Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Soor Street

One of the earliest exploration trips I made in Kuwait was along Soor Street (Wall Street) because I wanted to see the old gates to Old Kuwait City. I could find most of them, but not all of them. Soor Street has continued to fascinate me – and I wonder if one day soon, it won’t be all new construction.

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This is one of those buildings-with-a-twist going up; I think Tijaria Real Estate is calling it the Kuwait World Trade Center. I get the two companies confused, there is another company, Tijara, that built The Mermaid of Mangaf. I don’t think the companies are related, but they both do more interesting buildings than these:

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Like why even bother? These are so boring you just want to look away.

The dumps on the left have about 10 men in every apartment; they hang their wash on any available fixture and shave on the balcony. I wonder how much longer these places will stand once the building on the right opens? I am guessing the owner of this prime property will also want to tear down the dumps and build something more high-rent.

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Some of you have asked for photos of some of the older places in downtown Kuwait. There isn’t much “old” but there is older. The intense heat is hard on paint and hard on maintenance, so I am guessing these buildings are only about 30 – 40 years old.

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June 27, 2007 Posted by | ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Lumix, Photos, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

111° and Dust

This is for my Mom. You might think it is a cloudy Pacific Northwest day, Mom, but it is already 95° F. at seven in the morning, and expected to climb to 111° F – which is the lowest expected temperature this week.

The dust evidently keeps the heat down.

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June 27, 2007 Posted by | ExPat Life, Generational, Health Issues, Kuwait, Lumix, Photos, Weather | 17 Comments

Jimmie Rodgers on your Prayer List

This is an e-mail from the son of Jimmie Rodgers, who a thousand years ago sang a song called Honeycomb:

Jimmie Rodgers was a TCK – Third Culture Kid – a military brat who went to high school in Germany. He is facing a medical crisis, and major surgery tomorrow, June 28, and his family asks for your prayers:

Hello Everyone!

Perhaps we have not spoken for a while. Perhaps we have never even met but somehow we have been connected through this wonderful world of email. That being said if you are considering this to be SPAM consider it the best kind because there is an opportunity here to be kind if for just a moment and truly bless someone. My name is Michael Rodgers. My fathers name is Jimmie Rodgers. Some of you might remember him from his musical career that has now spanned fifty years.

In 1957 he recorded a song called “Honeycomb” and followed it up with a string of hit records totaling 25 top ten singles,eighty million records sold worldwide and concert appearances throughout the world. Through all of that he carried himself with grace, charm and an incredible sense of humor and style.

In 1967 when he was 33 years old my father was injured in what is now known as a road rage incident with an off duty Los Angeles Police Officer. He suffered severe head injuries and underwent three brain surgeries.

During one of those surgeries he lost 28 square inches of his skull on the right side of his head.

Since 1968 he has carried what is considered to be the largest steel plate ever implanted in someone’s head. For 39 years the entire right side of his head has been entirely made of steel.

It took Dad nearly 15 years to recover from the last surgery in 1968 as he had to learn to walk,speak and regain his motor skills. He was not suppose to live more than 10 years with this steel plate in his body as the body continually tries to reject these kind of implants. Over the years as he has gotten older the skin on his scalp has gotten thinner (as it does with everyone) and the steel has began to try to regain it’s original shape and the edges of the plate that overlap the remaining bone have become sharp and they continually cut his scalp open making the plate stick through the top of his head. When this happens his brain is exposed to air and possible infection, he has terrible mood swings and if left this way this situation will eventually lead to his death.

Over the last 15 years he has had the plate filed, snipped, cut, and reshaped, he has had over 60 different skin graphs and other surgeries to try and keep his head from opening up. The last such surgery was 18 months ago and it nearly killed him. He now has a hole in his head the size of a half dollar and it has been this way since February. There is not enough healthy skin left on his scalp to cover it over.

My dad is tough. He is the definition of the word. He has avoided what is about to take place and tried everything imaginable to live with the constant pain and discomfort and he has now made a decision that will define what will be the rest of his life.

On Thursday June 28, 2007 a team of Brain Surgeons in Hot Springs Arkansas will remove the steel plate that he has carried with him for 39 years. They plan to remove the outer layer of skin and lift the plate away from the position it has held covering the outer layer of his brain. If successful they will replace the plate with a new material that has been developed that will recreate the skull bone and will not be rejected by the body. They also plan to recreate new skin on his head using his own stem cells in a paste form so that no more skin graphs will be needed.

If this surgery works he will no longer have the worry that his head will open up and his brain will become exposed anymore. If this surgery works he will have the chance to live what is left of his life without pain and the ever present knowledge that at anytime his head will open up again.

If this surgery works there is also a very real chance that he might never recover from the intense trauma that he is about to go through. At 33 years of age it took him 15 years to recover. At 73 years of age who knows what the outcome might be. What we do know is that he cannot live with this in his body anymore and it needs to come out if he is going to have any chance to live whatsoever.

Dad has made the decision. The Doctors feel confident that all will be fine and we are stepping out on faith that this is the right course of action.

As someone who some of you know to be a fairly private person I am opening up to you about a very serious family issue. This is not an easy time and I need your help. I kindly ask of you to give of yourselves and help me and my family and most importantly my father through the next few days.
From now until the end of next week and beyond if possible I kindly ask you all to please do the following.

* Please pray for my father that his surgery and recovery will be successful and that his health will be completely restored.
* Please pray for the team of Doctors and Nurses that will be performing the surgery so that they might have guidance and wisdom during this time.
* Please pray for our family that we might have strength and courage to face the days ahead in helping Dad with his recovery.
* Please Pray whatever your heart tells you to pray to whatever higher power you feel guides your life.
* Please put my father Jimmie Rodgers on your prayer lists at church or through an email request such as this one. (Feel free to copy and send).

All of us are connected in this life in some way. I believe there is power in prayer and power in positive thought.
I believe and claim that my father will completely recover from this surgery and that his body will be restored.
I believe that together all of us through prayer and positive energy and thinking can help that to happen.

Thank you all for being a part of and playing a part (large or small) in my life.

Thank you for giving my request consideration.

Name: Jimmie Rodgers
Date of Surgery: June 28, 2007 Steel Plate Removal / Skull Replacement.

My family and I thank you.

And my father thanks you and will be most appreciative to you for your thoughts and prayers. Please click on this link to see my father so that you can see him vital and healthy in your prayers.

God Bless,
Michael Rodgers

June 27, 2007 Posted by | Biography, Community, Health Issues, Relationships, Spiritual | 33 Comments