A Travellerspoint blog

The people of Arifjan

31 December 2017

sunny

Even more important than the food are the people that I have spent the last year with. Most imporant to me are....
Phil Baldwin who in this photo models the XS PT jacket he was sent. I now own it.
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And here he is ready for a dust storm.
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And Dana Nicholson. Here we are at Chilis for her birthday.
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There is always the Latin Family that i would not have made it through the 9 months without.
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It became international with Roberto, our Italian friend featured in a bunch of the blogs. And our Turkish friend we said goodbye to at Chilis. He gave us eyes to protect us always.
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And then the crew that inhabited the ER. Literally. And even those that didn't work there but always came to chat with us.
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SPC Brannick was an interesting medic, always doing something funny.
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And Alvarez was always visiting.
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1LT Hargrave worked with us for awhile and always commented on how small I was. When his friend visited he wanted a photo.
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A bunch of the CSH did the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge. It almost killed CPT TYler.
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The medics after GAFB.
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The OB doc set up a mani/pedi/facial day outside her room. Heather is getting ready to do a facial.
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Heather, Judy and I getting facials.
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Judy was our nurse that worked her but off as the LNO with the local hospitals. She was awesome.
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One of our last days the DCCS made all the officers get a photo. It is good to remember both good and bad.
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Posted by ErinDriver 18:29 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Some notable foods

30 December 2017

As the year closes and our deployment nears an end I was looking through my photos. I realized there was quite a few things that didn't fit in to a blog but I would otherwise want to remember. I think my number one food in Kuwait is the lotus sushi in the Arabella restaurant entry.

Second place goes to the na'an bread that is everywhere.

And then I also want to remember the mongolian that made up every "mongolian Monday" at the DFAC.
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And the DFAC had some pretty mean cherry crisp.
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Keeping it on post but out of the DFAC was the occasional visit to Chilis. They had drinks....sans alcohol :(
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The bonus of going to off post CME events is that, well, you got to go off post. I went to one in a huge boat that had an awesome buffet.
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And one time we went to the Village which is like a strip mall of restaurants. We hit a place that had flat bread for lunch.
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At one of the malls off post there was the Dampa Feast seafood restaurant where they dumped all your food straight on to the table and you just ate with your fingers. It was interesting with the rice involved. They had cool drinks too but again, no alcohol. It is like the Kuwaitis try to make up for the lack of alcohol by making very elaborate drinks.
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Posted by ErinDriver 18:07 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Christmas at Camp Arifjan

December 2017

sunny

Christmas was near the end of our deployment so spirits were high despite being away for the holidays. Camp Arifjan does a pretty good job of decorating around the base, both inside and out. In front of the MWR facility it looks like a row of Christmas shops with a tree.

The post had a Christmas Eve 5K that of course we did and then had a fun breakfast at the DFAC afterwards.
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I like how they even decorated the palm trees with ornaments.
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The DFAC Christmas Dinner was not the greatest but they try.
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And they doecorate the DFAC very well with amazing fruit carvings and cakes.
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Roberto, our Italian friend, liked the cakes.
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And we all liked the Salsa watermelon.
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The latin crew wanted to get photos all together so we met in the lobby of the hospital for a photo shoot.
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This just proves that you can get anything delivered to Kuwait :)
One of my medics, Dylan Pulos, a radiology tech SGT Castillo, an OR tech SGT Alvarez and the respiratory tech and latin dance teacher, SGT Jamie Reed.
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Here is one lucky guy :) Me, Phil Baldwin and Dana Nicholson.
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Posted by ErinDriver 15:51 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Star Wars 5K

15 December 2017

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When the latest Star Wars movie came out Camp Arifjan hosted a 5K in addition to playing the movie every day a few times a day. This was the only movie that played while we were there that you had to get a ticket in advance.

