Monday, 11 November 2013

Here's one thing you can do on the weekend in Kuwait...

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.

Antsirabe, Madagascar
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
The result of this hemmed-in environment is that the kids are bored for much of the weekend. There's the mall. But the mall just means buying stuff and spending money. There's the beach club. We go there every Friday during the warm months, but cooler weather has arrived. I won't call it winter, but it's not beach weather.

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 . 

Can you tell that I'm a cat person? :-)
  • You get to meet other families living in Kuwait.
  • The kids get to experience the joy of animals and of volunteer work.
Be careful, though. Your kids may convince you to adopt one of the animals.

Meet Pumpkin, our new cat


Shelby Allaho said...


The Sadu House occasionally offers classes for kids on Saturdays, and Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah has some very interesting art workshops.

If you follow them on Instagram you will find out about all of their events.

The Sadu House on Instagram: @saduhouse
Dar al-Athar al Islamiyyah on Instagram: @dai_kuwait

For events, exhibitions, and activities to do with your kids, follow @whats_kickin.

Also on Instagram if you search the hashtag #kuwaitparks, you will find some lovely parks to visit. I have 2 parks near my house in Shamiyah that have new playground equipment and are never crowded. Also there is the recycled park in Yarmook that is fun to visit.

Qout Farmers Market (@qoutmarket) is the first Saturday of every month at at Arraya Center. They had the first one this month and it was great!