Thursday, June 18, 2009
So. When we moved into our new place a couple of months ago we noticed this one cat who seemed to already be inhabiting one of our two front porches (the smaller one). We had no problems with this; we are the visitors here.
After a few days we realized the cat was pregnant. She disappeared for a few days, and then we discovered her feeding her kitty on the porch. We tried feeding her and giving some water, but the mother did not want anything to do with us; hissing and the like.
So. A week or two passed and they stayed in the porch without bothering us, or we them. Then, one day, the mother did not come home. The kitty cried often and we started trying to feed it as well. After a few days of thi, the kitty disappeared too.
Now, our house is walled in and in is very hard for tiny (read - malnourished and very VERY small) cat to jump the walls and there are no points of access anywhere that it could jump over. We were confused and sad.
So. Several days later s/he shows up again. This time a little more warm to the idea of us helping it.
To make a short story long, s/he now is comfortable with us (kind of) and counts on us for food. We are a bit torn because we have to leave for vacations and the like, but have decided to keep kitty until we see what happens. If s/he totally warms up to us, we will adopt full on. If not and it wants the wild life, we'll go that way.
Sundi nicknamed the cat "Poopy" because of the condition of the porch.
Will keep you updated. Here is a picture I took a while back of all the neighbourhood cats hanging near dawn in the local canteen (garbage dump). It's pretty cool cause the cats seem less territorial than in other places we've been. could be because they know there's enough stuff to go around, and more than enough space.
Friday, May 22, 2009
So...not much has happened since our last post. No exciting trips anywhere, no promotions, none of whatnot.
I decided to reach back for this post to the Muscat Festival, which happened in January, just before we went to Prague.
It was a cool festival, with booths representing countries from all over the world (actually there were only about 8 countries). In these booths you could buy discounted arts and crafts. I negotiated for about two hours to get a decent priced Syrian made backgammon board, which we use every couple days here. Sundi usually wins. Somehow.
Also at the festival, of course, were a bunch of Omani cultural events. Riding camels and donkeys, dancing, drumming, and other historically focused events. It was a great night. We went with our friend Don, who you can see in some of our earlier posts.
Anyways. For your viewing pleasure, and an omanamo first, here is a short video of the event. We will probably start posting videos once and a while if this one proves popular. The main problem is our internet connection here.
So. Here it is. Enjoy.
(Please watch full size ... otherwise you won't see much ... )
Monday, May 11, 2009
Oh the pool beds. They also gave us endless mint water in chilled cups.
Friday, January 9, 2009
We attended a true event here this past week. Maybe unbeknownst to you, the Gulf Cup is in full swing at the moment and Oman is hosting. To set the stage, for the past couple weeks about one in five cars on the road have taken on decal, flags and pictures to support the Omani soccer team. It is anything from green and red stripes, to stars and messages all over the vehicle. I am not exaggerating when I say one in five cars. To top that off, whenever there is a game, many of our students wear scarves, armbands and jerseys to class and many businesses have put up large flags and pictures of the team on the sides of their buildings.
So this past Wednesday (which is like our Friday) was the Oman vs. Iraq game. Our friend Gus ‘gently’ convinced us it was imperative to attend the game. This meant Gus and Daniel hightailing it out of work Wednesday at noon, first to a gas station to get the correct apparel for all of us, then to Muscat. The game, which started at 6, was free. As I mentioned, there are more than enough fans to fill the stadium, so Gus and Daniel arrived there at around 2 to try and get us seats. I trailed behind a few hours later, having had to attend a meeting. We all got in, in good time. I must say that this was one good moment to be a woman. The ratio at the game was about one woman to every thousand men. However, there was a line just for women, and female bodyguards to do a security check. Which meant, no line and no pushing.
So we all plopped down in the “family section”, the only place where men and women can sit together, after being given free plastic bat things that made a loud noise when slammed together and flags to wave. Now, I know sporting events draw people in face paint, wigs and crazy outfits, but I have never seen such a large number of people outdoing themselves. EVERYONE had on some sort of costume. It was wild. Some of the stranger ones were women who covered their face with a flag instead of the usual black scarf. The cheering started at 2 and continued until 8 when the game ended.
Now the Oman team has one very popular player, their goalie Habsi, who plays for the Premiere league, but the Omani team was considered the clear underdog for this game. It could be said that the Iraq team had a very off day and the Omani team played well (which is true), but it almost seemed as if the crowd won the game. They never stopped cheering, and whenever Iraq would get the ball, the entire crowd would boo or whistle. I can see how Iraq managed to not score and let in 4 goals. Yes, the score was Oman 4 Iraq 0. Although I thought the booing was a bit much, the crowd’s performance was something to behold and I don’t think I will ever see anything to compare. The best part was when we were leaving our seats. At the mouth of our entrance there was a celebration party. Drums, dancing and a celebration song. Daniel got it on video, we will post the link soon. I would also like to add a note that the Iraqi fans did their duty as well. Flags and organized cheering with a large bass drum. But they were one section out of too many. Anyways, who knows how Oman will fair with some of the stronger teams later in the Cup, but they had their moment, and it was lived to its fullest.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
after driving through all those crazy roads we threw down our tent in a place called "Wadi Bani Awf." Wadi basically translates to river bed in English and they are all over the place in Oman. Usually they are dry like the one we camped in, but sometimes they can flood and cause all types of problems. Luckily, our spot was slightly elevated so we had no worries. We were worried about the rain, but it just passed by.
I. - Here's our camping spot in Wadi Bani Awf. It was a perfect spot right in the canyon, quite quiet, and with lots of wood for a decent campfire.
II. After cleaning up and all that we headed to one of Oman's great forts: Rustaq. This is from inside the fort's foyer.
III. - Sun and I outside Rustaq Fort.
IV. - Me in front of the great view from Rustaq Fort.
V. Close to Rustaq was an intense hot springs. Here, Gus and I dip our feet. The water was so hot that it somewhat scolded our feet.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
This week is Eid. We have nine days off. Originally we thought of going to a different country, but didn’t get tickets on time. It actually works out well because we just got our Jeep and want to test it out a bit. Which we did in spades on Friday.
Sundi, Gus and I headed to a town named Rustaq, via a precarious 4 X 4 only road. Here is a short visual presentation of what we saw …
I. - We run out of "road" and prepare for what is next...
II. - What is next. In the far distance you can see the road we will follow and eventually find...
III. This. This is part of "Snake Gorge." You can walk through and continue down through a couple of canyons. Without much water the pools become kind of stagnant making going into them not high on the priority list. Also, as we all know, weird stuff lives in stagnant water and we dont want any of that.
IV. Sundi and Gus heading back to the Jeep with Sundi pointing out how we may be able to get into Snake Gorge without going into the weird water.
V. Way further down the road we saw this. Not sure of the name of the town, but I definitely want to go back already.