I was in love with the princess Leia outfit that I got off etsy and I hope to wear it one day for the Disney Star Wars run.
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But these two had everyone beat in the contest. This guy was Luke and the yoda in his ruck sack is actually a tiny little dude that wore a Yoda mask.
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Posted by ErinDriver 17:01 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Al Boom restaurant

14 December 2017

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Al Boom, Mohammedi II was built in Calicut, India in 1979 over a period of 3 years. It is made of teak and copper and hand made. It is quite a beautiful boat but because of its position between the water and buildings it is difficult to get a good picture.
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The inside is now a restaurant that is fine dining here in Kuwait. They have a buffet of salads, breads and other appetizer items.
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I ordered lobster off the menu and it was just fantastic.
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Posted by ErinDriver 17:08 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Thanksgiving 2017

23 November 2017

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The post really does try for the Holidays. On Thanksgiving they had a 5K so I got to run just like I would have done at home.
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Roberto ready to run the 5K.
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Phil in my turkey tutu.
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The DFAC goes all out for the holidays with cakes and dressed up turkeys.
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The even made an alligator out of pineapples.
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Posted by ErinDriver 17:19 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Kuwait City Gulf Bank Marathon

18 November 2017

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About 22 people from my unit, the 86th Combat Support Hospital, ventured off post this morning to downtown Kuwait City for the Gulf Bank Marathon. It started at the Marina Mall which showcases some pretty amazing boats the Kuwaiti's are able to afford. To get to the start we had to walk all the way around the marina to the bridge.
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Because the race started late there was plenty of time to look around at the people starting with us. The women were just beautiful. There was a 5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon and full marathon all starting at the same time. I imagine with all the makeup and jewelry these women were wearing they had to be just doing the 5K.
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The first loop of the race was beautiful with a large portion actually along the gulf. We passed by their cultural center, Grand Mosque and actually went through the souk. Some of the vendors were passing out grapes, etc to the runners. After the first half which was basically one big loop we then did four small laps which became VERY monotonous. It went past the towers but even they weren't impressive by the 10th time you passed them.

The volunteers were great but did seem to loose steam by the end of the marathon and just stood next to their tables. The finish was also a mind trick. It looked like it would be under the start banner up the little hill. But when you got to the top of the hill someone said its just down at the bottom by the flags. But when you got down to the bottom of the hill you had to make a left turn down the red carpet to the finish. Which was actually quite pretty.
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There was no clock and my watch had died so I had no idea what time I got. Someone from my unit told me I got 2nd place female and I told her she must be crazy. She then pointed to the results board which did indeed list me as 2nd place.
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Shortly after I got called to the stage area and there was an awards ceremony where we actually got to get up on the podium. I got a huge check for 600 KD which is like $2000! They also gave us flowers and another medal. Unfortanately we had to turn in the big check in exchange for a paper one.
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Posted by ErinDriver 05:59 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Seashells Resort

10 November 2017

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Kuwait even has very nice beach resorts. All lot of the units will spend a day at these for recreation days. They have a couple of restaurants and pretty view to just laze on the beach. I believe you can also do some water sports. I was here on a bit of an off day and there weren't many people around. I had a nice drink without alcohol and a pizza with a few hours gazing at the ocean.
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Posted by ErinDriver 16:20 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Cosmo bowling and Dinner

9 Nov 2017

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Phil and I would never pass up an opportunity for some time off post during our Kuwait deployment.....even if its for cosmo bowling! We actually had a good time bowling. They do it exactly the same as we do :)
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After a few games the bus group moved off to the dinner complex. Phil and I chose to eat at Seyidoglu, a turkish restaurant. We shared a ring of yummy goodness and then some dessert before we had to snap back to reality. Kuwait really does have some fabulous restaurants!
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Posted by ErinDriver 18:31 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Redskins Cheerleaders Visit Kuwait

1 November 2017

The Redskins Cheerleaders made a visit to Kuwait and did a short performance at the outdoor theater. Afterwards we could get photos with them but they only allowed group photos. My fellow fan, Corey Fowler is in the middle.
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Superbowl Champion, Mike Nelms was with the group and allowed people to try on his Championship rings. Needless to say they were a little big for me :)
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Posted by ErinDriver 19:48 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Camp Arifjan Haunted House

31 October 2017

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Camp Arifjan hosted a haunted house inside the main gym on halloween. They had wooden partitions put up inside and each unit was responsible for a section. Dana Nicholson took charge of the CSH portion and actually I think most of the haunted house. It was GREAT fun and she did an amazing amount of prep work.
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Even just outside the Haunted house was decorated.
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Dana was at the gym doing make up for hours before the start. And once it did start people were in line outside for hours to get in.
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Tina was one of the Silent Hill Nurses.
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Here's what they looked like at the end.
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Spencer was not too sure about getting his make up done.
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Phil and I after make up. I worked the next morning so I didn't want to be washing off too much make up.
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Dana doing CPT Antinucci's make up.
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finished product...
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Alvarez lost an eye.
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Some of the CSH people getting ready to haunt people.
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Every one got sprayed with blood at the end of make up,
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the OR inside the haunted house.
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Phil at work in the OR.
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Posted by ErinDriver 16:44 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Halloween Latin Night

31 October 2017

The Sexy Bitches made their debut tonight as Day of the Dead brides. Dana did our make up and we were very excited to dress up. Unfortunately most people didn't play along with the idea. Fortunately that means we won the costume contest :)
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Me with a couple of my medics - Dylan Pulos and Gabby Castillo.

