Saturday, April 30, 2005

Home Again

Aysha and Karla made it safely back to Kuwait on Thursday afternoon.

Karla slept all day Friday and Aysha was a pretty good sleeper too. I had gotten as much done as I could, but I had time to myself on Friday when both of them were sleeping.

When I was called to do a middle of the night diaper change (which ended up being a complete outfit change), I realized how out of practice I had gotten. It was hard.

Sylvia was happy to be back today and Aysha reportdly did well. Karla is aiming for an early bed time, so I had bettter go back and spend some time with her. Here are a couple photos of Aysha in Canada with he Hide grandparents.

Grandpa Hide and Aysha

Grandma Hide and Aysha

Saturday, April 23, 2005


This was my weekend to relax. With Karla just having left last weekend, I was pretty tired. This weekend, I divided my time getting my act together and taking it easy. It was a surprise long weekend too. Sometime last week, it seems the Ministry of, uh , something noticed that they had forgotten to schedule the holiday to observe the Birthday of the Prophet Mohammed (I have decided to call it Mohammedmas – the presents were wrapped under the palm tree and I was listening for the hooves of Santa Khalid’s camels on the roof). So half way through last week, the school just announced that Saturday was a holiday.

On Wednesday night, I went to salsa class by myself. It was extra-challenging because Karla is the one who remembers all the moves. I spent half the class dancing with Victor since he could remind me of all the moves I had forgotten. He’s much taller and heavier than Karla is, but I should just be extra good when she gets back.

Thursday morning I tried to take the car in for its pre-sale tune-up. Even though I got there first thing in the morning, I was turned away because they were already busy that day. Saturday would be the day the Caprice went under the wrench, which was fine, thanks to Mohammedmas. I came home and made signs to sell the car and our furniture (even with digital pictures of everything). In the heat of the day, I watched the middle Matrix movie, which only caused me to have a short nap in the middle. That afternoon, I was out doing Karla’s bidding. I went and booked a boat for the wedding party that she is supposed to be planning. It was easy and close enough to walk to.

On the way home, I passed a copy of Hotel Rwanda at the roadside black-market DVD table, but passed it up. I regretted that decision, when I watched the last episode of the Matrix that night with Greg. I just didn’t care if they saved Zion or not. It may have been overkill, watching two in one day, but he had already seen the middle one and wanted to finish the trilogy.

Friday, I played some badminton and did some tutoring. I rode my bike over to play badminton and when I got home, I discovered that summer has officially arrived. I know it is summer in Kuwait when the water out of the cold tap is hot enough to have a shower in. In fact, when I got home, hot and sweaty from the bike ride, I was looking forward to a cold shower. No such luck.

After I dropped the car off on Saturday morning, I was brave and took a Kuwaiti public bus home. Fortunately, there was a guy on the bus who spoke English and explained to me how to get home – which involved going to Kuwait city and then going home. It was the long way. If the route home had been a slice of pie, the short way would have followed the crust. I went into the centre and back out. It was a big slice of pie, so it wasn’t that bad. I came home and finished the school work I had procrastinated doing until then. When I got home, Sylvia was here finishing up. We both complained that we have been bored since Karla and Aysha left. She asked me if I was sure that there was nothing else she could do. There wasn’t so she had to go home early.

I went out tutoring - which fortunately was at the point of the pie where I switched busses, so I knew exactly how to get there – almost. Before the bus gets to the point, it stopped at home-base for a break. I had to catch a taxi to get to tutoring on time. The taxi driver spoke great English and told me that he had been in Kuwait for 14 years (parents take note – 3 years in not so long). He started out working as a mechanic for ten years, and then he moved up to a job at Burger King. Now he was a taxi driver, which was the best. At Burger King there were too many rules. He said that if he showed up for work without shaving that day, he had to pay a penalty.

I picked up the car and took it for the super wash - inside and out, vacuumed and floor mats air blasted, engine and under-carriage. While I was there, I got an offer on the car. I told these two Kuwaiti guys that I wasn’t ready to sell it, but we exchanged phone numbers and we’ll talk in a couple weeks. I’m checking the Waseet, Kuwait’s Buy and Sell to see what its worth.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Aysha and Karla left last night. It was a relief to finally see them off. Having the car loaded (packing finished), checking them in to the flight (tickets obtained) and watching them pass through customs (passport and paperwork accepted) meant that all the preparations for the trip had finally been completed. I was sad to see the two leave, but satisfied that Karla was finally headedto where she needs to be.

I got up this morning without an urgent checklist to accomplish. It was kind of lonely, and since Sylvia wasn't coming, I straightened up the house a bit too keep myself occupied until it was time to go to school.

Time feels like an unlimited resource. All of a sudden, it's not measured in moments until Aysha wakes or periods of walking loops in the apartment. Now, there's a whole lot of it, but no one here to share it with.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Check and Check

Yesterday, the passport. Today, the stamp that will allow Aysha to leave Kuwait.

Karla has tickets to go home too.

More details of the adventure later...

Friday, April 08, 2005

Grinning Aysha in a cute-but-soon-to-be-too-small pink dress


What are you lookin' at?!?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Phase One Complete

Tuesday, I went to pick up Aysha's elusive birth certificate. The parking lot was busier than I had ever seen it before (I have made several trips to the Ministry of Health) It was fast and easy. In less than five minutes I had the paper and was gone. Things were looking up.

I scooted over to the school business office. Mohammed, the guy at school who helps overseas teachers with their paperwork, took my new passport and Aysha's birth certificate. I needed to have my residence visa transferred from my old passport. He promised that Aysha's birth certificate would be taken to the translator that day and then to the embassy the next day. That afternoon, at the end of the school day my passport had already returned with a new visa. Maybe the ministry can produce residency visas (what Aysha needs before she can leave) quickly. Things were looking good.

The next day, I called Mohammed again. He confirmed the translation had been done and would be picked up and delivered to the embassy shortly. I called Conchita (the consul, not the banana) and left a message for her to the effect that the birth certificate would arrive that day. At the end of the school day, I called the embassy. It turned out Conchita had gone home early that day and so no one could tell me if they had even received the birth certificate. Next, I called Mohammed. He said the embassy had the translation and that the original was in my mailbox at school. Disaster. This is where I had a little melt down. The embassy needs the original. Giving me the original meant that Aysha's passport would be a day behind.

I ran down to the mailroom. Locked. Katherine, our deputy principal (and very understanding friend), let me in. No birth certificate, but there was a note. The secretary had kept it locked in her desk, like she does most important documents. Only she'd gone home for the weekend. I talked to Mohammed again who has spoken to the man who had actually been to the embassy. That man said that the Canadian Embassy had seen the original birth certificate and had returned it to him. So maybe there's hope. We'll have to wait until Saturday to find out.

Karla is booked on a flight to Calgary. She leaves Tuesday night and will arrive in Calgary late Wednesday afternoon. She is booked to come back about two weeks later. On Saturday, if the passport is ready, her plans will become more concrete. The travel agent also said that if the paperwork goes more quickly than expected, it will be possible for her to get on an earlier flight.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Aysha slept through the night for the third night in a row.

I spoke with the Canadian embassy today. They will issue Aysha's passsport as soon as they get a copy of her birth certificate. If the Ministry of Health comes through with the promised document this Tuesday, it can be translated and delivered to the embassy on Wednesday, who promise that the passport will be in our hands by Saturday. Then either Karla or I need to go down to the sponsor Aysha as a resident in Kuwait, a process which usually takes a few days. Hopefully, by the Wednesday the 13th Aysha and Karla can be on their way to see Gramdpa Germaine.