London

Okay London was a compromise and a surprise. I didn’t really want to go anywhere cold but I was limited and short on time. I knew Elise would love to visit the making of Harry Potter and London would keep us busy for 9 days. 

Wheels up first stop Doha on the way to London.

She still has no idea where we are going. I gave her 3 clues. 

1. It’s cold 2. It stars with L 3. It’s in Europe. None of those were very helpful to my Dyslexic non map understanding daughter. 

Wheels up headed to London via Doha

SShe finally listens to the captain and hears him say London and she’s excited. Excited would be an understatement. 

Bonus: we had the row to ourselves. 

Day 1

Real talk I to needed to regroup from the flight, immigration and checking in

Day 2

We headed out. First stop M&M world.

Next the Lego Store 

Big Ben

The aquarium…..once you’ve been to the Atlanta aquarium the rest are crap and not worth the money

And Bubba Gump Shrimp

Day 3

THE Making of Harry Potter

To say I haven’t read the books or watched the movies I truly enjoyed and would come back again. 

Maybe when Elise finishes rhe series we’ll come back. 

Day 4 and 5

I’m old and I needed to regroup. We hung out at the mall and she caught up on school work. 

Day 6 

London Bridge…yep walked across it and sang London Bridge is falling down in my head as I walked.

Tower Bridge 

Tower of London

Buckingham Palace

Day 7

Found us at the library. Not even the famous library just a local library branch. Lol. I love this kid and her love for books.

Day 8

Our last day touring because I’m tired and my wallet needs a break. 

Imperial War Museum 

From world War 1 to war on terror through the British eye. I couldn’t take as many pictures as I wanted because I was in awe. There was a room for the Holocaust but it was suggested for 14 and older. Elise would not have been able to handle it. 

A piece of the Berlin Wall

From the North tower 9-11


Science museum 

This girl can’t stand science but she loved this museum. Sorry it’s the only picture I took. 

Victoria and Albert Museum 

We didn’t go all the way through by this point I was done and ready to go. 

London I will be back.

Christmas overseas 

Christmas Overseas was better planned than Thanksgiving. We went to Thailand. Bangkok to be exact. Before I dive into pictures of our trip and the experience let me reflect on the past year of my life. 

Christmas 2015 I struggled to provide for Elise a Christmas. My bought us plane ticket to come home because I was gonna stay home in my apartment and be depressed and sit deep in my feelings. 2015-2016 school I took a 10k pay cut in the state of Maryland. How I kept the lights on, food in the house, and roof over our head ….was nothing but God. I moved into a better apartment in a better school district but rent was higher and now I paying for before and after care all with a lower salary. I was tired of the struggle but I like living in Maryland. 

Christmas 2016 I was able to book a flight to Bangkok, Thailand. I was able to not only afford TWO plane tickets but I was also able to afford the actual trip wot be able to sightsee and stay in two different hotels over the course of 7 days. MERRY CHRISTMAS! She enjoyed herself. I enjoyed myself. Bangkok owes me nothing, except the Grand Palace. (The king’s body was lying there and I’m sorry I just couldn’t bring myself to book a tour with a dead body inside) 

Bangkok was busy and crowded so yeah I don’t have to go again. The beach was beautiful and I definitely want to see more of the beaches. I also want to see the Tigers and ride an Elephant. Maybe visit the floating market. However what I saw and was able to do I am happy and would suggest it to anyone. 

Wheels up. We are heading to Abu Dhabi where we will have an overnight layover.

Our beds for our layover. It did the job. I would suggest it and I would do it again.

Wheels up. Leaving Abu Dhabi headed to Bangkok.

I didn’t take pictures of our first hotel which turned out to be a hostel. I did not like it at all. I barely wanted to stay but that’s life. We live and we learn. I enjoyed the city and all that we saw. 


Some pictures from safari world

Thanksgiving in the Desert 

Thanksgiving wasn’t so bad. I went to dinner with some other Americans . ..African American to be exact. I had HAM! That alone made my Thanksgiving. I was able to Skype with my family back home. 

Friday Elise volunteered to serve for a Thanksgiving dinner and I went to support my coworker sing. 

So much to be Thankful for. I am blessed and not stressed. 

Grand Mosque Tour 

Okay this was one of those random…eh I might go but I don’t know if I want to go trips. I am glad I went. However I cannot even begin to put into words the Grand Mosque. 

I knew that I had to cover up and a cloak would be provided if I was not covered or covered properly. My neck was visible so I had to get the cloak. 

This was taken in the center part of mosque. It was cold. I’ll discuss weather in a later post. 

The structure was beautiful. Shoes had to be removed inside. 

Dubai….

Okay I’m just gonna post pictures because I can’t even begin to put into words my weekend trip. 

