So the mounting internal guilt and the subtle-becoming-less-subtle hints from friends and family have finally become to much and I'm forcing myself to sit down and finish a blog post. As 2012 has ended, I've resolved to make 2013 a year of semi-regular blog posting. To make up for my absence without being too long-winded, I'll just give you the hi-lights:
In October, my family celebrated Eid over three days, spending the holiday visiting extended family, eating delicious food and receiving Eidea (money that children [and somewhat-older children like myself and host sister] get when they go around begging to all their aunties and uncles)
|New pakistani-style clothes for Eid and henna|
Then we had Halloween, which we did up American-style, with a party and pumpkins and scouring what felt like every store in Muscat for decorations.
|Mariam's first pumpkin|
|We're not quite sure what this mask was going for, pumpkin? Bunny? Ax murder?|
I got to participate in my first US election; although I sent in my absentee ballot months ahead with little fanfare, the swanky embassy breakfast to watch the election results was just as exciting.
November 18th was Omani National Day so everyone dressed up in traditional Omani clothes; the kids in my grade rented a tent and gargantuan amounts of food. We spent the day dancing to Khaliji music, eating rice with our hands, and fighting over who got to play the next song over the speaker system.
|Can you spot the Americans|
I also went exploring in Ruwi one day when I went to Mass with Victoria. It was cool to see the diversity of Muscat in the mostly Filipino and Indian church congregation, as well as a less glamorous, more bustling side of the city.
|Also there was delicious Filippino Siopao for breakfast|
We had thanksgiving at the US Ambassador's house, where all our host families came and had the opportunity to try some American staples turkey and pumpkin pie. I also came to the sad realization that, objectively, pumpkin pie looks and sounds disgusting.
My host sister Mariam celebrated her birthday, and was very resistant to having her photo taken
Smaller events include our field trip to Pavo Real, to have some familiar Mexican-food-by-way-of-Texas. We went on a wild west wednesday, so all the Indian waiters were decked out in ten-gallon hats and bolo ties---quite the international experience. We made Ashley wear the cowboy hat in the picture because she's from Texas and it just felt right.
Also, it rained! A lot! During School!
The YES crew went up to Jebel Shams for the weekend, where it was actually cold enough to wear jackets. The beautiful mountains and chilly wind was completely breath-taking.
The second day, we stopped by the Niswa souq, which sells everything from camels to pottery.
On Christmas morning, my family opened presents around the tree, had a full breakfast, and packed up for a long road trip.
We drove up north to Musandam, on the very tip of Oman, just along the strait of Hormuz.It was definitely a strange Christmas for me, with temperatures in the 70s, the ocean outside the door, and German tourists everywhere. I think the funniest part about staying at the resort was that, for the first time in a while, I actually blended in with my surroundings.
We drove all over Musandam, going through the mountains, along the coast, and crossing the UAE border an ungodly number of times.