Sunday, July 31, 2011

That weird thing called Time

Tomorrow is August 1st, which marks the one-month-until-I-go-to-Oman spot on my calendar. To me, this seems like an eternity away but also just a hop around the corner! Today marked the end of the county 4-H fair (Congrats again to my good friend Grant, the fair king!) and likewise the end of most of the structured activity of my summer 2011. Of course that was an incredibly fun yet busy week for me... going to concerts and having show choir shows and feeding pigs to donuts and winning the Radio Disney freeze dance contest and trying to share a cream puff with a goat in order to win a tshirt... Good times.
Of course, I have the millions of little things an exchange student has to accomplish before departure... dealing with packing and stressing over host family presents (for me, shopping for 7 people!). And then there's the need to shop for oneself, especially when going to a place like Oman that is more conservative. There's packing. And goodbyes. I don't even know where to began with the goodbyes. If anyone knows how to say goodbye to everyone and everything you've ever known, let me know please!
Basically, I bunches of time but nothing at all left here. I'm excited and thrilled and, honestly, kind of terrified. Talking to my host family and people from my host school makes me crazy with happiness and nervousness...
I guess that's about it!! 31 days!

Ma'a Salamaa!
Emma

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lots of exciting stuff in my Oman-related life!

Well, I got back at 12:16 am this morning from DC, due to a severely delayed flight, but otherwise the trip was absolutely fabulous!! We spent 4 days there, and it was insanely informative but also crazy fun :) The orientation I attended was with everyone going to Mali, Morocco, and Oman this year. 14 girls, one boy.

This is our group at the American Councils, where our orientation was located.


Here's the Oman group. Noah, Quin, Bailey, Jai, and myself.


The first night, we went out for some awesome Ethiopian food!
And it was delish.


yumm. that food was demolished!!


The next day, we started our orinetation sessions. Easily the best part was the conference call with the AMIDEAST staff in Oman. We learned a ton from that, just asking and answering questions. It turns out that I will be going to school with Quin next year, and Jai, Bailey and Noah will all be attending school together. We were also told that our host families were selected, but not told who they were... lots of excitement there! Likewise we were told that we would find out who they are soon!!! And because this post is going in chronological order... you'll have to read more to find out about MY HOST FAMILY! 

On Wednesday night, we were given a wonderful privelage to be able to visit Masjid Muhummad, a mosque in DC, to observe prayer. It was such a beautiful experience. I'm not really religious, but being there felt kind of holy. In order to go into the prayer room, we had to cover our hair... lots of fun and giggles in trying to put on a head scarf!!
Here we are in our fabulous head scarves :)

Friday consisted of more Orientation and then a reception at the State Department. It was a bit un-exciting, BUT it meant we got to see the YES Abroaders to Ghana, Turkey, India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia! It was fabulous to get to see them all again, especially Group 6--all accepted!!
Here we are- Lily (Morocco), me (Oman), Tenaya (India), Alexa (Malaysia), Ankhet (Indonesia) and Noah (Oman)


Friday was the day of returns, and my flight of course was delayed by about 2 hours so I didn't leave until about 10:00 pm. It was a long, tiring flight home, but waking up this morning was absolutely wonderful-- I was greated by an email informing me of HOST FAMILY INFORMATION!

I have 5 siblings-- one older brother, two older sisters, a sister who is my age, and a younger sister as well as a mother and father! The sister who is my age will be attending my school as well :) I can't wait to get to talk to them and meet them... the information I've received makes them seem like lovely people! I cannot wait to join their family this year!!

t-60 days to Oman...

ma'a salaama!

Emma