Last Updated on 5 months by DIARYNIGRACIA
My journey in Kuwait
My experience in my first working abroad without guide…
I remember… The Detailed Offer. I found an anxiously-awaited message from an agency and congratulated me on my acceptance to work in a school. I sighed in relief, finally knowing what would be my plan for that year. I smiled and uttered a thankful prayer that Kuwait wants me.
Exploring the Land of a “Fortress built near water”
Living in a not so far place from the City of Kuwait, a British influenced culture environment.
One of the first sentences I learned in Arabic conversation–right after basic greetings—is Al-Hamdulillah “Praise/Thank God” which I really love to say very often.
At night, no bullfrogs croaked outside the door, no flying cockroaches. All I heard was my finger typing that taps echoed softly against these concrete walls. No cloud of smoke from the mosquito coil under or near your bed.
Outside my window,I experienced sentience that took me by surprise upon seeing their moon, every day. It was then that I realized that the moon had cast a spell on me. I loved it for all its bold, toughness, and brightness it offers just like Kuwait; as much as I loved its stunning, natural beauty.
In my solitary confinement of years living here, my life is circumscribed by within this four closed walled room, between the highway and silent street. I live my life.
From here I discovered the word SERENDIPITOUS.
It was a strange, radiating experience for me but I just smiled then for a moment, and wrote it down, wondering and feeling the new word…
Until I felt the real ESSENCE OF BEING AN OFW, from it’s pleasures, challenges, and Lessons Learned.
Living as an OFW is a Lifetime of Learning
On a whim…
As I step here I’ve gone to a process of letting go of my old identity and embracing a new one but that didn’t happen overnight because I need to establish myself alone.
Jumping with both of my feet— realizing how terrific is the opportunity to be given big responsibilities, to have a steep learning curve, advance fast, and make good money to which we cannot earn in our country, so this is why I am now here in Kuwait… because of the challenging rewards and to give myself a purpose from this experience. Oh! and yes, I want an adventurous life too, but I didn’t expect a much adventurous life as an OFW. Only I wanted then for myself was a new experience, new environment…but this taught me how to appreciate this world, which can be beautiful that we could have ever imagined.
For a quite a while, I felt as If I were feeling my way in the dark and the wind was blowing the wrong way. First six months was really feeling restless, like I feel I didn’t quite fit in. And somehow it began to feel like some higher power was issuing me an ultimatum…to leave the country. I began to feel that somehow I didn’t see the right thing. My walks got a particular shake of the head and fearful eye rolling at the heavens.
So I studied forward and learned their social rules and cultural knowledge which really paid off and the helping skill I learned that we needed for survival here is the pantomime and the friendly Google.
Adapting to Life and Work in Kuwait
Moving to this place was completely different. I see the challenges of an OFW and face wasn’t so much figuring out Kuwait, it was really trying hard to make first step in a demanding professional environment while handling the stresses of homesickness – after long hours at work and returning to an empty room, I spent time more on study with ambition. While the hardest part is the lack of support system from your own kabayan. Sometimes support given is limited. And these are my embracing lessons, I have learned from time I spent in this culture. More challenging than I had originally anticipated.
In time I realized that this Middle East culture can be easily understood by their core values and the roots that drive a culture and from here, to which we can eventually see how everything else around stems from these things, and the way people do things and speak.
And before I could embrace the challenge of this new environment, I had to come to terms with the loss of power, freedom, routine, and support. It’s only when we stop thinking about what we have lost or left behind in our own country that we can enjoy the benefits of what we actually have now, reminding us of every good which we easily overlooked, despite of its imperfections.
And although our chosen destination may be a quaint, charming, simple environment, or it may be one of the safest, most sophisticated nations in the world; its culture, language and climate may present unforeseen difficulties for an OFW in the course of everyday life.
Living as OFW can be one of the most personally enlightening and enriching experiences that life has to offer for me and for every aspirant. To thrive in a new and unfamiliar culture, and to get the full benefit from the time we spend here, we must have a broad sense of perspective and an unconditional willingness to let go of our expectations and immerse ourselves in the new learning experience. Live the lifestyle, eat the food, get to know the people, their history, their language and their culture. Make friends, make money, and yes, make mistakes. But whatever I did here, I know in my heart I made the most of it!
“You can only see what you know.” Learning this is the key to understanding.
You will grow to realize that these are intimate views into a culture that few people get to see. And now you will grow to realize how important it is to make and take the time to look.
Thus, from here I understand the only way to knock back a strong, bitter Arabic coffee is to put a spoonful of sugar and a half cup of fresh milk.
In my return After Living in sandy land…
I Will Bring Change
and I will leave one a fortune…
The key I used living in this Arab world is knowing when to strike a good balance between delivering good results at work and developing a personal life to carefully invest what we can contribute back home, to build work experience and a knowledge that later on my own country will be benefited.
I want to share to applicants and OFW and give support to each other to provide the best healing environment for our kabayans, and leave with a feeling of optimism and faith.Considering we are mixed up in one joyful boiling pot.
To understand the basic human emotions we all share is my primary concern.
I will be sharing with others what I learnedmost about this country. Taking my experiences and trials of the past years, I am putting them all to use in order to create a sensible life with purpose to assist others.
So, I decided to give necessary information and lesson learned about working here in Kuwait, the laws and policies. An encouragement to the readers to work abroad which depends on how they view and understand stories. This is the reason I involved myself in forums and have a good project.
