One Year in Kuwait!

Happy Anniversary to me and Kuwait! That was on February 18, 2017.

Working in Kuwait was not included in my plans on 2016 but some circumstances brought me here.

Do I have any regrets?
None, so far. I tried my best not to look into the worse side of this Muslim, male-dominated country. As much as I could, I look into the brighter side everyday and remind myself of my reasons for working here and of my goals and plans when I get back to the Philippines, with God's grace.

Let me look back to my 2016, the life before Kuwait and my preparations to come to one of the world's most-feared countries to work for as a housemaid.
New Year's Eve 2016
January 01, 2016
I still have my straight hair then.
My hair, my crowning glory... ah, it has always been my pride for being long, smooth, shiny and managable.
Now? Duh!
First Week of January
I was a busy bee getting all my papers done. Couldn't remember how many times I bit my tongue during the processing.
Patience? I have very little.
A very special lunchdate with my beloved little sisters at Greenwich.
These two topped my list of "will definitely miss" people. 
My sisters, my best friends!
My agency's advise: curl your hair.
I didn't get the reason why but I was like "okay, i miss curly hair anyway".
I paid a visit to our local parlor in town and had my curls done.
I wanted it to be done by my favorite salon in the city, David's, but I reminded myself, I was to become a housemaid, why splurge on hairstyle? 
 A little night-out with my neighbor/co-applicant/close friend Jeziel at a favourite local bar in town - Marlit's.
My last crazy, semi-wild night-out in the city, hopping from bars to bars. I knew I wouldn't be able to drink for two years so it was kind of like a revenge in advance.
 That was it! All packed for Zambo. City then from Zambo. to Manila where the real challenges awaited.
Manila: Basic Arabic Lessons
I lost all photos taken in the Agency's accommodation in Manila.
The training and the experiences at the accommodation were far more challenging than our work here in Kuwait. So since I passed all that, I sure had enough endurance needed here. And well, one year here now, I am nearing the finish line!

Spending all my Philippine money while waiting for my flight to Kuwait.
February 17, 2016.
There was no turning back! 

The line of work, is it bearable? 
At first it was really hard, especially when you are dealing not only the household chores but also the kids. The household works never bothered me, not at all. Dusting, mopping, organizing, scrubbing; it was just like doing chores in my own house.

Dealing with the kids was the challenging part for me because I am hot-tempered, and have very little patience. As early as the first month, I already felt like giving up. Yes, in that short period of time I thought of quitting because the kids here are crazy, hard-headed, spoiled and arrogant. Honestly, I even asked my employer to take me back to my agency because I couldn't handle the kids. But the lady refused saying every house has babies. Speaking of babies, they lied on the contract. Stated there were only two instead of three babies.

How do I handle the long hours of work?
When I get a chance to sit down even for just a minute, I would take it. During my first few days, my employer kept telling me not to do any work after lunch (2~5pm). I should just rest, they said but there never happened a "rest" between those hours. Why? Because there are kids.

Sixteen to seventeen hours of active work is the norm here. You can ask any household worker if you think I am exaggerating. Every Filipina I met whined about the long hours of work, if not how messy, crazy and lazy their employers were. I shared the same dilemma.

Despite the long hours of work, I still managed to sing while scrubbing toilet bowls and washing dishes and in the shower at night when I take my one-hour bath time. Oh yes, I always indulge myself with a warm bath every night,an old habit from the Philippines. It is actually what Pinays are known here for; we smell good and we smell clean.

How is my standing with the kids and employers?
I don't have a child but I believe I can raise children way better that Kuwaiti parents. I do understand how kids are based on my baby-sitting experiences with my little sisters. Kids can be real pain in the ass, that's for sure. And the kids here are far more challenging. You would need more than one billion of patience or you can punch them straight to their stupid, spoiled, stubborn, and arrogant face.

Even the parents here couldn't do anything to the children's tantrums because they as well throw tantrums from time to time. Parents here are big kids and tend to be more problematic. Their only tactic to calm their children down is, instead of conducting disciplinary actions, they would, as I have always noticed, offer money and later give in to the children's wish. Nah! Offering money to children, even a centavo won't do in the Philippines!

After one year, I managed to impart to the kids some good manners and right conduct like politeness to the elders, saying "thank you and please" and thoughtfulness. I kept telling them that when their parents are asleep or when there are visitors, they shouldn't make a noise and just behave. The elder ones were kinda hard. They won't listen because they think they are always right. So, I focused on the youngest one and I think I totally own her now! She is the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful, although with a little flaw since she is still a citizen in this country, she is the most well-mannered, less-cluttered person in this house besides me.

Kids' arrogance are only implanted in their minds through their parents. It is what they see from them. I paid attention. Sometimes their arrogance is just for a show to make themselves look and feel better when family and friends are around. Slowly, I will try to scratch such behavior in the kids' minds through giving them the love, affection and attention they need most, which are the things they didn't get from their parents.

One year, I never thought I would be able to endure it but wow, I made it! One more year and I will be back in my home country, in my home with my family. I can't wait!!!!


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