Back in the US

The last two weeks have been a blur. From Oman to the US, everything has flown by so fast that I have barely been able to take a breath.

My last day in Oman was surreal. The day before I left Oman, I (and each of the other NSLI-Y girls) presented the capstone projects (final project) to our host families, teachers, and some embassy staff. My project was on Oman’s economic future and shift from oil. I had been pretty stressed about it for the past month (since we had to write a research paper and create a presentation– all in Arabic), so I was pretty happy to get it over with. Then we said bye to our teachers, which was sad, since they have been some of my favorite teachers ever.

The next day (my last day), I frantically finished packing and then hung out with my family until it was time to go to the airport. It was so weird to think that I was leaving, and when I was at the airport, I felt like I was going on an AMIDEAST excursion, but would be back after a few days. I said bye to my host family and bye to Oman and then we took a plane to Dubai and then a plane to Washington DC (where we (NSLIY girls) had a very tearful goodbye) before we each took planes to our respective states.

It feels so weird to be back in the US. I’ve had a little bit of reverse culture shock, but otherwise, I think that I have adjusted back pretty well. It is exciting to have more independence and to see my friends and family, but at the same time, there are so many aspects of Oman and Omani culture that I miss, and every day so far, I am reminded of Oman in different aspects of my life.

I am so sad that this chapter of my life is over. Though the most challenging year of my life so far, it was also the best year of my life yet. I had so many amazing moments, built close relationships, and learned so much, not only about another culture and language, but also about myself. Though I am sad that my time in Oman is over, I know I will return to this beautiful country in the future, and am also excited to start college and see where my travels take me next.

New Pet!

I came home to find another pet! Now we have a bird in our house! My host families bought it from Africa and it is like a parrot in that one can teach it to speak. It is sitting on a platform for it in our house (since it cannot fly). I’m pretty excited! Do you think it will suffer the same fate as our goat?

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Ask for a Hamster? You’ll Get a Goat

Maybe one of my strangest/funniest experiences yet.

Two days ago when Kirby came over to my house, my host brother, Ali, ran to make us look out of the window. We peered out and I was astonished to see a goat in our yard! Thinking a goat wandered into our yard, I ran outside but found that it was tied to a stake. I turned to my other brother who explained to me, “my father bought it today”. What??

My host mother came down after a while and I asked her why in the world there was a goat in our yard.

“Well Ali asked for a hamster for his birthday, so today Ahmed (my host father) went to buy a goat today”.

I asked if it was going to be a pet or what?

“Maybe in two weeks we will eat it. But Ali doesn’t want us to eat it”.

Cool, so I had my second pet ever. A goat.

Unfortunately, this did not last long. Yesterday, I got a text from my host mother with two emoticons: a goat and a knife. Yep, RIP. It was a delicious dinner yesterday though.

I asked why the goat was killed so soon.

“It was making a lot of noise.”

Well, I’m just a little bit confused.

Goat kabobsĀ