Old meets New, the Flusche Family at Bahrain Fort

Old meets New, the Flusche Family at Bahrain Fort
Life overseas can be an overwhelming and exciting adventure.
Come be swept away with us in the Kingdom of Bahrain!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Last weekend the Flusches, Aebis and the Smits went to WaHoo Waterpark.

McKenzie, Becky, Jann and Gavin

Located on the fifth floor of the City Centre Mall, WaHoo is quite the oasis in the capital city of Manama. Only in Bahrain would one go to the mall to enjoy a day of swimming and sliding!


WaHoo is an indoor/outdoor climate controlled waterpark that would blow your mind! Not a single detail was left out. From the tropical background music of Bob Marley to the textured sand beach entry every detail was right on! My boys just couldn't get enough even Gavin went for "round two" after an hour long nap!

Gavin hahing a ball in the Toddler Splash Zone

The whole gang at lunch!

The filtered salt water is kept at about 80 degrees, making WaHoo a year round attraction. The boys had a fabulous time, we can't wait to return!

Kinleigh and Gavin

Tanner & Marco!

With at least 15 water slides, large wave pool, boogie-boarding pool, 1/2 pipe, toddler splash zone, lazy river and zero entry pool beach the fun could (and did) last all day!

Tanner playing with a water cannon

Boogie Boarding Wave Pool

As "Westerners" we really stood out from the "locals"... my fare skinned boys as well as the fare beautiful blond Aebis, not to mention that I was the only woman wearing a bikini. Oh my, you know me, always the "scandalous" one (actually, if you know me, nothing could be farther from the truth).

We spotted most of the Arab women in a full length number made of bathing suit material that sports a hood, long sleeves, pants and long skirt - that was when we coined the term "BURKINI". It appears that blue is the burkini "color of the season"! Geeeze, I'd drown in all that fabric but it seems to please a large section of the population. More power to them - it beats having to sit out on the sidelines and miss out on all the waterpark fun!

Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Diana Krall Concert

Every March...
The Kingdom of Bahrain hosts "A Spring of Culture". The whole month is celebrated by wonderful events including displays of various dance, vocal and instrumental concerts, plays, puppet shows for children and art exhibitions. The Kingdom is decorated with signs announcing all the acts and the citizens of Bahrain arrive in droves!

I screamed (literally) when I saw a poster of Diana Krall on the King's highway. I was excited to see her picture but crestfallen to see all the information was written in Arabic. BUT I had just finished my the "numbers section" in my Arabic class and recognized a phone number. Sooo, I placed a call (right there on the highway) to the number on the poster and inquired about seeing a poster featuring Ms. Krall's face (assuming it was a concert announcement and not just an add for an upcoming album or something!)

Sure enough it was a concert and she would be playing at the Arad Fort on March 12th at 8:30 PM. JACKPOT! I WAS GOING come hell or high water! To make matters BETTER the concert was to be held in our new "home town" of Arad, how cool! Paul secured our tickets last week at the Seef Mall, I couldn't wait!

The venue was intimate, seating less than 1000 people. The backdrop was a combination of the sparkling skyline of the capital city Manama and the ancient Arad Fort which was all light up for the occasion. Fabulous! Diana Krall sounded amazing and her three band mates rocked the town of Arad with their jazzy sound.

More than the music I enjoyed a REAL, honest to goodness, DATE NIGHT with my husband! So rare and precious, I wish it could have lasted longer! :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Legends of Aerospace

Wednesday evening we experienced some of the GREATEST of "The Greatest Generation"! NSA Bahrain was lucky enough to be one of the stops on the "Legends of Aerospace Tour" put on by the Morale Entertainment group.

The moderator for the evening was Emmy Award winner David Hartman who was the original host of Good morning America. He posed questions to the following 5 fabulous gentlemen:

(Pictured Above Left to Right)
1)Neil Armstrong - First man to set foot on the moon (8/20/69),
Astronaut: Gemini 8, Apollo 11.
2) Gene Cernan - Last man to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon (12/14/72),
Astronaut: Gemini 9, Apollo 10 & 17
3) Jim Lovell - Commander of Apollo 13 (4/1970),
Astronaut: Gemini 7 & 12 and Apollo 8 & 13
4) Steve Ritchie - Only USAF fighter pilot "Ace" since Korea, 5 MiG-21 Kills (May-Aug 1972)
5) Robert J. Gilliland - Chief test pilot and first to fly the SR-71 Blackbird (Dec. 22, 1964)

The night was full of their memories: war stories, space missions, life & death experiences, squadron antics and "the good ol' days". One thing they all had in common other than their shared experience in flight was their humble nature. Each one talked up the thousands of people that came before them to make their experiences possible. What an amazing experience, what an exciting night!

Neil Armstrong

It was a BIG night for Tanner, he was pretty "tuckered out" by the night's end!

Meeting the Greatest Race Car Driver of All Time!

That's right, we met Mario Andretti Wednesday afternoon. A once in a life time experience!

