It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane!

It's a Bird, It's a Plane!

This is also a pretty old photo from the Muscat Festival in January. I went with my family to see a flight show by a team of planes from the UAE. It was really cool to see, I had never seen anything like it before and the pilots were amazing! They were all perfectly in sync, although it was stressful because you knew that if they made even the slightest mistake then things could go very wrong. The colored smoke was supposed to be for the UAE flag but except for the black they also happen to be the same as the Omani flag!

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Qurum Slow Roast

Qurum Slow Roast

This is actually a really old photo – I took it at a charity walk for the Oman Cancer Association ( I wrote a blog post about it if anyone remembers…search Undercover Dance Parties) but never did anything with it. I like the way the light hits the gazebo from the left, as the sun is setting and how the lamps look like they’re burning with real fire. But my favorite part is how this park was actually filled with people except in this one moment, in this one spot, making it look completely deserted and almost abandoned. It’s a good reminder of how you can’t always rely on just what’s inside the frame – what’s right outside can be just as important as well, if only for its absence.

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Muhammed: The One and Only

Muhammed: The One and Only

There are a lot of people that have had undeniable influences on my exchange but one person who I just have to highlight is my bus driver, Muhammed. He is the most emotional (as in angers easily) Omani I’ve met and his enthusiasm for learning English words is almost overwhelming. He has been driving us from the beginning of the year and part of the way I’ve been able to measure my progress in Arabic is by how much of his ramblings I can understand. The first time I had a proper conversation with him, I think some time in November or December, was one of my proudest moments in Oman and I feel like learning to understand his accent will definitely help me in the future when I meet Arabic speakers from different countries. Seeing him on such a regular basis for so long is going to make it very hard to leave. I’ve actually taken a few videos of him speaking for those moments in the US when I’m driving myself and missing him yelling “sleeping, sleeping?!” at whoever we just picked up who took two minutes to get out to the car. This photo was taken when he was picking us up from the wedding of an AMIDEAST staff member. From left is Lydia, Kirby, Me, Muhammed and Miriam

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The NSLI-Y Family

The NSLI-Y Family

There are seven NSLI-Y students here in Oman and we spend A LOT of time together. As a result they have quickly become some of my closest friends and this experience would definitely not be the same without them. This is a photo from when we went to the Royal Opera House to see a concert of traditional Sufi music. We all wore traditional clothes from many different traditions – mostly borrowed from host family members but also some things that we have collected along the way. From left in the picture: Lydia, Rachel, Laura (Mac), Liz, Anna, me and Kirby.
If you’re interested in learning more about them or hearing more about their experiences in Oman here are their blogs!

Liz: http://lizvstheworld.wordpress.com/

Laura: www.mackoman.worpress.com

Rachel: kidsmeetingpoint.com/blog

Kirby: kirbylamar.wordpress.com

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The Trees Will Look Beautiful Now

Not Just A Little Fall of Rain

Maybe its because I just posted about rain in Oman but last night there was a huge rainstorm. I didn’t hear it at all but it was quickly evident when I stepped outside this morning and was confronted with giant puddles throughout my entire neighborhood. Even the main roads were flooded which resulted in the bus being almost thirty minutes late to pick me up. Our driver isn’t always the most cheerful fellow but he does love talking unreasonably fast to us in Arabic and is always entertaining. He was especially unhappy this morning because of the roads and ranted on to me about it in Arabic for a good five minutes before finishing with “it’s okay, the trees will look beautiful now.” Something about the casualness of his remark stuck with me and I love how his outlook is so positive even in the face of something that really is very disruptive and as a taxi driver directly affects him and his livelihood. This shot that I took on the way to school reminded me of that outlook; a typically busy shopping center completely deserted and yet there is something very striking and serene about the building, paired with its reflection. At least the trees will look beautiful now.

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A Perfect Storm

A Perfect Storm

Heres a shot from last weekend when I went to the beach with my host family (extended family included).
I saw this couple taking pictures and jumped on the opportunity to get the shot. It is a perfect storm in that it has three of my favorite photography subjects — sun, the beach and people.
Also make sure to check out the sidebar Through My Lens! It’s a collection of some of my favorite photos from Oman.

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Omani fashion of the day!

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Kirby and I modeling some of our more modest school outfits 😃

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