    Wheels up. Our flight was at night. I think it was 9 something . I would have missed out flight if I didn’t check the tickets. We hung out the airport. I think I’m a let’s hang out at the airport kinda person. I am not one that likes to rush and I didn’t have my civil ID and I didn’t want no trouble. I didn’t take pictures of the hotel because it wasn’t anything fancy. I will say I forgot they sold alcohol and they have a nightlife. 

    Sure did and ended up sick. Went to bed fully dressed. No I wasn’t drunk. I didn’t even drink the whole glass. 

    Now in the am we ventured to Mall of Emirates. This ridiculous place. 

    Ski Dubai. Just Google it. Yes it is inside the mall. It’s 3 levels…nope wait 4 levels of shopping. It’s a mini city . 

    Day two we went to Dubai Mall

    We went to the underwater zoo INSIDE the mall. 

    Dubai is expensive compared to Kuwait. It’s more laid back compared to Kuwait. It was too busy for me. Elise would spend all my money. I’m kinda glad I’m in Kuwait so I save. 

    I did promise to return to go to Legoland and Ski Dubai. There’s a zoo. I wanna do a desert safari. I didn’t get to meet up with any of my friends while there hopefully next time. 

    Diva Cup

    Okay this is not travel related and this is a FEMALE ONLY post and if you are a female and don’t want to talk menstrual cycles leave now. 

    Okay first off who ever created this God bless you. 

    Remember that feeling you had when you switched from pads to tampons? Same thing. I switched to the diva cup this week honestly as I type this up I’m using it and I will never use a tampon again. 

    Look this thing gave me life. If you don’t know what it is I’ll give my quick version of it and then Google it. 

    It’s a cup that you where, which hugs around your cervix, to catch your period. Take a moment and snatch the visual image out your head because it’s nothing like what you think. 

    Yes you have to insert it. Yes you have to take it out. No it doesn’t hurt. No its not messy. Honestly for someone else who has had a kid and hates blood I was actually impressed with how simple the whole thing was. I actually hate my period because of the blood not the cramps but the blood…. ewww. But the cups makes you realize how much blood you don’t really shed in a month. 

    Word of advice read he instructions fully and completely. Make sure you understand what to do. 

    Biggest tip fold it put it in ( which you have to) and fold it when you take it out. Don’t you yank that thing out it will hurt. Yes I know because the first time I did not fold it. I was too worried about a mess and blood getting on me. Swore I was giving birth and almost screamed in the bathroom. 

    Next tip: if you are in a public bathroom carry a bottle of water with you to rinse it off. 

    You will saving thousands by switching. The most you will buy are pads or pantiliners until you figure it out. 

    I am considered a heavy bleeder. I’m talking a tampon and pad and I better change it within two hours or its a pain.

    I used it all week long. On my heavy day I was able to use the bathroom like a normal person with no issues. I didn’t  have to go every two hours. I worked and went about my day like I wasn’t  on my period. I slept with it again no problems. Woke up fine.

    If you have ever thought about it. I say try it out and see what happens. It has changed my life and my period for the rest of my life. 

    My Decision to Homeschool

    We have been in Kuwait now for about 2 and half months. So many things have happened. I’ve had a friend leave. I have a coworker talking about leaving and has mentioned it to admin she is leaving. Homesickness almost got the best of me. My mom was diagnosed with cancer. My daughter’s grandpa died. I cried. I wanted to leave and go back to the states. I was ready to quit but not because I don’t like my job, kids, admin, coworkers or disorganization. I was ready to quit because my child’s homesickness was overwhelming me. I thought this was gonna be an amazing adventure. We were gonna explore a new country. Learn new things. Experience life outside of America. BUT NOPE this child of mine was stuck on America and her granny. Well got granny on Skype problem solved right……NOPE. She can’t walk into a store and find her Lego dimensions…..ordered a pack and had it delivered….NEXT. (SN: this game has been a pain in my rear end since we got it last Christmas. Kinda over it.) She can’t have Panda Express……look little girl let me find an orange chicken recipe for you……NEXT. She’s got nothing. So I shared with her how yes I get homesick but I think about what I can do instead of what I can’t do or what is back home. I told her about our trips (ain’t booked a flight yet but that’s another post) We are going to LEGO LAND in Dubai brand new just opened last week. Come on now. Think of the experience. We are going to DISNEY is freaking PARIS….come on kid work with me. She’s finally going on a cruise…grant it, it’s not Disney but still she’ll spend 7 days and 6 nights around the Mediterranean. I wish I could be her at 8. The mall literally has a HUGE indoor fair. I can’t even begin to explain Fun City. Only thing missing is a Ferris Wheel and fair food. Then there was the school issue.

