28.04.2007 41 °C
It's hard to imagine that I only have 18 more days left in Oman. As we are finishing up over here, everyone in the group has been looking back. Our days in Mutrah seem like a year and a totally different country ago. We're wrapping up our research, and have a number of final activities planned. It has been a little odd to ponder everything that has gone on over here, espcially since it coincides with the end of my undergraduate career, which prompts quite a bit of soul-searching in of itself. Everyone in the world is consistently changing as life experiences shape their outlook on life. This seems to be one of those rare moments when a person is cogniscent of the changes in world-view that are going on in their life. I'm sure that I've changed to some degree, if only in my outlook on this part of the world. For so long, the places of my trip were just names on a map. Now, I've got pictures, words, ideas, and memories associated with Muscat, Doha, Dubai, Sohar, Sur, Salalah, Abu Dhabi, and all the rest.
For example, I don't think I'll ever see Muscat on a map and not think of my homestay family from here on out. From the beginning, they've done everything in their power to make me feel comfortable. Zainab, my homestay mother, a single working mom, graciously let me into her home, despite a host of cultural attitudes and antipathies. Tuti, the oldest homestay sister, has always been there to help out, and give me advice on navigating life in Muscat. She's only been home on the weekends, because of school and other issues, but I've always been glad to talk with her, and I hope she gets her chance to study in the US. Abdullah, the 16 year old brother, has been my closest friend in Muscat. I wouldn't have seen nearly as much of the city, nor accomplished nearly as much work, without his advice on where to go to work, and gladly bringing me along to all the places he normally goes. The same goes for Sa'id, my 12 year old brother. He's also been there to help me get around and his explanations on life in Muscat have always been hilarious. As to Fadya, my 8 year old sister, she was one of the best parts of my homestay. She reminds me so much of Lindy and Carly that I've called her by the wrong times more than a couple of times. I'm incredibly glad that they've let me into their life, and they've already told me numeous times, that if I ever get a chance to work in Muscat in the future, I'll already have a family to lean on. So, while I certainly miss everyone back home, it's still going to be a bit bittersweet on May 16th. I won't just be leaving my homestay, but also the other 12 SIT kids that I've been practically living with also. We've traveled, shared uncomfortable hotel rooms, gotten into and out of all sorts of interesting situations, and generally lived life to the fullest over here. This is the sort of stuff that makes all the work getting here, the distances from home, and all the innumerable hassles since then, that makes it all worth it. Anyways, I've put off doing my ISP with this post for long enough, back to the grind.