experience!

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Our camel ride was off to a great start!  We even stopped about half way and had our camel guy take a few pics for us!

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It was at this half-way point when things started to go sour with our ride.  Before our camel guy took our pictures, he wanted to line them up just perfectly with the Pyramids in the background.  In order to accomplish this, much to our disgust, he began whipping the crap out of them until they were just perfect.  We all looked at each other with wide eyes, and gave the look of, “what the hell is this guy doing!”  The camels did not appreciate the whipping either, and were making goofy sounds and started acting strange.  We immediately interjected, because we couldn’t handle witnessing this abuse any longer!

After a few pictures, we resumed our trek towards the Pyramids.  Suddenly I noticed that Adam’s camel was biting the thick-burlap blanket on MY camel!  I’m sure he was getting a little piece of my camel’s skin each time too, because I could tell my camel was starting to get pissed off.

Here’s Adam’s camel: Angry Arnold which started all of the ruckus!

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After my camel was bitten a few times in the ass, he had a major meltdown!  Out of nowhere, he put his head down, leaned forward, and bit Lauren’s camel right in the thigh!  AND DIDN’T LET GO!!!!!!!!!

LET THE CHAOS ENSUE!

  • Lauren’s camel begin moaning and making some of the most awful sounds I’ve ever heard come from a living creature.
  • I started yelling at my camel and kicking him in the neck so he would let go of Lauren’s camel’s leg
  • Lauren’s camel started to kneel down in pain, spin around, and looked like he was going to toss Lauren off.
  • Then, the camel guy started whipping the crap out of HER camel for not standing up, even though MINE was still biting hers!
  • All of a sudden I heard Lauren yell, “OWW!”
  • Adam and I started yelling to Lauren, “get down, jump, get the hell out of there!”  I think we both knew that she was about to get bucked off and go flying through the air at any second.
  • The camel dude finally realized that my camel was the one being the asshole, and started whipping my camel, so he would let go.
  • Lauren took a leap of faith and jumped off her camel.  I think she started running away before her feet even hit the ground!
  • Adam immediately jumped off his camel to check on Lauren.  Keep in mind that the top of a camel’s back is 7 feet off the ground!  He was flying through the air like a ninja warrior!
  • My camel finally let go, and all three of these ugly creatures were just standing there in the middle of the desert.  I was the only one still on their camel.  Lauren’s had blood gushing down his leg!
  • The camel guy, in broken english, kept saying, “it’s ok, get on” to Lauren and Adam.  They basically told the guy to get bent, and that there was no way that they were getting back on.
  • That’s when I decided, “fuck this,” I’m outta here!  I asked the guy as politely as possible to please let me down.  After pleading a few times, I quickly realized that he wasn’t going to let me down.  Then Adam, being the great friend that he is, marched over and repeatedly told the guy to, “get him the fuck down!”  The guy didn’t know much english, so Adam was nice of enough to say it multiple times, in a louder voice, and pointing his finger!  It was a little dose of Good Cop/Bad Cop.  Soon I realized the guy was not going to get me down, so like Adam did earlier . . . . I busted out my own ninja move and jumped off my own 7 foot tall camel!

All of this happened in less than a minute, but it was like slow motion.  As soon as I jumped off, we all decided to abandon our camel ride experience, and just start walking away.  So the three of us began trekking through the desert towards where we were going to meet up with Rachel.  We laughed the whole way back, reminiscing about what we were now calling our “near death experience.”

Rachel soon saw us walking over the horizon and greeted us with a, “What the heck happened?  Where are the camels?”  I just smiled at her and said, “you were right!”

**Remember when Lauren yelled, “OWW!” when she was on her camel?  It’s because she got whacked in the back with the camel dude’s whip!!!  She had a pretty wicked bruise to remind us of our “near death experience!”

Pyramids

We went to Egypt a few weeks with one purpose: see the pyramids.

Mission Accomplished. IMG_5718We went to the pyramids on our first full day in Cairo and my first impression was “whoa, these things are huge!”  I realize that I could have looked up the fact that they are 456 feet tall but honestly I probably still would have been surprised at how big they were. IMG_5682I tend to take pessimists approach when I am traveling to famous destinations, I think things such as “I bet Machu Picchu won’t even be that impressive” (it was) or “the fjords of Norway won’t be as beautiful in person as they are in pictures” (they were) and in this case “I bet the pyramids won’t look that big in real life.” (they did) I have a bit of a fear of giving a destination more credit than it deserves before I get there, and then being disappointed once I arrive. As a way to combat my fear of being let down, I bad talk the travel destination in the months leading up to a trip. Irrational? Probably.  Am I going to stop doing this?  Nope. IMG_5653 We roamed around the pyramids for a bit before we decided we wanted to go inside the first pyramid to visit the tomb of King Khufu.  We weren’t really prepared for what the climb inside the pyramid would entail.  We started walking through a small tunnel on the path up into the pyramid.  IMG_5649

