Visiting a Farm and a Canyon in a Village Near Ibri

Hello everyone, I’m alive! And a few weeks behind. I have had little to no internet access in my apartment and have been relying on a data plan I purchased for my phone for wifi here. Luckily today I have enough data to add another post. I’m quite behind on the blog, so here I’ll talk about my weekend trip on February 12 to a small village near Ibri.

We started the day with a visit to a farm – it was quite refreshing to be surrounded by green trees and grass with shade overhead because I don’t see too much of that usually in Oman. We started with a nice little breakfast (in the first photo), walked along a falaj (an Omani aqueduct), and then went to look at the fields. I know for a fact that wheat and onions were grown there but I don’t remember much else. It’s a bit harder for me to remember information when it’s told to me in Arabic!

After that, we met up with Masoud, the brother of one of the program directors, and he took us on a tour walking through a valley with several dams and a large one with a reservoir at the end. He also brought a small rifle with him to let us try shooting if we wanted to – I did of course! It was a little scary though at first because when he first met up with us I didn’t quite here what he said, and then he handed me the rifle and asked me to hold it for a while. The other students in the program said, “You’re an American, don’t you have guns everywhere?” when I was clearly uncomfortable holding it. I think I’m probably a little different from what they’d be expecting when they think of an American, though…

I also had the experience of tasting the worst taste in my life during that trip. I tried just a small bite of a little melon-like fruit that Masoud picked from a vine on the ground. According to him, this fruit is very good for you, but I have a feeling that one of the prevailing thoughts around here is “bad taste = good for you.” The taste was quite odd – it was a gross bitter taste, but it lingered for a long time in the same way that something that is very spicy stays. It was like the sensation of spiciness but with a bitter taste, which I didn’t think was possible! One of the students in the group did like it though, so maybe the fruit isn’t universally hated. The other two students who tried it agreed with me, however.

We finished with an excellent Omani lunch at Masoud’s house. As is the Omani style, we ate with our hands.

In my next post I’ll talk about the two trips in the following weeks – visiting a castle and a mountain village, and a trip to the same desert I visited last summer.

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