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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rugby World Cup fever cont'd

Well since my last post Samoa played against England and lost 22-44. They played well but they just didn't sustain themselves to the end. Wilkinson proved that he's back with his successful kicking. Our team Samoa saved themselves from being at the bottom of the pool by beating USA in their last game though it was by a small margin 24-21. England against Tonga was also interesting. Tonga played so well and looked as if they were going to beat England but I think England had the referee on their pay roll because there were a lot of questionable calls against Tonga and dodgy English moves that the ref turned a blind eye to. Believe me Tonga is the last team I'd support but yep the poor under-dog small country team were squashed by the big team and their deep pockets once more. Last night Fiji beat Wales 34-38 and it was a good game. It was sad though to see the Fijian goal kicker's knee twist into an unimaginable state which sent him off on a stretcher. That may be the end to his rugby career! Apparently Wales have always gotten beaten at this particular game to miss the quarter finals in the last four world cups. What's ironic though it was a game like last night but with Samoa beating Wales that put Samoa on the Rugby World map in 1991. And again last night Fiji beat Wales for the first time and made it into the quarter-finals. Poor Wales will always be remembered as the team that was beaten by the islanders to gain recognition! The legendary win over Wales by Samoa in 1991 sent one die-hard fan back home to name their son Samoa 39-Wales 19. That boy should be about ready to join the team soon if he's any good at rugby.

Well that's been our exciting Ramadan routine. We can't go out for coffee or lunch with friends so we stay indoors to watch the rugby and sometimes have dinner with friends at home. Two more weeks to Eid. Alex parents are arriving next week so we're looking forward to their visit. A friend of ours from NZ who worked with Alex back in Samoa just got a job here so they'll be moving up soon too. Exciting for them indeed. The traffic here is getting worse by the day. I drive to work everyday which is to the other side of town. There is one highway all the way there but it takes me about 25 minutes to get there due to congestion. I try to think positive and remember other people that take hours to get to work so this is nothing. There have been a lot of articles in the local papers of people appealing to the Police to put in more measures to control neglectful driving. Some people drive here like they are on a rally race. They weave in and out of traffic at 120-140 kph. It's scary to say the least. Other than that all is good in the Sultanate. City Centre has extended to include more shops which means there's no hurry to go shopping in Dubai anymore!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Rugby World Cup fever

The world cup started last week and we have been glued to the TV to watch our team play. Samoa played South Africa last week and unfortunately the referee was not very fair and made a few calls that didn't make sense. The final score was SA: 59 Samoa 7. SA was the stronger team from the onset but the score could have been closer if the referee hadn't smothered the fighting spirit of the Samoans. Anyway last night Samoa played Tonga and amazingly Tonga beat Samoa 19- 14. Now that was painful to watch. Tonga hasn't been able to beat Samoa in seven years and funny how they flew all the way to Europe in front of the world fans to make a statement. Am very happy for Tonga for it is a huge feat for them. As for Samoa I'm not sure what's going on there. I however still have faith that they can play better especially they are up against the reigning champions England at the end of the week. Wish them all the best in their games against England and the US after that. If we beat both teams we still have a chance of getting into the quarter finals.
The South Africans are on form and so are the All Blacks. The ABs are the favourites and they're playing well. I think it's an ABs vs SA final this year. In the meantime ramadan has started in Oman and today I drove home at around six pm which is when the sun set today and the roads were empty. All the locals were either at the mosque or getting together with families to enjoy Iftar (the breaking of the fast meal). It's day four and we have a while to go yet.
We are expecting some friends from Abu Dhabi to visit us tomorrow and stay for a few days. Looking forward to them now. Better go to sleep I have a long day tomorrow.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

30 days hath September!

VIRGO days! All good here in Oman. The weather is getting cooler, looking forward to so many more adventure-filled, camping and beach days.
Yesterday there was an article on Samoa in the local paper which I think is great. And just two weeks ago there was another article on our rugby team getting ready for the world cup in The Week a popular weekly paper here. Hmmm things are looking up for Samoa. They just need a map next to the article each time to point to where it is though. Because I think people still don't know by looking at the title what or where Samoa is. Anyway exciting stuff indeed. There were also a few articles back in May when our Head of State passed away.

This week-end for my birthday we're planning to escape to Musandam for the night. Musandum is the northern most region of Oman. It's actually separated from the rest of the country by the UAE. So if you drive you have to go through the UAE to get there. Musandam is a peninsula that juts out into the Straits of Hormuz! It gives way to the busiest shipping lanes in the world. It's mostly rocky and it falls straight in to the ocean. A Dhow(Omani wooden boat) cruise is the best way to view the rock face from the ocean. Dolphin watching is also done on these cruises. I'm really looking forward to it. The main city in Musandam is Khasab. For more information go to http://www.omantourism.gov.om