Posted by ErinDriver 19:40 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Shadow Marine Corps Marathon

22 October 2017

sunny 80 °F

Tim Pekari, one of the ortho PA's in the 86th Combat Support Hospital and a HUGE runner was able to coordinate with the Marine Corps Marathon for us to have a shadow race on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. The route was a much more boring 26 miles of looking at dirt and brownness but it still gave approximately 120 people around the area something to train for and an accomplishment during their deployment.
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Sun coming up on race morning.
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The CSH mostly ran the event to include an expo the day before. He was able to coordinate the Marine unit to give us our medals at the end which was a very nice touch.
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Overall it was a great race and we ended up with the same medal those who did the race in the US got :)
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Posted by ErinDriver 06:29 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Kuwait Zoo and 360 Mall

14 October 2017

sunny 90 °F

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Anything animal is my kind of thing so I was pleasantly surprised by the Kuwait Zoo. It didn't have a great layout but it was only 500 KD or about $1.50 to get in. The animals were actually pretty active now that its a little cooler. I have never actually seen snakes moving around and here more than one was crawling up the side of the cage.
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The iguanas were having breakfast.
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The zebras were rolling around in their pen, the llama came prancing out, the lion was eating a piece of meat and the bear was sticking his tongue out at us.
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Some of the Animals I didn't even know what they were and the sign postings weren't that great.
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Swans were a hit for me and always so easy to photograph. I'm not sure who is in more danger though, the swan or the cat.
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This bear was pacing all around on his butt to look up at us.
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Can you find the alligator?
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I love this sign reminding people not to feed their kids to the alligator.
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Pink flamingos looked right at home.
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SPC Pulos and SGT Alvarez constantly had to be watched to make sure they were following the rules :)
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Myself and SPC Castillo at the entrance.
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The crew at the zoo - CW3 Estrada, LT Kagiri, LT Hargrave, SPC Pulos, SPC Castillo, myself, SGT Alvarez.
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After the zoo we went to the 360 mall which is 4- 5 stories with a bowling alley, IMAX theater and gym on the top floor, not to mention tons of stores.
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And for some reason a white carraige surrounded by roses.
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After eating Italian at Margharitas and having SPC Pulos (one of my medics) demonstrate how to properly pour water our group split up.
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The kids went shopping and bought vans.
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Four of the rest went to the bowling alley and played a couple games for 5 KD each in the nicest bowling alley we had ever seen.
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They have bowling socks for those who aren't wearing any.
large_LT_Kagiri_..wling_socks.jpgThe chandeliers were beautiful and the place was very clean.

After dinner we ate again at the chocolate bar I had caramel coconut cake.

Sadly by 1500 it was time to head back to post and become the animals in the cage again :(

Posted by ErinDriver 07:08 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

Scientific Center and Arabella Restaurant Complex

22 August 2017

sunny 110 °F

I read the Scientific Center had an aquarium so when I saw this as an option for MWR I got on the trip. When we got off the bus the sun was just setting on the water so everyone pulled out their cell phones to get a photo. I think I am one of the only people that actually carries around a camera.
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The aquarium is not that big but what they have is nice.

The entrance makes you think you are in the Sharknado movie!
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Inside they have more than just fish. There is a section of birds, snakes to include a sand viper and even penguins.
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The shark tank was pretty neat with the way it was lit and I could get a photo of Phil trying to photograph something else with shark right over his head.
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The Scientific Center has a lot for kids but also an IMAX theater. We see a movie that exceeded my expectations on engineering around the world.

After the Center we hit Arabella Restaurant Complex and went for Italian at Nino's. In these restaurants you can almost pretend you aren't on deployment. Last but not least was more lotus sushi for dessert at the Chocolate restaurant.

Posted by ErinDriver 11:10 Archived in Kuwait Comments (0)

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