Gabe works from 7am to 7pm, and while counting the hours til he comes home, I fill my day with small moments.
Days alone in Kuwait are very different than home: I set out on little walks in search of seashells, read on park benches and find tiny kittens that live next to the beach. When I don't feel like leaving home, I gaze at ocean waves from our windy balcony and listen for the hauntingly beautiful adhan ...or lay on my belly in our bed, my feet pressed against the cool headboard and my head at the foot of the bed, looking straight out the window.
I could watch waves for hours.
Sometimes, our maid will come to my room--we chat while I curl my hair and she hangs up laundry. We talk about her daughter, when "husband" and I want to have babies, her home country of Sri Lanka and whether or not she likes macarons (she doesn't). There's stumbling and repeating, my accent is heavy midwestern and hers heavy middle eastern, but we're both heavy on the smiles to make up for our conversational bumps.
The other day she said to me:
"I tell my friends that I like you, Madame, because you are happy, laughing and loud...just like me!"
We learn to say each other's names through lots of laughs and mispronunciations. She says mine like "Bet-nee", and it's so endearing I cannot correct it. I'm certain I say "Ee-nigh-uh" wrong, too, but she smiles anyway. She was right. We are both happy, laughing and loud...and I am elated to have a friend for however long I am here.
This experience has revived my childlike heart. Not that it was ever gone, but experiencing an entirely new culture is humbling, like learning to walk and talk all over again....ever dependant on the kindness and understanding of those surrounding you. It resparks the ability to rejoice in little things like seashells, new friends, found kittens and crossing the biggest street here all by myself.
Yep, I crossed the busiest, craziest street. And I wasn't even ashamed when I beamed, telling Gabe all about it. It really is like growing up all over again.