As the tunnel ascended it also narrowed, till it was just wider than our shoulders.  The narrower the tunnel became the more the roof dropped in on us.  Before we knew it we were hunched over, essentially climbing through the pyramid on our hands and knees.  It was hot inside the pyramid, it was dark, and you were surrounded by stone just above your head, and to your left and right.  As the tunnel hit its smallest point we came face to face with a group of people on their way down, trying to exit the pyramid.  We would press our bodies against one side of the stone tunnel as the people on their way down would press against the other side and carefully slide past one another, becoming awfully familiar with each person as they passed our way.  All of a sudden our progress stopped.  IMG_5626 Lauren had been our fearless leader the entire trek up into the pyramid and she had stopped in her tracks.  All I was able to see from my crouched position was Adam’s tushy.  Lauren was unable to continue on her path as a gentleman coming down through the tunnel began to feel the anxiety that comes along with being in a hot and very small space.  Unfortunately, the only path up was through this man.  We all held our squatted positions waiting for him to gain enough composure to continue on his way.  The longer we held our position waiting for him the louder the voices in my head were telling me to turn around and run for the fresh air.  After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was probably less than a minute, the man slowly continued on his trek down and out of the pyramid.  We quickly snuck past him, and scurried as fast as we could the remaining climb into the tomb, and thankful for the tall ceilings and the wide open spaces that met us once we arrived. IMG_5713Of course, any day where you can spend a ridiculous amount of time taking jumping photos is a success.  

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – March 23

Happy Monday Everyone!

Hooray, I’m actually typing this on a Monday this week!  If we were meeting for happy hour, here’s what I’d have to share:

  • This is definitely the highlight of my week . . . . . . my first apple since I started working at a school!
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  • Yesterday a co-worker asked me to describe my weekend in one word, and this is what I came up with: Basketball!  As a sports fan, it is one of the greatest times of the year, the NCAA March Madness!  68 teams all enter a single elimination tournament, with the winners moving on and the losers going home.  Every weekend for the next few weeks will be filled with basketball, or what Rachel likes to call “squeeky shoes ball.”  With the time change, the games last weekend started in Kuwait at 7pm and went to about 6am.  A few buddies and I watched as many as we could, but by about 2:30am I was cashed for the night.  We were able to watch the games live through our Sling Box which is totally cool.  Basically we are sending the game from a tv in Minnesota (via the internet) to our iPad, then we just bounce the scree from that to our tv through AirPlay on our Apple TV.  It is kind of nuts how much technology has evolved and how far it has come over the years to make it possible for us to watch live TV from America to Kuwait.
  • I woke up early Saturday morning to my wonderful wife running into our bedroom shouting, “it’s raining outside, not just a sprinkle, but actually raining hard!”  I scratched my head, rubbed my eyes, and slowly began to comprehend what she was saying.  Suddenly I realized, wow, rain?!  I took a peek out our window and sure enough, it was down pouring! It was the first significant rainfall we have received since moving here last August.  A few times it has sprinkled, but only for a few minutes, and never really accumulated to much.  It only rained for a couple of hours, but it was interesting to see what a reaction it caused here!
    1. The streets were completely flooded in front of our apartment.  Since they don’t get much rain here, the infrastructure isn’t built to handle it.  There are a few storm drains around, but none of the roads are paved with a crown in the road, so the rain can’t reach them.
    2. Since there isn’t much grass or soil to soak the rain up, there were quite a few wash outs around.  Sand from nearby vacant lots was washed out into the streets and now looks like mini sandbars in the middle of the road.
    3. Traffic on the highways wasn’t bad at all, because a lot of people apparently stay home when it rains.  They treat rain almost like us Minnesotans would handle a snowstorm.
  • My first season as coach of our 5th grade girls soccer team has come to an end.  We had an awesome season and won our last game of the year!  A lot of the girls have never even played soccer before or been a part of a team, so we were sure to emphasize the team aspect and sportsmanship mixed in with a little bit of soccer skills.  I think all of the players loved being a part of the team and were so proud to wear the jerseys to school on gamedays.  We played hard all season but couldn’t ever come away with a win.  However on our last game of the season, we won!  The girls were ecstatic and it was a great way to wrap things up on a successful year.
  • It is hard to believe that it is fast approaching, but we will be hosting our first visitors in week!  Both of my parents will be traveling to Kuwait for a few days, and they arrive next Tuesday night.  I have been trying to come up with a list of fun things to do and some sights to show them while they are here.  I’m finding the task a bit tricky though, because after only a few months, everything here seems “normal” to us.  I’ve been trying to think back what it was like when we arrived and what kind of things I thought were neat or what gave me a little culture shock.  Hopefully they aren’t to “jet lagged” when they arrive so we can do some fun stuff.