    Quick background on my child. She was diagnosed as ADHD back in November of her kindergarten year. She takes medicine for all I’ve had teachers say is she can’t focus in the afternoon and that has rare since 1st grade with the last increase. Anyways. Side effect of the medicine lose of appetite. I make sure she eat breakfast and she pretty much eats from the time she get home in the afternoon until she goes to bed. Hasn’t lost weight or anything.

    Had not one problem with my child until I finally disclosed that she was ADHD and that was only after the TA kept bugging because she wasn’t eating at school. I told her she won’t eat because of her medicine. The following day there’s all these issues with her behavior. She’s refusing to do work. She’s not listening and following the rules.She’s being aggressive. It was something everyday.Come to find out it was the teachers pushing my child in a corner until she reacted. Okay don’t even trip. I pulled her and decided to home school. I hired a nanny. She stays home and is actually learning and not being bothered or made to feel different for being the only brown skin kid in the classroom.

    It was a hard decision because she needs to be around other people. I hate that she home with a nanny and not socializing. However I did not bring out her country to be picked on for being black. I could have stayed in America for that. I did not bring her out her country to be picked on for having ADHD. Nope we could have stayed in the America for that too. My daughter is very aware of life. She’s coming from a single parent home. I don’t sugar coat much of life for her when she asks questions. She hasn’t asked hard questions but she knows she has brown skin. She knows she’s American. She knows she speaks English. She knows she learns differently and needs help to focus. She also knows she’s very bright and artistic and creative and loves to sing and dance. She is very aware of her surroundings. Anyways. Had her evaluated. She has dyslexia. Finally somebody confirmed what I knew. Anyone who knows me, knows that every year I ask someone to listen to her speech and her writing because it’s off. Not in a major way unless you are around her daily you notice it. I’m an educator so I noticed. And every year, expect for the year I was gonna send her private school, I was told she would out grow it. Well surprise, surprise she didn’t out grow it and there is an actual issue. The girl writes and spells on a kindergarten level and she’s in 3rd grade. Okay I got this. You can’t help her on her medication. You definitely won’t be able to help her off her medication (I’m having the devil of a time finding her medication so she won’t be going back to school until they have a plan and she has her medicine)

    As her mother I have to make decisions that are best for her. Academically I can do better at home. I can place her in programs and activities based on her interests. My coworker has offered to have her come over with her twin daughters who also home-school so she won’t be by herself. I just gotta work out how to get her there. Hopefully it will only be for this year and she can return next year. If not while we are here she will be home-schooled.

    We have already discussed where we will go next. She has mentioned Africa and China. I was not thinking Shanghai prior to her saying Africa, now I am looking into schools in Africa and placing BOTH of in the best school and experience.

    The perks

    Okay so I’ve had to stay focused on not only my goals but the perks of living in Kuwait because let’s face it homesickness is a real thing. 

    First update: I recently pulled Elise and began homeschooling her. She’s ADHD and it’s not a good fit and she’s on medicine. So for all sanity sake she will be home schooled while I am at my current school. 

    1. I now have a nanny who is also a housekeeper. It feels good to come home to a clean house. She cleans like for real. Washes dishes, cleans the floor (mops, sweeps), takes out the trash, cleans rhe bathroom, Washes and folds my laundry if she irons and cooks I’m never leaving. (She probably would if I ask her to but I feel bad it’s the American in me) My apartment is spotless EVERY DAY! I quoted her the salary of 120KD a month I think I’ll give her a little more. I had a maid for 40KD a month and she didn’t do laundry. Talk about an upgrade.

    2. I have a TA and a nanny. My TA has to make me give her work. Like I don’t know what to do with her. She keeps the kids in check and she does all the cutting and laminating for the crafts. All I gotta do is teach. The nanny takes the kids to the bathroom and keeps the room clean. If the kids have an accident the nanny handles it. 

    3. The breaks. I mean I can’t highlight this enough. From 700 to 730 the kids are on the indoor playground. So I get 30 minutes to prepare in the morning which the bus usually gets us there by 645. So that 45 minutes before I say good morning to my class. They have 30 minutes for specials, Arabic, Islam and Quran. I am teaching 2 hours a day, 2 and half hours max. They start dismissing at 1250 and I go home at 300. I DO NOT TAKE ANY WORK HOME! This confuses me most days. I come home like now what did I forget something. 

    4. EVERYTHING delivers. I want McDonald’s, yep they deliver. I want pizza of course they deliver. I want ice cream yep deliver. Subway….yep. Krispy kreme…yep (haven’t had it yet but I will) Chinese,  Japanese, a burger, chicken….they all deliver. I buy a big ticket item from the store…they deliver and most don’t even charge extra to deliver. Groceries….yep they deliver too. 

    5. I don’t have to bag my groceries at the store and they carry them out to the car, load the car and of course they get a tip. Bag boy takes on a whole new meaning. I don’t even put the things on the conveyor belt. Nope, you nod your head that you are ready, they grab your cart (trolley) and unload, bag, reload, take it to your car (taxi) load the car and bounce. 