Since I step here, I ‘ve heard lot of stories of failures and successes experienced by OFWs. So I dreamt of a project.
I dream as if I will never fail to reach for it.
To my surprise, my question was met with a resounding silence.
Every day I get up excitedly. I mean here is my true heart’s desire.
I feel so privileged to work in this generation of the web. The internet technology has been such a liberating force that links me here.
Answering hypothetical questions to myself that give me insight into my true motivation.
And seen pattern answers to my questions.
These questions force me to look behind what I assume to be on my dream.
Shouting out loud my dreams to let me feel “real.”
And then serendipitous days came along.
Yet, while having work has in some ways limited my purpose, still in other ways it has expanded and deepened it. Giving me a chance to expand my deeper way to approach my dream.
And while the economics of the situation are complicated, and make me uncomfortable in some ways, this does not change how much I cherish my dream and goal in life.
The Act On my Dream!
I just don’t daydream about what I want, I identify it, plan it and act on it slowly.
I was inspired by my favorite book and as my powerful motivator, “Man, alone, has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man, alone, can dream and make his dreams come true”.
— Napoleon Hill, author of the best selling book, Think and Grow Rich
So, I spent some time trying to think of what I would do if money, time, energy, and health were no objects. What would I do if I could do anything I really wanted to do?
Where the possibilities is limitless.
Eventually, over days and nights of my life here, I started narrowing my options down to great ideas that inspired me and which would take real effort to attain.
I decided that I wanted to achieve something that had real meaning for me and that would take real effort to achieve.
The Right Picture of My Dream
The day I hit rock bottom was the day I started my ascent. All that hard work paid off.
This took me almost years of dedicated work of creativity and interest, spending more than eight hours a day to get the point. Having started from scratch, the research and study process was laborious and absorbed a giant chunk of my time and my world . The good thing was that I enjoyed every minute of it. It was all because of love and passion to serve. These are carefully planned and built up over a period of time. I had a complete immersion in something completely different from what I had known and it had become a part of me.
It never would have happened if I had not taken the initiative and made a commitment to staying for the long haul.
I believe in what Confucius says “Find a job you love and you never have to do a days work in your life.”
This is a dream that is worth pursuing as a picture and blueprint of my purpose and potential.
A seed that is planted in my soul to pursue my unique path to the realization of my purpose.
I have defined my dream, set aside time, truly reflects on it, put in test and start going after it, which I need to nurture its growth every hour and minute of my life.
Yes, the process undoubtedly requires an enormous expenditure of time, energy, effort and money just to get started. And the opportunity to move closer to what I have wanted to be.
And the excitement it brought about and made me surprised are the sudden gaining of my dreams.
I want every individual to achieve his full potential in a professional and philanthropic role.
The programs I prepared are generally more concerned with the practical issues of setting goals and achieving results.
To share the adjustment stages, from beginning, to culture shock, mental isolation, to acceptance and integration.
To give advice on financial management, career building, love, relationship, family and Kuwait matters, with words of encouragement. With the following objectives;
*Facilitate the exploration of needs, motivations, desires, skills and thought processes to assist in making real, lasting change.
*To facilitate one’s own thought processes in order to identify solutions and actions rather than to take a wholly directive approach
*To support setting appropriate goals and methods of assessing progress in relation to these goals. Observe, listen and ask questions to understand the situation
*Encourage a commitment to action and the development of lasting personal growth & change.
*Maintain unconditional positive regard, which means to give supportive and non-judgmental, views, lifestyle and aspirations.
*Ensure to develop personal competencies.
*Evaluate the outcomes of the process, using objective measures wherever possible to ensure the relationship is successful and achieving their personal goals.
All I see now is the picture of myself breaking free of earth’s gravity for a while, and soaring off to the perfect dream through my vision.
I know in my heart, the chosen path I take, will return me more into a well-rounded, and fulfilled person than when I left our beloved country. And only my diary can tell the journey I’ve had.
I am grateful to be privileged enough to have these experiences that I discovered here in Kuwait,that when I return to our country I will bring change and will leave one a fortune.
A poem I made “Ang Munti kong Pagnanais”
dedicated to all my kabayan.
Gising na diwa, puso’t kamalayan.
Mula sa paggising, ikaw ang bumungad,
Taos pusong iaalay ang aking handog.
Mula sa nagdaang araw,
Ikaw ang laman ng mulat na kamalayan.
Mula sa rurok ng pag-iisip,
Pilit hinihimay ang pinanggalingan.
Pagpapakahirap na handang suungin,
Maialay lang sa iyo gintong inaasam.
Ngayon ako’y nasa iyong harapan,
Handog ko ang aking pagpupunyagi.
Para sa isang pagbabago,
At pangarap na bubuuin.
Paulit-ulit na sasambitin,
At yamang handog ng aking puso.
Ibig kong maramdaman mo,
Tamis ng aking tagumpay.
Ang pintig ng aking puso,
At dugong umaagos sa aking pagkatao.
Ngayon aking isasara ang pintong
Lakbayain at daan ng aking Kababayan,
Upang masuklian ang pagmamahal,
Sa Lupang Sinilangan.
Muli sa aking pagtulog,
Ibig kong malaman mo,
Na aking mundo’y umiikot at nangangarap ng may dahilan.
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