And just like that, we’ve been here for one year [eyes bulge out of disbelief]. In my mind, it feels more like 7 months. To Tad, he says even shorter. But alas, we’ve hit our 1-year Bahrainiversary and we are definitely in full stride. I had full intentions of writing a 1-year blog before we went to Georgia (the country in Europe, not the United States) but that clearly never happened. So here I am, one-month post-Georgia finally getting a moment to write.
Bahrain has and continues to treat us well (knock on wood). Tad has been traveling all over the Middle East and back to the United States quite frequently. While he doesn’t like being away so long and so often, he seems to be enjoying the executive treatment at the airport lounges like a kid in a candy store. And let’s be honest, traveling without kids has to feel like winning a jackpot.
Trace LOVED attending Kidz World (pre-school) this last year and is still our avid learner and bookworm. To my own fault, I often treat Trace way older than he is. Tad taught Trace how to say, “mommy, I’m just 3.” I wish I didn’t need to be reminded, but I do. He’s just so mature and smart. Aaaand he still loves to cuddle. I feel like I can really get into this age. Maybe 3.5 years is my thing. 2.5 is definitely NOT. Intro Izzy…
Izzy…Oh, Izzy. She is so her own (said with a huge sigh and huge smile). That girl. Pre-Georgia she was getting soooooo bored staying at home with me (yes, she would tell me) and kept asking me to go to school with Trace. Thank goodness Kidz World is hosting a summer camp they both started after our trip to Georgia. Izzy is super excited to be a big kid now and Trace loves having Izzy at “school” with him. Already, this summer is a big turning point for Iz. Not only is she going to Kidz World every morning with her favorite person in the whole entire World, but she also decided she doesn’t want to wear diapers anymore. Score! She also has turned up the boundary testing by 300%. Maybe Trace was this stubborn but if so the amnesia is real. She’s testing me in every way possible. Tad just taught her, “Mommy, I’m just 2.” Izzy naturally threw in the head tilt and cute blinks while saying it. Watch out World…Izzy’s coming for you.
And me, oh yeah, me. It’s all divine timing. The week I signed the kids up for summer camp I was contacted by three different yoga studios to teach. Yoga is just beginning to become a thing here, as is all things natural and holistic. And with the country being as small as it is, apparently, my name got out. It is really good timing for me to be here now. Now that the kids are at summer camp and soon-to-be pre-school every morning, I’ll be teaching yoga at two new studios in Bahrain while continuing to teach Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) Yoga for Beach Culture and growing my YouTube channel library Yoga with Haunani. I’ve also been asked to do cupping, acupuncture, and workshops. We’ll see if that comes to be. So yeah, we are all in our little Bahraini groove and it feels amazing.
Recently, I’ve noticed Tad and I share more and more phrases that start with, “You’d never know unless you lived in Bahrain….(finish the sentence with something new to our family).” So in honor of this one-year mark, I figure I would share some of these insights we’ve gleaned as a family. Honestly, I’m not sure these are specific to Bahrain. They are probably more like lessons you learn from a western family moving anywhere in a Middle Eastern desert-like country. However, since we live in Bahrain, here goes…
You’d never know unless you lived in Bahrain:
- 105F degrees feels cool, even with humidity.
- Having a “guy” for everything is the only way you get things fixed here.
- Wearing glasses or sunglasses with metal frames during the hot-season (June-October) will burn the side of your face or anywhere that your frames accidentally touch your face.
- Having your own date tree is the best!
- Driving gloves are required…not for the cold (the only reason I knew they existed) but for the billion degrees steering wheel that cooked in your car while you were getting groceries or running an errand on Base.
- We are in the middle of everything…it takes 3-5 hours to fly all over the globe and we are definitely taking advantage of it.
- A 3-5 hour flight with toddlers is no big deal.
- Hummus in the United States is gross.
- Tripping or falling onto your hands, knees, and even face, during the hot-season, can lead to 1st and 2nd-degree burns. Izzy helped us figure this one out.
- Making crisp, fresh french fries is harder than you think.
- Holistic anything…yoga, Acupuncture, Ayurveda…is spreading like crazy here. It’s a good time for me to be here and help that growth and education.
- Keeping a house in good working order…water, electricity, plumbing…is apparently a miracle. We all live in miracle homes in the States.
- The “Saudi swoop.” It’s totally acceptable to cut across three lanes of traffic to make a turn or u-turn.
- Fruits have seeds in them…duh, I know but everything you buy in grocery stores in the US has been modified to lose the seeds. I love showing the kids all the different types of seeds and making them learn how to eat around the seeds. Less work for mommy!
- You can drink camel’s milk.
- Rain is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it’s rain in the desert and a curse because this island was not built for rain. Everything turns into waterfront property, including your bedroom floor when the water starts leaking through your roof or running down your walls out of the Air Conditioning units. We lucked out but several families here had full on rivers in their homes.
- Google’s Project Fi is the best phone service and invention for families who move abroad and travel a lot.
- Cars have a lifespan of 10 years. It’s literally so hot and sandy it destroys the cars. My car is 12 years old and every day I pray to God it starts and doesn’t fail me mid-drive.
- High rise buildings and malls are still built by hand…like the whole thing, cement bricks and all. Only the really rich developers bring in the machines like a crane or cement mixer. It’s truly impressive.
I’m sure I could keep going on and on because a lot of stuff we’ve gotten used to.
Now that we are at our one year mark it means we are mentally preparing for our next move. I know, CRAZY, but that’s how it works. Move. Adjust. Settle. Prepare (to move again). Repeat. With that said, NO we don’t have any idea where we’ll be moving next. Maybe by December but I’m not counting on it until March 2018. I have asked Tad numerous times to extend and stay here but that will not be happening.
By the way, I post a lot of family (Trace and Izzy) photos and our life in Bahrain on Instagram. Only a few get shared on Facebook. So close friends and family, if you want to see more of us, follow me on IG at BreatheConnectBe. If you want to follow my work (yoga, acupuncture, holistic health), follow me at AlohaYogiMom.
Until next time. Aloha & Namaste.