See you guys next week!

 

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – March 16

Happy Monday everyone! Oh wait a second . . . . . . . . it’s Thursday.  Yikes!!!!!  I’m sure most of you are struggling through your week at work, as you have anxiously been waiting for our weekly Happy Hour post this week.  To you . . . . . I apologize.  Updating a blog can be a daunting task sometimes.  Even though we write short posts that only take about 2 minutes to read through, sometimes it takes over an hour to type up.  Finding free time to blog can be tricky, however we are going to try and keep posting 3 times a week (fingers crossed)!

We ended our week of work last Thursday as we usually do . . . .  with friends, on a patio, having dinner!  This week we decided on a place called Attila Mongolian Grill located on the coast, with amazing views of the sea.  The restaurant is a part of a new complex of over 25 restaurants called Miral.  It was a super nice place with so many different options to choose from.  We had a super good meal and will definitely be back again.

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When we returned from our trip to Egypt a couple of weeks ago, we got home super late the night before work.  We basically tossed our luggage on the floor, went to bed, then straight to work the next morning.  Our maid Lily came the next day and went completely above-and-beyond her duties . . . . . and emptied our bags for us!  Not only did she unpack our bags, but she washed all of our dirty clothes and even put them away for us.  We got home from work that day, still exhausted, and knew we had a big task ahead of us to put all of our crap away.  We were so surprised to come home to a spotless apartment.  We knew we wanted to “thank her” for her hard work, so we left her a little bonus money last week.  She left us this cute little ‘thank you’ note that ended with, “me so happy!”  It made us feel good, that we gave her such a small amount of money, but that she was so happy with it.

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I was driving through a neighborhood the other day, when a certain vehicle caught my eye.  I did a double take . . . . . and notice a University of Minnesota Gophers sticker in the back window.  For a moment, it made me feel like we were back home in Minnesota, then I chuckled that there was another Gophers fan in Kuwait.  Ironically, I’m watching the Gophers hockey game against Ohio State University as I type this 🙂

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The Gophers sticker wasn’t the only Minnesota connection I experienced this week.  We we were walking around downtown Kuwait City when I noticed an Arabic guy wearing a Jason Kubel Minnesota Twins jersey!  I chuckled to myself, and wondered if he even knew who the Twins were or who Jason Kubel was.  I wanted to try and get a picture with him, but unfortunately it just didn’t work out.

Last weekend we also went out and supported our school’s varsity basketball teams at their conference tournament.  They had a great weekend, but unfortunately lost in the semifinals to one of our rivals.  Teams from all over the Middle East participated including, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait.  While the players and spectators were from all over the world, it definitely felt like we were back in the States at a typical high school basketball tournament.  We had a ton of fun!

A group of 7 of us went to one of the games together last Friday.  In the car on the way to the game, I mentioned that I hoped that they had a concession stand there.  Everyone thought I was crazy, when I said that I was craving a “Taco in a Bag.”  (or also known as a “Walking Taco.”  Half of our friends hadn’t even heard of one before, so I had to explain how freaking delicious they were.  If you’ve never heard of one either, here’s what it is:

  • Start with a small bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos.  You smash them up into bite size pieces, then open the bag.
  • Next you add whatever ingredients you would like.  I typical add, taco meat, lettuce, cheese, sour cream, olives, and salsa.

Even I knew that it was a long shot of a request, but I’ve been craving them lately so I was keeping my fingers crossed.

Between games I found my way to the concession stand that was being operated as a fundraiser by the host school’s National Honor Society.  I almost crapped my pants when I noticed the last item on the menu board . . . . . Taco in a Bag!!!! It was fucking delicious and just what I needed to satisfy my craving!

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The inside view of my Taco in a Bag:

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Well folks, that’s all for now.  We hope to see you next Monday for our weekly happy hour, or maybe Thursday again 😉

Mutlah Ridge

A few weeks ago, we took a little adventure to Mutlah Ridge, the highest point in Kuwait. It was about an hour drive from our house, towards the Iraqi border.  Finding the exact location was a bit tricky, because it’s basically located in the middle of the desert.

