Author: mitchsjohnson

Christmas 2014 in Sri Lanka

We spent Christmas 2014 in the small surf town of Mirissa, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka.  We knew it could be tough emotionally being without our families on Christmas, so we made sure we booked a nice resort on the beach to spend our holiday.  Unfortunately though, it rained for 2 straight days leading up to Christmas, and all day on Christmas Day!

We started our day by calling our families back home on FaceTime.  However with the thunderstorms in the area, our internet connection was pretty spotty.  We were at least able to reach them, and wish them a quick holiday greeting before we lost connection.

Although we couldn’t spend the holiday relaxing on the beach because of the weather, we decided to make the most of our day anyway. We headed to the beach and found a couple of nice little bar/restaurants where we got comfy.  We had a couple of drinks, played some cards, had lunch, and just kind of chilled out for the day.

This was our Christmas tree this year:


Our 2014 Christmas Tree!

We didn’t set up a tree at home this year, so we decided to adopt this tree we found along the beach in Mirissa.  One of the bars set it up, and even decorated it with ornaments, garland, and Christmas lights!

At one of the bars we stopped at, we found this very festive family.  We decided next year that we are going to pack Santa hats and wear them next year on Christmas Day! . . . . . . . NOT!


Sweet hats eh?

Perhaps the toughest part of the day, was when we learned of the passing of Rachel’s Uncle Walter.  It definitely made being away from family on the holidays a bit tougher.  We knew that when we decided to move overseas, things like this could happen. However it didn’t make it any easier when we heard the news.  We did the only thing we could, we raised our glasses and cheersed to the great life he had.


Throughout the day it continued to downpour.  In the early evening, we finally said, “screw it!”  We changed our clothes and headed straight for the ocean. The water was actually warmer than the rain, and we had a ton of fun swimming in the downpour rain and massive waves!

The following day, the sun came back out, and shined down on us for the next two weeks of our holiday. I think it was Uncle Walter’s first act of kindness in heaven!

Mitch’s Monday Happy Hour – January 11

We have our first week of work under our belts since returning from our holiday vacation. The laundry is finally finished, we have food in our cabinets, and we are back into our daily routine. Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve been up to:


Here’s a pic from inside the mosque. This was our tour guide, he was awesome!


  • Last weekend we went on a tour of the Grand Mosque in downtown Kuwait City. We had a ton of fun and always enjoy learning about new cultures and religions. This mosque isn’t quite as big as the one we toured in Abu Dhabi back in October, this one ONLY seats 10,000 people!  I think our tour guide said it was the 7th largest mosque in the world. The detail and architecture were awesome. I especially enjoyed our tour guide, because he also provide insight into the Islamic religion, rather than just showing us the mosque. He translated the “Call of Prayer” for us and also explained other traditions, customs, and values that Muslims follow. It was a fun couple of hours, and an enjoyable way to spend our Saturday morning.


  • Back in September I tossed up this blog post about how excited I was when I found my favorite deodorant at a store here. Well . . . . I was out shopping the other night and I found it again! They only had 4 of them, so of course I bought them all. Later that night I just happened to be looking at my receipt, when I converted the price of the to U.S. dollars and realized that I had spent $33.00 USD on those 4 sticks of deodorant . . . . yikes!!!!  However, I am so excited that I found them again!


  • We are in the middle of our first Kuwaiti winter (upper 60s/70s) and I am embarrassed to say . . . . we turned the heat in our apartment on for the first time! We have been doing the pants/sweatshirts/blankets around here for awhile, but we finally said “screw it” and decided to fire it up. During our winters in Minnesota we usually had our heat set around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. However we have become so acclimated to the warmer temperatures here, that we set our heat at 76 degrees!  Everyone probably thinks we are nuts, but it is sooooo nice and warm in here now. I’m not sure how we are going to survive next summer back in Minnesota!

That’s all for this week, until next week everyone . . . . .