|Photo courtesy of Muscat Daily|
Yesterday afternoon, someone ran into my class to tell us that there was a dust storm coming and therefore school was closing early. As we left, things certainly began to look eerier, because the sky was grey rather than the normal blue. However, the might of the storm had yet to hit Muscat, and so our bus ride home was fairly normal. Thanks to the epic inter-connectivity of Omani teen lives, we were able to track the storm as it traveled towards us. I'm afraid to say I actually didn't notice when it did pass by because I was inside, not focused on the weather. I am told, though, that it came over the sea, and a story passed to me by some amount of layers of the grapevine (therefore weakening the liability as a legitimate story) says that someone was on a ship and saw the wave of dust rolling over the ocean.
We awakened this morning to find everything grey. The strangest thing for me was the total lack of visibility. Near to where you stood, everything looked only vaguely foggy. However, when the towering mountains that are literally at your back door disappear, things get a little bit spooky.
Schools in various places around the region were closed, but ours was still on. Because my school is built around a large courtyard, if I wanted to travel out of the classroom I literally had to cover my mouth with my scarf to avoid swallowing liberal amounts of silt from the air. Wearing contact lenses with that much dust in the air is not something I would advise to anyone.
Luckily, by now (it's maybe 28 hours since the storm passed by), the dust is finally beginning to settle. We can all breathe again (literally). And I learned a new word-- ghabar (dust)!