I have not written in this blog for eight and a half months and in that time a great deal has happened. In brief form:
1. I went home to New York for my sister Sarah’s college graduation.
2. I returned to Oman and resumed teaching the summer portion of the program.
3. My job ended and I had the chance to really enjoy Oman for a month. This included a trip to Salalah in the south part of Oman – a place which, since I first stepped foot on Omani soil, had been described to me as the most heavenly place on earth.
4. I returned to the USA and resumed a job as a research assistant at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.
5. I began packing for my next venture to Rwanda.
I did not want to begin blogging about Rwanda before bringing proper closure to my time in Oman. At the time of my last post, I was feeling a sense of not fitting in. I guess this was the closest I got to homesickness. The good news is that the feeling was fleeting. The truth is that by the end of my time in Oman, I felt right at home. Words cannot say I grateful I am for the time I spent in Oman. I loved my job and loved the people I met there. This includes my Omani family, my students, and my friends from Oman and all around the world. Since returning, I have subjected many to my musings about the good qualities of Oman. Luckily, recent news has made this job easy. I don’t know if my eyes are just more open to it, but I have been shocked at how many positive lists Oman (specifically, Muscat) has shown up on since I’ve returned home. Here is a smattering:
Lonely Planet Best Cities to Visit in 2012 (#2): http://www.lonelyplanet.com/england/london/travel-tips-and-articles/76861
Mercer Quality of Living Report (Personal Safety Rankings) (#29): http://www.mercer.com/press-releases/quality-of-living-report-2011
Conde Naste Best Hotels for Honeymoons (The Chedi): http://www.cntraveller.com/recommended/honeymoon-destinations/the-best-honeymoon-hotels/the-chedi-oman
In this spirit, I thought I'd recall an old Nicholas Kristof article that initially helped convince me to go there in the first place:
It was interesting to see how many people from the USA and elsewhere were coming to visit Oman having lived there before. I was told that once to go, you always return. I can say confidently I will be one of those people. I thought about staying in Oman another year but decided instead upon the opportunity to go to Rwanda. I can only hope I will leave Rwanda with the same sense of fulfillment. First I need to focus on getting there. More on that to follow…