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Part of the adventure was the drive out there!  We were exploring a new part of Kuwait that we haven’t discovered yet.  One of the best parts were the guys on the side of the freeway selling HUGE fireworks out of the trunk of their car!  We didn’t buy any (this time) but we will be making another visit out there soon.

Once we got out there, we started driving through the desert, in search for a nice little view point.  We found a ridge with an excellent view of the desert, the Persian Gulf, and Kuwait City in the background.  We just kind of chilled out, took some pictures, walked around, and enjoyed our time being surrounded by nature.  It was nice to get out of the city and leave behind the hustle & bustle, the honking, congestion, etc. of city life.

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Rachel and Ethan enjoying the view.  It was nothing but sand and boulders for as far as you could see.

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From our viewpoint, we watched a bunch of people in their 4×4’s dune bashing through the desert sand.  From old 4×4 jeeps, to brand new Range Rovers, we saw a wide variety of vehicles out there.  Occasionally one would get stuck, but quickly others would speed over and help pull them out.  There was even people ripping around on 4-wheelers and dirt bikes!

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Ethan decided to do a little rock climbing out there.

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After a couple of hours chilling out, we decided to take off and head back towards the city.  However as we were leaving the desert, we saw a guy on the side of the road who was renting 4-wheelers.  We all agreed, that this was going to be a great idea . . . . so we stopped!  After a bit of negotiating . . . . . . we were ripping around the desert on a bunch of Polaris (shout out to Roseau, Minnesota!) 4-wheelers through the desert.  We had them for an hour, and had a ton of fun!  Here are a few pics of our riding:

Mike and I getting ready to cruise up the sand dunes!

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Ethan picked the 4-wheeler with the cool “cross bones” flag on the back.  Unfortunately, it was the wimpiest one!

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Rachel was having a blast!  They guy we rented them from tried to give her a smaller “safer” model because she was a girl, but little did he know . . . . she grew up in the woods and probably had more experience than us other three guys combined!

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Out in the desert where we were riding, they were working on a new oil pipeline.  It was pretty crazy to see how big the pipe was.

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The views at Mutlah Ridge can change every couple of days.  Anytime there is a strong breeze, the sand moves around and creates new ridges/dunes.

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There was a bunch of other people out there enjoying their afternoons too.  A lot of families would spend the day have a picnic, grill out, then ride their 4-wheelers and buggies around.  Kids who looked as young as 4 years old were out ripping around by themselves, without even a helmet!

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I was able to climb up this hill with my 4-wheeler, but if you look closely in the middle of the picture, Ethan’s got stuck and couldn’t make it up!

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When we were done riding, we started heading back towards Kuwait City.  As we were heading down the highway, we ran into this mini little “4-wheeler gang” who were riding wheelies about 50 mph!

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We had an awesome day out in the desert with friends!  Since we have been in Kuwait, I think we have done an excellent job of constantly searching for new and exciting things to do.  Our weekends are filled with adventures as we create memories with friends we’ll have forever!

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7th annual Kuwait National Baseball Tournament

Last weekend, I was luckily enough to be selected to umpire in the 7th annual Kuwait National Baseball Tournament hosted by the Kuwait Little League.  I umpired 7 games during the tournament, and had an absolute blast!  Teams from all over the Middle East participated, including the countries of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and United Arab Emirates.  It was a busy few days, but it was a ton of fun and a well organized event, with some outstanding teams participating!

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One of my favorite parts of the weekend was the atmosphere!  The fans had so much energy, for the entire weekend!  They were chanting, clapping, singing, and even playing bongo drums.  The atmosphere felt more like a World Cup Soccer game than a youth baseball game, but it was so much fun.  They were cheering so loud, that I could hardly hear myself calling balls & strikes behind the plate sometimes.  At one point, between innings, I asked the catcher, “Isn’t this awesome?!”  By the look in his eyes I could tell he was so jacked up, and he answered with an enthusiastic, “I LOVE THIS!”  The atmosphere was like nothing that I have ever seen at a baseball game before, it was so awesome!

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Everyone who participated in the tournament was super friendly.  It was fun to meet people from all over the world and share our experiences from living abroad together.  A majority of the participants were expats from the U.S.A. or Canada, who are currently working in the Middle East in the oil industry, as teachers, etc.

This tournament concluded the Little League season here, which started last September.  I thought my season was going to be over too, however I was invited to umpire in a regional baseball tournament in Dubai next month!  One of the tournament organizers was in town for the Kuwait Tournament, approached me after one of my games, and extended an invitation to me. I’m super excited about the opportunity to participate!  (and I get an all expenses paid trip!)  Apparently teams from all over the world (including the U.S.A and Australia) will be playing in the Dubai tournament.

