Sunday, September 22, 2013

The First 3 Weeks

So, it's been almost 3 weeks since my last post ... It feels like it's been 3 years! I'm working on updating the blog slowly, yet surely. Check out the improved About Me section. ;)

So, how am I feeling here in Kuwait? Homesick. I miss Elliott! I miss everything about America. My job is challenging (I'm not just coaching CrossFit); I have people I'm in charge of, facilities to run and manage, schedules to create, events to plan, a budget to consider, etc). It's exciting, but, it's been really hard to do my job for various reasons out of my control, so it's really stressful, too.

I'm hoping as I learn the ropes and get to know the people I work for, it won't take so much energy and time to complete what would be a very simple task back in the states. People keep telling me that life moves at a glacial pace when you're down range. So, I'm trying to adjust my previous work habits and expectations. I'm learning to go with the flow. Be like Buddha (My eating habits have been so crappy, I'm going to have a belly like him soon enough). 

I wish I could chill in the sun like this guy ... 

We work 6 days a week, 9 hour days, with a 2-hour commute round trip. The days are long, leaving little time for anything else. I was so jet-lagged the first two weeks I was here, I honestly thought I was a zombie.

I haven't had a desk, or a working computer to do my work at, check my email on, etc. It's made getting any work done challenging, to say the least. I've spent hours typing up emails, only to have them time-out and not send, because the internet is so slow. I'm surprised I still have hair, at the rate I've been pulling it out ... Do you know how annoying it is asking co-workers to borrow their computer, when I know they have their own work to do?

They don't mind though. I work with some good people. Patient people. This is not their first rodeo in the middle East. Many of them worked on other contracts before this one, and have subsequently been here for several years.

I can't wait for some time off. I need a hair cut. A manicure and pedicure would be nice. I wish I could go grocery shopping so that I'm not stuck eating fast food/DFAC food or frozen food. Groceries are expensive here!

Our lobby and security

But our apartment is sweet, I have to admit. And I was lucky, I scored an awesome room mate, too.

I have a gorgeous view of the Arabian gulf, and a king size bed all to myself! I'm enjoying it while I can, because I know I'll have to move out on my own if I ever want to bring Elliott here (no pets allowed in company-provided housing). 

The pool is pretty phenomenal, too. I did spend a few hours soaking up the sun on my last day off. It's so funny, people sun bathe in the morning here. I was literally down at the pool at 8:30am, still finishing my cup of coffee and yawning, catching some rays.

The exchange rate here is no bueno! 1 American dollar is about 1/3 of a Kuwaiti dollar. A bushel of bananas is 1 KD, or $3 American dollars. A jar of peanut butter is 3.5 KD, or over $10 American dollars. I try to do as much shopping at the PX as I can, but the groceries they offer are very minimal, and nothing fresh. Things like milk, crackers, canned tuna, chips, soda, cereal, jerky, peanut butter, etc. They do offer bacon though! Is it nitrate-free? Hell no. No one gives a damn about minor details like that here. We're just grateful to have bacon in a country where pork is illegal. 

P.S. I'd love a Care Package! Quest Bars, coconut flour, protein powder, almond flour, almond butter, cashew butter, chia seeds, PB2, none of these things I can find over here at the moment. :(

I think I'll be able to buy some of my favorite things from home online, from places like Amazon. Alas, I just FINALLY got on the internet (it's non-existent at work), and it was so slow here at home, pages would time-out before loading (hence the lack of blog posts or updates. Just uploading a photo to my Facebook page took 2+ hours). 

I miss wearing shorts and tank tops! The dress code on post is also very strict. Especially in the gyms. Living in a muslim country, we must respect the culture. And I respect it, but I may grumble and groan as I'm sweating my ass off, covered head to toe in 100+ degree heat. But I'm learning ... 

Now in Kuwait, versus back in the States ... All of my Lululemon! :(

How have my workouts been? Crappy. Half the time I don't even have time for lunch, and since I've been carpooling on the installation with the person I'm training with, it's not like I can stay late after work, I have to go home when they go home. So, I'm stuck utilizing out apartment gym. Honestly, I'm just so, so grateful to have that! I've been getting creative with dumb bells. 

I'm pretty much scratching the month of September. I think October will be the month for me to start afresh, and hopefully be in a routine with work, CrossFit, grocery shopping, food prep, etc. I promise on October first to stop whining, too. :) I just need to get it all out of my system ... 

Thank you for reading! I know that I will probably come to really like it here, right now, it's just overwhelming. Everything is hard before it becomes easy ... 


  1. Yay, you're back! I'm sorry it's been rough. DFAC food is no joke either *yuck* I hope ordering works out for you soon! Good luck in the month of October. Can't wait to hear more updates!

  2. I admire your bravery for taking this position. Stay strong, positive, and know that you have a great support system back here in the states! Hoping you can get some of your goodies through Amazon. It's amazing how much we take for granted in this country. Thinking of you and sending you a big virtual hug! XOXO

  3. Come back to the States!!

  4. Sending lots of hugs and American love! The things we take for granted here hm? :-D

  5. Amazon! Amazon! Amazon!,, Stronger Faster Healthier, all these places ship APO.

    Pretty sure i survived off amazon on every deployment, and I always get amazon Prime when I deployto get rewards on all the crap I buy.

  6. So glad you are back on-line! See if you can create a wishlist on Amazon with your ship to information and people can go on and order/pay for them then have them shipped direct to you. That's a way to get a care package of the things you need with some privacy...I buy things for the ASPCA that way and donate to them....

  7. Try ordering from Bulu Box!! Great health stuff, you can order nutrition bars in bulk and cheaper! :) Good luck - you're doing great things!

  8. Oh my gosh! Good luck out there. I hope things get more settled for you, miss your blog posts!

  9. It's great to hear from you Courtney and you are truly miss! Just enjoy every moment of this time because life is short. Look at it like its an adventure and a life challenge that I know you can handle. I hope the adjustment gets better for you and please be very careful!!

  10. Hello! I know it probably seems like a huge culture shock at the moment but maybe you can try and focus on all the amazing new arabic foods and culture you'll get to try. I'm kinda jealous! I think it's so awesome you took such a chance on trying something so out of your comfort zone. If it was just like home it would be kinda boring, no? Best of luck to you, I think your amazing :)

  11. Wow - I can't even imagine the courage it takes to move half way around the world. Change is always tough but the experience looks like a once in a life time opportunity. Brave girl!

  12. Hang in there girl! I enjoy reading your blog.

  13. what you are doing is awesome. Complain away, I'm still intrigued

  14. I am a huge fan of when in the Middle East!

  15. Hang in there. I moved to China last year and have struggled to find my groove. It's amazing how such mundane tasks can become so time consuming and grocery shopping. Takes me three stores (with no car and a baby) to gather everything I need to make a clean meal. Such effort! I look forward to reading about your experience, and adaptations to such a foreign culture and city. It's a wild ride!