The trip to Sohar was a really long time ago but it still holds a lovely place in my heart. While I love going on trips with the YES students and doing touristy things like souq-shopping and swimming (because despite two sides of the country being surrounded by gorgeous coastline and dotted with oasis-wadis, public swimming is just not a normal Omani thing), what was really special about Sohar was the opportunity to stay with a family overnight.
We also hung out with the Access girls in the Sohar program and gave presentations on American life. Mine was a remarkably cheerful take on the American high school experience which tried and completely failed to show that american teenage life ≠ Mean Girls (a hard thing to show because, if we're being honest, high school IS Mean Girls)
We all had lunch and then went bowling, which gradually morphed into group-picture-taking (as things often do) and then each American went home with their respective family. We also stopped by this tiny bakery by the school where I asked the man running it if I could take his picture and he obliged me quite happily.
Fried bread called Lolah, similar to the Mundazi my host family eats in Muscat
The park at night
When I told this shopkeeper I was American he made me promise that I would go home and tell everyone that Omanis aren't terrorists. I told him I would try my best.
The Old Souq
No, I didn't have to wear an abaya, I wanted to! I still don't exactly blend in, but people are definitely more confused and more likely to speak Arabic to me.
I got to see a lot of Sohar, the beautiful park by the sea, many many souqs, and the crumbling old fort (that we ninja-stealth snuck into because I'm pretty sure that technically no one is supposed to go inside). I also visited innumerable houses of their extended family, meeting more Aunties than I could keep track of. And of course, I was asked several times if I was looking for an Omani husband ;) So I think that makes it a successful weekend.