Alive in Oman

Don’t worry everyone, I am alive and safely in Oman! I know I haven’t posted in awhile but the thing is there isn’t exactly great Internet here and it can be difficult to find a time to get on my blog. We have Internet in the school building but we’re in class most of the time and then my family just doesn’t have Internet. It’s been an adjustment…

But anyways, we arrived in Oman on Friday and it has been a total whirlwind! It feels like we’ve been here so much longer but its barely even been a week! We stayed in a hotel our first night and then moved in with our host families on Saturday.

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My host brother, Tariq

My host family is really really great. I have four sisters and one brother, which is a lot of fun! I’m sharing a room with the two oldest sisters (Zuena and Zakira) who are 18 and 19. It’s really nice to have people my age to hang out with. The other siblings are 12, 7 and 3. Tariq, the boy just turned 3 on Tuesday — there was a big party and tons of people came over! I tried to follow the conversation but it was mostly just very fast Arabic so that was a pretty interesting. The food was delicious though! The family is half Zanzibari so they also speak Swahili; I’ve been trying to pick some up but haven’t had much luck yet.

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Parts of my host family at Tariq’s birthday party! The man in the center is my host dad, Salim and next to him on the right is the grandmother. On her right is my host sister Zuena

100 vocabulary words. That was extremely intimidating and caused a bit of a panic but by next class we started to get the hang of it. Hopefully it doesn’t get too much harder, I’m not used to being in school like this!!My Arabic on the other hand has gotten much better!! Well considering that I came knowing basically nothing and that I can now form a few basic sentences and even read (slowly) I’d say I’m doing pretty well! Our first few days were mostly orientation and touring Muscat so our first formal Arabic class was only on Wednesday. Our teacher is named Houmaid and very funny but very hard. On the very first day he gave us an entire dialogue in Arabic to read and understand and almost

During our orientation we did a lot – we spent a lot of time at the AMIDEAST building but we also went to the old city and saw the Grand Mosque, Royal Palace and shopped a bit at the souk where you can get everything from silver daggers to frankincense to custom made abayas (the traditional robes worn by women).

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Sultan Qaboos’ main palace

We also visited the U.S. Embassy where we met several top officials, including the Ambassador h

erself, which was very exciting and so cool. We also spent one day at the beach, which was great, and exactly what we needed. We went to a private dive club that was mostly used by expats so we could wear whatever we wanted in the water although we still dressed modestly to and from the beach.

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Me at the Grande Mosque

Now that we’ve been here for a little while we have started to get an idea of the routine and I’m looking forward to continue learning in the weeks to come! Stay tuned!

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Liz, Rachel and I on the old road to Muscat, overlooking the port

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The whole group at the beach! From left: Rachel, Lydia, Mac, Kirby, Anna, Liz and me

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Poppa
    Sep 29, 2013 @ 07:06:21

    Miriam. Glad you are getting acclimated to your new adventure This is so well written I can actually imagine being there myself. Thank you for keeping everyone aware and understanding your life in Oman. Can’t wait to hear more. Love. Poppa

    Reply

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