- Thursday: To celebrate Kirby’s birthday, all the NSLI-Y girls got dropped off at one of my favorite places in Muscat (called Shati Al-Qurum), which is an area on the beach with some stores and restaurants. We hung out on the beach and then went to a restaurant that serves burgers (It’s called Slider Station, and it’s actually pretty good! They have a big lists of small sliders, so if you’re ever craving a burger in Muscat, check it out!). Then (since my host parents were out of town since they went to Bahla for the weekend), Liz and I went to Lydia’s house to spend the night.
- Friday: We hung out at Lydia’s house in the morning and then after lunch, we were picked up to go to Clean Up Muscat Day! It was held in Boshar Dunes and I think it was held by the embassy, so there were about 100 people also volunteering there. We were handed FREE shirts and caps (woohoo!), gloves, garbage bags, and 2 hours to collect trash. Well, after 1 hour, everyone had returned (I guess people got bored?), and they gave out tea, water, and free ice cream, so that was a highlight. Even though everyone gave up halfway, we did collect a lot of trash! I’m surprised at the amount of bottles, ropes, and tires that we found.
- I then went back to Miriam’s house to spend the night and in the evening, I got my hair cut! It was in a small salon near her house and I only cut two-ish inches off. She cut it straight across (I could have probably done it myself), but for only a rial (about $1.6), I guess that’s worth it.
- Saturday: In the morning, Miriam and I went on a tour to the Muscat Grand Mosque (her host father works at the US Embassy and also gives tours, so he was giving a tour to some people visiting the embassy and invited us to come). This was my third visit, but I don’t think I could go there too many times; it is so gorgeous! It was also great to go on a tour because there was quite a lot of new information that I learned while there. Like did you know that in the women’s prayer building, the carpet design is rectangles side-by-side to designate a place to pray for each woman? So that’s how everyone is lined up so perfectly! We then went to the fish market (it’s part of the Souk) to buy some fish for lunch. It’s basically an outdoor covered area with individual vendors selling freshly caught fish that are laid out on matts (one of the men selling was keeping his money in his kuma!). Once you buy your fish, if you want, you take it to the stalls on the side, where you can pay a man to wash/cut your fish. I’ve got to say, I’m really not a fan of watching animals get cut open, and I found out that this includes fish. It was cool to see the whole process, though. I wonder how this works in the US, because all you see is the packaged product sold in the grocery store. In the afternoon, we went to the mall to get some birthday gifts for some of the NSLIY girls (yup, we have a small celebration for each girl), and then we hung out at Miriam’s house. At 9:30, we took part in “Earth Hour” and turned off our lights for an hour. Apparently lots of places in Muscat celebrated it too!
A busy but great weekend!