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I’m a little bummed out that the Little League season is over.  I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed my time this winter with everyone.  I made some great friends and memories, that I will always cherish.  Regular season games are played weekly on Fridays here, so it became a part of my weekly routine to see everyone at the ballpark.  I was able to umpire a lot of great youth baseball games, some adult softball games, a few girls softball games, and even a couple of championship games this season!  I’m already looking forward to next season!

 

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – March 9

Happy Monday Everyone!

It’s hard to believe that we only have 3 months left in Kuwait, before we return to Minnesota for the summer!  Here’s a few tidbits of what’s going on in our life . . . . . .

I’m still working on my Arabic skills, and I think I’m up to about 5 words now!  The kids at school are constantly trying to teach me new words, but apparently my brain is reaching capacity, because I can’t seem to remember any of them!  This week, I asked one of the kids at school how to write my name in Arabic, and this is what he came up with . . . . . . . .

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Apparently in Arabic, my name  would be pronounced: “Mich.”

When you live in a foreign country, you never know what you are going to run into.  Some of the most interesting encounters I have had are while driving around.  Last weekend I was cruising down the freeway about 70 mph when I saw a truck full of sheep cruising by in the back of a truck.  I grabbed my phone and took a quick pic!  Lamb is really popular hear, perhaps more so than beef or even chicken.  I’m not a huge fan of it, but seeing them standing in the back of truck made me chuckle.

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Lambchops anyone?

I think we’ve officially recovered from our trip to Egypt last weekend, and already have our sights on our next trip!  My parents will be arriving in Kuwait in just 21 days, then after a few days here, all four of us will be heading off to Jordan for a week!  We have an app on our phones called TripIt, that counts down the days for us.  It’s always fun to get a reminder every few days to let you know that you have another awesome vacation on the horizon!

Since we’ve moved here, we’ve been making a list of items we need that we can’t find in Kuwait.  Since my parents are coming in just a few weeks, they have graciously decided to bring a bunch of stuff here for us!  So last week, we have been busy doing some online shopping, and sending our purchases to my parents house back in the United States.  They are allowed to bring a few checked bags for free, so we’re hoping to fill all of their available space with our treasures!  Our friends are pretty excited too, because they have been ordering a few items too!  It’s going to be like Christmas when they arrive, with all of our goodies!

Last weekend, our family back home in Minnesota turned their clocks ahead in honor of Daylight Savings.  We were 9 hours ahead of them, but now we are only 8 hours ahead of them.  You wouldn’t think an hour time difference would make a huge deal, but when you are trying to call people from home, it can make a big difference!  Especially when we are trying to call our little triplet nieces and nephew!

So long everyone!

Sneak Peek: Pic from Egypt

Today we received a message from one of our most loyal fans, from New Brunswick, Canada asking, “where are the pics from Egypt?”  We have been super busy this week, and just finally got them downloaded from our camera to our computer this weekend.  We are still in the process of finishing up some blog posts to share a few stories from our trip, but in the meantime I thought I would give everyone a little sneak peak of whats to come . . . . .

The pyramids were incredible, huge, and an engineering feat that I will never understand.  Here is a group pic with our friends Adam & Lauren, in front of a few of the pyramids.

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The Pyramids were HUGE! Take a look at the cars in the background to get an idea of their size.

 

We also visited the Great Sphinx during our trip.  Again . . . . . . . . super cool!

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These ruins are about 4,500 years old!

 

This little punk ass camel caused a LOT of drama during our ride through the desert!  There was swearing, people flying off camels, bruising, yelling, pleading, whips, and blood.  Everyone survived, so we can laugh about it now!  I think you will enjoy this story . . . . . coming soon!

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We called this camel “Angry Arnold” and he was a jerk.

The last pic of this special edition: Sneak Peek, is probably the most memorable story from our trip to Egypt, and one that I will never forget.  It was taken from the backseat of a luxury car, as we were rushed across the runway at the Cairo Airport, to board our plane back to Kuwait.  You will never believe what led to this ride!!!!

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We should have been on that bus with all of the other passengers, but instead . . . . we were in the backseat of a luxury car!

 

I apologize for all of the “cliffhangers” I’ve provided you!  Hopefully this week, we will have some time to fill you in on all of the details from these pictures, as well as more photos.  Until then . . . . . I ‘Might As Well’ go to bed now.

Good night New Brunswick!!!   🙂