Following lunch Paul, Gavin and I went to a "Meet and Greet" with Mario Andretti. He was here to enjoy the Formula One Races that ran Friday-Sunday and thought it would be nice to hang out on base and meet some of our soldiers and their families.

Mr. Andretti autographed a publicity shot for Gavin saying "To Gavin, Follow your dreams..."

International Day

Yesterday was International Day at the Nadeen International School.

After serious consideration the idea of dressing "American" would be tough. Then I had an "Ah-Ha" moment and thought "COWBOY".

"COWBOY" worked in two ways:
1) Cowboys are uniquely "American"
2) Tanner just moved from Texas

BINGO - Cowboy it was!

Slight problem, we didn't have a costume. I was going to toss together a red bandanna, a white button down and some jeans and hope for the best... fate stepped in and the mother of one of Tanner's classmates offered up her son's cowboy costume - PERFECT!

The costume fit GREAT and Tanner looked adorable! The class marched in a parade around the school with the other students and sampled foods from other countries. He had a really fun day and it was great for the children to see the traditional dress of their classmate's home countries.

There are 51 countries represented in the 350 students that attend the Nadeen International School. Tanner is by far a "minority", with less that 15 students attending from the United States. What an educational experience for each of the children who attend the school... it's like a "mini-United Nations". I love walking through the halls and hearing all the different languages represented.

Attending Nadeen has been an amazing experience for Tanner and proved to be an environment in which he thrives... but he'd just tell you "it's cool!" So Giddy-up!

A Sad Day in Bahrain

We had to take Gavin to the Emergency Room this morning.

Saturday, March 13th
Last night Paul and I went on a great date to the Diana Krall concert at the Arad Fort and Caitlin watched to boys for us. At the end of the concert we received a text from Caitlin saying that Gavin bumped his head on the coffee table but he's OK and the boys are now in bed. OK we figured, he's trying to walk so we are bound to have a few bumps and bruises along the way... if it was bad she would have said so.

This morning Paul got up with Gavin when he woke up around 9:00 AM and woke me up moments later. Gavin's eye was 2/3 swollen shut with a 3 inch diameter swollen purple bruise above his right eye. Instantly I went to him to see if there was any other damage. I felt terrible for not checking his "bump" last night... how would we have known. We called the doctor on call because it's Saturday and the base clinic is closed. The "Nurse On Call" recommended taking Gavin to the hospital which was what my gut was telling me to do anyway.

At 10:30 AM we arrived at Bahrain Specialist Hospital in Juffair. We wheeled him into the ER in his stroller and a nurse met us before we even made it to the Reception Desk she said "Oh, poor baby, here, put him in the room". WOW! Talk about service! We hadn't even given anybody his name or age and she was already taking his vitals.

We saw an ER physician within thirty minutes and he called Radiology to order a CT scan. He said his fear was that Gavin may have a scull fracture and wanted to rule that out. He also called Anesthesiology because they may have to sedate my sweet baby to keep him from moving during the procedure. My "Mommy's Heart" was crying for my "broken" lil' guy. My prayers were for sleep for Gavin (to prevent sedation) and for God to guide the hands of his caretakers.

God is SOOOO Good! Around 11:30 AM I wheeled a now sleeping Gavin up to Radiology and lifted his tiny little body onto the huge CT scanner. The staff was amazing, dimming the lights to prevent waking Gavin and wrapping him in a blanket to keep from chill in the cold room. As I held my right hand on his chest to prevent him from moving or rolling during the procedure he slept quietly and sucked his lime green pacifier. Minutes later the procedure was complete and we returned to our room in the ER. The ER physician came down to tell me that the scan came back clear but that the Radiologist wanted to speak with me. FEAR. I was worried that maybe something else appeared and that he was hurt in another way.

The Radiologist was great, he wanted to talk to me personally to reassure me that Gavin was OK and that no fractures were detected and he looked for slow "blood leaks" and found nothing. He explained to me that the injury would look worse before it looked better. He said to expect some "serious looking change in color of the injury". He said that Gavin may also develop a black eye. He also wanted to tell me that I did the right thing by coming in because he could have easily fractured his scull. He told me ALWAYS err to the side of caution, "you're a good Mom". Ahhh, thank you.

We received amazing care at the Bahrain Specialist Hospital. The whole experience lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes... in Texas, it would have taken 5 hours in the waiting room alone! Our final bill was BD146.66 (about $396.00 USD) that includes the ER visit, a CT scan and the prescription, amazing!

Now Gavin looks like he got in a bar fight, the kid's got quite a "shiner". The ER physician prescribed Panadol (which I had never heard of) three times a day for a week for pain relief and said it may help with the swelling. Needless to say he's been pretty "clingy" today which I don't mind one bit. I just laid him down for a nap after he passed out on my chest... feel better soon, sweet baby.

Sunday, March 14
Today Gavin's eye looks worse. I know the Radiologist said that I should expect it to look worse before it looks better but my heart just breaks for him. The eyelid looks a little more swollen and is now turning a purple-ish black, the color of an eggplant.

****These photos were taken this morning, the eye is darker now. I hate to think what tomorrow will bring...