Well, it’s been a while. And I regret not adding a closing post to the other blog sooner. I figured this blog would be for my Oman trip last summer, but I liked Oman so much that I decided to return this year for even longer! So now this blog is going to be about my two different trips to Oman.
Closing the SALAM Scholarship – I think I still have one more video to add, but I don’t have a good enough internet connection to do that so it will be a little out of order. I had a lot of fun on that program, but because we were only there for a little over a month, because we were in a highly structured program with trips every weekend and events every night, and because I was in a group of Americans never allowed to leave our Guest House and explore Oman on our own, I feel that I didn’t fully experience Oman like I had hoped to. I never got to go have dinner with an Omani family, for example. Plus, because Arabic is such a hard language to grasp, I felt like I was only nearing a breakthrough as I was leaving. It was a great program, those were just the few flaws. But the benefit of that was that it left me wanting more, and gave me a good introduction to Oman.
If I hadn’t done that SALAM program last summer, I would definitely be too afraid to do what I’m doing now – flying alone to the other side of the world.
First and foremost, what must be documented: I cut my hair off! I think this is the shortest it’s been since before I was in first grade. I was tired of it being a big frizzy mess, so I decided I wanted to try something different. The timing lined up well with the trip, and it’s easier to deal with while traveling. I did not cut my hair to improve my job opportunities or to make me more approachable, to be more professional, etc. I just wanted to do what I thought would look best.
So, this time around I’m going back to Oman and taking classes at a similar school, called the Noor Majan Institute. It’s in Ibri, a city that’s a few hours west of where I was before. It’s pretty rural, so I think that I’ll have to rely on Arabic, which is good. I want to be close to fluent by the time I go home.
Right now I’m sitting in Muscat, waiting to meet with whomever else is in my group to take a bus to Ibri, which is a few hours away from this city. I started with a short flight in Greenville to D.C., had a 7-hour flight to Frankfurt an hour after that, another 7-hour flight to Dubai an hour after that, and a 45 minute flight to Muscat from there after a four hour wait. I’ve been travelling for over 24 hours, and I actually feel much better than I thought I would. I think I’ll be able to avoid jet lag.