Besides feeling claustrophobic walking from the car to the military base this afternoon because of the 107+ degree heat, life so far in Bahrain is exciting – in a somewhat peaceful, relaxing sort of way. Only because after three weeks of non-stop paperwork, phone calls and faxes, spring cleaning, selling and discarding, painting, patching, and caulking, a 16 hour plane ride punctuated by a layover in Amsterdam was not so unappealing.
And now, in our short-term apartment, which is part of the Gulf Hotel, I am temporarily quite content to have no cleaning or cooking to do on a regular basis. We walked into our room late this afternoon after taking a tour of the military base to which we will have military passes, and our room was being cleaned and beds made; we nonchalantly slipped back out, although I must confess I did have a fleeting urge to offer to help the Indian concierge fluff the pillows. Very fleeting. Speaking of Indian, we have enjoyed the surprise each time we open the door to a different nationality – Pakistani, Arab, Indian, Philipino, all of them as friendly as can be.
The heat today plus humidity brought back vivid memories of my childhood in Saudi Arabia, when I would cup my hands over my mouth and nose to get a deeper breath as the heat was so stifling; today, I was that child again, teaching this trick to my own children, who could not refrain from incessant reminders that it was so hot outside. Perhaps they did not notice the sweat dripping from my temples and the flush of my sticky cheeks.
The school where Josh will be teaching and Cayden will be attending Kindergarten is truly amazing. Their mission “is to provide an Exemplary Education that Inspires and Prepares All DoDEA Students for Success in a Dynamic, Global Environment.” I loved looking in the classrooms and seeing such a diverse student body, and walking through the halls adorned with the writings and art inspired by the 46 different countries represented at the school. I stood mesmerized as I peered into the cafeteria/assembly hall and saw an array of flags suspended from the walls and a big paper earth surrounded by hand-crafted boys and girls in a splendor of costume and cultural dress. The world, opening up for Cayden and Anya, even in a cafeteria.
We welcome the unexpected that we encounter each day, the unknown, the change, the diversity, the vast differences in such a culture and the adventure of it all. We accept the challenges because we know adventure is not truly adventure without them. We have left family, friends, comfort and ease for this beautiful journey – thank you for being a part of it with us.