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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Visitors and Freak weather!

This week we had Alex's sister visit us for four days. It was a bit short but it was nevertheless lovely to have Francesca up here for a few days. We didn't get to do much because on the second day of her visit due to freak weather, it rained heavily and there was flooding all over Muscat. There was a major accident on the highway not to mention many smaller ones. Cars were washed away from car parks and when we drove Alex to work the roads were flooded and we saw a new landcruiser in the middle of a wadi about to be submerged under the water. On our way back, the landcruiser had dissappeared totally and there was another car nearby suffering the same fate. I still can't understand how they ended up there when the road was ok to drive on. I think they might have sped up and didn't turn the bend in time. The cars were empty otherwise.
There were also stories being reported of acts of heroism around town of people risking their safety to help others. It's nice to read about the good in humans as opposed to all the bad that humans cause and inflict on others.
Anyway Francesca had a relaxing time instead and on the third day when it was not raining we went to a beach just outside of Muscat to have a swim and BBQ. It was good and now Cesca is travelling around Jordan before heading for Ghana and then eventually start work in Dubai. It'll be great to have family nearby to visit soon. In the meantime we have three more days before heading for Hong Kong and then on home.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Fly me to the moon!

Alex looking fly in his uniform.

Change of travel dates

Dear Family & friends,
Due to unforseen circumstances we now have to rearrange some parts of our trip. We'll still be in Hong Kong for a week before heading to Wellington, NZ on April 3rd. We're going back to Auckland on April 10th for Alex to return to Muscat for work and I continue on to Samoa to see my family. We hope to catch up with whoever's available of family and friends in New Zealand and Samoa.
Looking forward to seeing everyone.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Work work work

Today I did seven hours of teaching which is a bit much. I'm new to the teaching world but I find it interesting how I am treated like I've been teaching for years. I'm not sure what to make of it. I feel maybe they are putting a lot of trust in the new teachers OR I am really supposed to know the ropes and just get on with it. Anyway its late now and I'm covering for a teacher who left the country without notice. I don't mind at all as it keeps me current before our long holiday and it gives me some extra $$ for the trip too. This Friday Alex's sister arrives from New Zealand to stay with us for a few days. So I have a very good reason to cut down my hours so I can show her around Muscat before we leave for Samoa.
OK I really don't have time to blog but I just had to. On the week-end we went to a Ghanaian Ball here in Muscat to celebrate their 50th year of Independence. It was really nice mingling with people from all over Africa. We went with our Kenyan friends and had such a blast. It was a bow-tie and national wear affair. We decided to confuse people so went in our Samoan attire; I, in my Samoan puletasi and Alex in his Samoan printed shirt with his ie faitaga(men's wrap-around lavalava). So the Scotsman with his quilt finally had competition!
Interesting the different reactions to Alex's ie. Our Kenyan friend couldn't believe Alex was wearing what he thought was a skirt! The ladies kept asking if he was wearing anything under it and I said they could check for themselves to put their minds to rest:) No one had the courage to do it! hahaha! Another Ghanaian couple recognised the look as being from the Pacific and they came to tell us so, as they used to live in Papua New Guinea. I didn't have the heart to tell them that they were literally an ocean away from us hahaha! And then we met a local guy who said he had been to Tonga and Micronesia. Someone asked what in the world he was doing there and he replied that he wondered the same thing while he was there. It was funny. He was an intelligent and well-travelled man. And then of course he went on to mention that he knew a Samoan guy whom he met in New York years ago. He said the name and Samoa being the small place that it is, I do know of the guy mentioned, he worked for the Samoan consulate in New Zealand some years back.
The well-travelled Omani went on to talk about how he thought some of our Samoan rituals and traditions were so interesting and asked if I knew any. I said yeah which ones are you particularly interested in?
He said "how about the knife dances."
I said "yes I can do one of those with an ancient weapon(nifo oti) which is performed by both men and women."
He quickly replied with a cheeky expression "Did you lose any fingers from those dances." meanwhile all my ten fingers are in full view.
I said "No, but you could lose yours instead" heh heh! Anyway I thought it was funny and so did he at the time. It was interesting to meet people who actually had an idea of where our beloved country is.
Some of you who read this probably have no idea or cannot identify with this kind of incident. Telling people where you're from and them not having any idea where it is, that you might as well have said Mars.
We also met the South African ambassador who gave a remarkable speech during the formalities. I also met the Sri Lankan deputy ambassador who was a lady while queuing for the buffet. It was an exhilirating evening especially such an affair of celebrating Ghana's Independence which was the first African nation to do so.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


How I love the week-ends these days. I've just finished teaching the evening classes today. We had the final test today and the students were complaining that the test was hard though scanning their answers they were quite capable of answering all the questions. And then of course I have the other lot who just want to get the answers from their mates. What we call cheating they call helping each other!!! It's strange but its a different culture where being competitive is not really in their vocabulary. They would rather help the next person who's having difficulty. I think its great in other aspects but in the classroom it's a headache. Last week another teacher found out that her students were sharing answers via bluetooth on their mobiles during tests. ouch! I just disallow phones, talking and copying. Though they abide by the rules you can still catch some with their necks stretched over their mates' shoulders. I threaten to subtract marks and then I get one apology after another. Anyway it's the end of the week and am happy to relax and get much needed sleep.
Last week we went to Dubai to visit our friends up there for one night. Though it was short, it was good fun. We stayed with our friends for the night and had a good time catching up. The next day we managed to squeeze in a bit of shopping at the mall of the Emirates which is the biggest mall there. I've been there a few times already, but each time we seem to discover more shops because the place is so huge you can never cover it in one go. It was fun looking around and eating cinnamon croissants in the afternoon. This is the same mall with the skiing slope in it. Well finally we headed back to the airport to return home. The drive to the airport is normally 15mins without traffic but it took us about an hour due to heavy traffic. The traffic is something else but I guess every big city has that problem. It's lovely to visit Dubai to see it changing each time. We saw the highest tower getting higher and higher. Anyway as fun as it is up there with all its splendour and glory its nice to be able to get back on the plane and fly away to a quieter place. On that note I better hit the sack because it's late and I'm working in the morning. See you later bloggers.
Since I had this map tracking thing on my page it's interesting to see where in the world people are reading this from. Well to you all who tune in for whatever reason thanks for visiting and do add some comments to make it more interesting.
Tofa soifua.