First impressions

Monday 27th March 2006

Hey everyone,
Well, I’ve been here almost a week now, so I thought I’d give you all an update!
So far it’s been pretty good, the weather is really nice, only getting up to about 29 or 30 so far, but really dry so it’s not so bad.
Apparently my taxi driver told me in the summer it can get up to 50 degrees, but the government won’t allow the weather stations to ever report the temperature as higher than 49 because if they report the temp as 50, they have to give everyone a day off work or something. So the weather is only ever “officially” 49 degrees in summer!!

As I said before, my flat is LOVELY – I’ve added a nice picture of our front room for you, and a picture of the cool bombed out building across the street – to the left of the building is our school, so it’s dead close to walk to. We also have a nice balcony, and all
the furniture’s new and stuff.
There’s a mosque across the street from my bedroom, so we get to hear the call to prayer broadcast from the loudspeaker five times a day. Apparently the 5am one wakes up almost everyone in the building, but they say you get used to it, and frankly I sleep so deeply I haven’t heard it once!!

Our entire building is owned by the school, so all sixteen apartments are inhabited by teachers at our school. Which is cosy.
Anna (my flatmate) is still really nice, and we get on well, so hopefully that won’t change any time soon!!
School is really really busy, as I’ve walked in at the end of term during exams and reports, and my class haven’t done half the material on the exams (their teacher obviously stopped caring completely while she was planning her dodgy escape, so hasn’t taught them
much). As for my class, there’s sixteen kids, all about 8 ish, fairly unruly, although it’s not all
their fault – I’m the third teacher they’ve had this year after all!! There’s a couple of little horrors, and they are all compulsive liars, which is hard to deal with sometimes!

Other than that the school is pretty good, they have a ratio of about a third primary, a third secondary and a third is special needs, which covers just about everything from dwarfism to down’s syndrome and lots of other disabilities. All the staff have been really friendly and helpful, and are mostly just super glad that I’m here at all!!

The staff are quite multi-national, ranging from a healthy number of Brits and Canadians, to the Turkish IT guy, lots of Arabic staff, Zofia (who’s Polish and incredibly racist!) who teaches the other year three class, and Lourka, the Bulgarian librarian who has the most awesome accent ever! She guards the library with a very fierce hand (I’m constantly amazed that fire doesn’t actually come out of her mouth!), but she is really quite nice, and her cousin Zarko (also Bulgarian) is the Lord of Everything.
His position in the school I’m not so clear on, but if you need anything photocopied, you have to give it to him, and he may or may not do it within 24 hours.
He’s also the guy to go to if you want your air conditioning fixed, anything in your flat fixed or replaced, and holds all the keys to everywhere!!!

I’d better stop there, cos I keep thinking of more stuff to say but I don’t want you guys to die of random computer-related deaths before the next update (which I may well start writing now so it’ll be done by next week!!).

By the way, I do have a phone line installed, but I can’t make any outgoing calls outside of Kuwait at all. However I can still recieve them if anyone fancies calling me!!

take care everyone!!
lots of love
“who knew I could get up at 6am??” Maya

My new living room

The bombed-out building opposite my flat in Hawally

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