In Madagascar, there was nothing to do on the weekends. There weren't even any malls (can't say that about Kuwait!). However, we could always hop into our car and leave the city to explore the countryside. The roads were not great and sometimes there were no roads but we got to see some incredible wildlife and quaint Malagasy villages.
|One of the many lemurs at Vakona Lodge, just north of Antanarivo, Madgascar|
|Getting to know the tortoises on one of our weekend trips outside the city|
Kuwait on the other hand? When you live in a tiny country encased by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and the ocean, you can't go very far by car. There is desert for two hours and there there's more desert but you can't go there because it's the border.
|The border at Iraq|
There's no park near where we live (and Kuwait parks are not in great shape, anyway), there are no outdoor cafés, no outdoor art exhibits like at the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, no children's workshops at a local museum (that I know of...), but we have found one thing that we can do one weekend at month. We can visit and even volunteer at the animal shelter in Wafra.
Wafra is a town near the Saudi border. It takes over an hour to get there. The Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and their Habitat (aka K'S PATH) houses its animals there.
The advantages of visiting this shelter are numerous:
- The shelter is in the country, surrounded like farms, so going there is like taking a day-trip to the country. That's a refreshing change from visiting shopping malls.
- You get to see all kinds of animals - dogs, cats, baboons, falcons, horses, donkeys, goats, are the ones that come to mind. It's almost like visiting a zoo. There is a real zoo in Kuwait but it's depressing to visit. This place is not depressing. The animals are well taken care of.
- You get to walk the dogs outside around the surrounding farmland.
- You get to play with and brush all the gorgeous kitty cats .
- You get to meet other families living in Kuwait.
- The kids get to experience the joy of animals and of volunteer work.
|Meet Pumpkin, our new cat|