    6. Taxis are everywhere. I don’t need a car but I will get one. I get car sick on any ride longer than 1 KD. They drive like maniacs and I just can’t do this for 2 years. 

    7. Even though I don’t have a car I’ve witnessed it. Someone pumps your gas. You pull up tell them how much and they pump it for you. 

    8. The weather is finally nice and I actually want to go out and see Kuwait. 

    9. If you are into to shopping….it’s plenty of that to do. I try not to get caught up in the hype and I stay in my lane because shopping ain’t my goal or focus 

    10. You sick and need medicine that they carry. Take your behind to the pharmacy and tell them what you need and BAM you get it. Doctor visit no appointment necessary just go. No red tape. No going to only your insurance doctor. No deductible. 5KD for the visit. Your first will be the most expensive because you are opening a file. 20 KD. Of course private doctors are more. I should know I’ve been to two for Elise but that’s not a perk. 

    11. No matter how you feel or what you think, you ate not alone. All you gotta do is talk to someone else and they understand and are willing to help. They are pretty good about pointing you in the right direction. No one has steered me wrong yet. 

    12. I get deliveries. Don’t let the hype fool ya. I got some personal feminine products just in a nick of time and I wanted to kiss my Harris (the building supervisor guy, that’s the best I can describe him, he’s like a handy man but not really)

    13. You can’t pay…inshallah. pay what you can and get them the rest when you can. 

    14. I can find American products. Sometimes they are expensive but shoot for some Pillsbury cookie dough cookies I’ll pay for it. 

    15. I am able to view the world and the US through a different lens. That in of itself is priceless. 

    Keeping my sanity

    Okay so this homesickness thing is real. I refuse to cry but I probably should. 

    Anyways I’ve started planning trips. I’ve compared prices. I’ve finally settled on locations

    December…legoland Dubai

    January….Paris Disney

    Summer travel

    1. Cruise 2. Iceland 3. The US 4. Zanzibar 

    I’ve decided to pull Elise from school and homeschool her. I won’t go into deep details but I want her to have a positive experience. She’s never been one to like school anyways and no point in her being miserable about this move. I interviewed a nanny from Ghana. She just happens to have a education background as a teachers assistant and she lives around the corner. So I consider it a win. I’ll interview a few other people and officially pull her by the end of the month. 

    One good thing that came from all this, Elise is being re-evaluated for ADHD. I’ll have the results within a week. 

    Big picture you gotta stay focused on your goals or you will go stir crazy. 

    My goals 

    1. Save

    2. Get out of debt

    3. Travel

    Stress is not an option. I can do that back in the states. 

    It finally happened

    Whelp I had that I’m a crappie parent moment today. I spent 90% of my day regretting my decision. 

    Maybe I didn’t think this all the way through. Maybe I am being selfish. Maybe this is gonna cause my child more damage than I can comprehend. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken this job. Maybe I me being too doggone positive and need to cut my losses. Maybe this ain’t such a bright idea. 

    One of her teachers…an American at that…made me feel like a complete failure and I’m ignoring the signs of my child being miserable. I stood there as I listened to her talk about how my child didn’t want to do the work and says she’s frustrated and confused about the work. She shouldn’t be confused because English is her first language. So I go check on her. She’s doing work and seems fine. Then I just happen to walk by and she’s in the hallway crying her eyes out saying she wants to go back to the states. The teacher had pretty much planted this idea I  her head that she misses being in the states and now I got an upset child. Now I’m popping mad. I take my kid and calm down. I breath and start thinking about my options.

    1. Quit my job (not happening)

    2. Homeschool her (maybe)

    3. Send her back to the states and I stay here (even less likely to happen)

    So my hunt to homeschool becomes a more serious hunt. I’m not gonna have my child be emotional and there was not a problem. It’s been 12 days at school a month in new countrymen 

    I have done a damn good job at trying to keep things normal for her. I will not allow you to question my decision because what….I’m a single parent or you just don’t understand it. 

    See here’s my thing. I am providing an experience for my child that people can only dream of doing. I took deep thought and prayer before making this decisoin. I even talked with her about it to gauge her feelings on it. 

    Does she miss some comforts of the states? Yes mostly material things like her lego dimensions. (They don’t sell them here) 

    Does she miss her granny? Yep but she gets to call her and as soon as granny figures out how to video chat…BAM

    She’s been to a new school every year since she was 4. I’ve told her we’ll stay put until she finishes 5th grade and then we’ll decide where to go next if we leave here. 

    People get on my nerves and I will not allow that negativity into my space or my child. 

    Consider this your one and only strike. There’s no 3 strikes and you’re out with me when it comes to my child.