Thursday, June 7, 2012

Step Up Oman

I went to a charity event yesterday called Step Up Oman. If you have seen the Step Up movies, it basically was a competition like that. Anyways, it was organized by a group associated with AMIDEAST so we went along to help/ enjoy.

It was a pretty neat event, and kudos to the girls who organized it! The money they gained was designated to helping to train a family of 12 to lift themselves from poverty. The family won't directly be given the funds, but will instead be given things like English classes.

In case you're not aware of exactly what Step Up is, it basically is a really hyped-up dance contest. There are a large number of teenagers (in this case all boys) who come to dance. They all do flips and jumps and occasionally slide for a few meters on their heads. The last one was especially impressive!

I've also been, unfortunately, saying many goodbyes to people. Yesterday was the end of school, so I said goodbye to many teachers and friends. Also, we had our YES Abroad end-of-the-year dinner, which was indeed bittersweet. 

Next week I'm off to Dubai for three days as long as I get my road permit on time! Very excited about that!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Update


Greetings!

First, gah, I have posted far too little lately. That is for a fairly wide variety of reasons: studying for exams, trying to soak up the last 16 days in Oman (sob!), studying for exams, trying to be like Matilda and use my brainpower to kill the evil, noisy birds that enjoy roosting on my windowsill, studying for exams, saying goodbye to my classmates, studying for exams, wearing an abaya to the American school and my Arabic class (it’s great how people try to figure it out: Bailey usually can pull off being Omani but when I rock it I look like a white kid playing around, which I guess is what I am. It’s wicked fun though.), studying for exams, buying presents for all of you lovely people back in the States, surviving 50˚ C weather (122+ F!!) studying for exams, and so much more!

Oh, and did I mention that it’s exam week? Exams here are a lot different than back in the USA, because here they are a complete overview of everything that has been learned in the semester. In the States, that’s true for some of my classes, but not all. In fact, it’s more common in the USA for my final to be a vocab test followed by a party, because the majority of the summative grading happens in unit tests and projects. Here, it’s the opposite: quizzes, essays, and projects are cumulatively worth 30-40% of the grade and the other 60-70% is based solely on exam results, hence the need to study extensively. Rather than pacing throughout the year, school here is more based on cramming at the end. I’m unresolved as to which system I prefer.

As I said, I’ve got a mere 16 days and left here, which is near insanity, if you ask me. This year has zipped by, and I’ve said it a million times but I’ll say it again. THIS YEAR HAS GONE TOO QUICKLY!

In re the birds on my windowsill, they are killer. I’m fairly sure they have the same amount of decibels as a loud rock concert. There was first only one, but then he found a friend. I was talking to Bailey on the phone, and she could hear them through the phone very loudly!


My classmates, who are in grade 12, had their last day of school last Tuesday. They take their exams at the Ministry of Education as opposed to the school because they will get their diplomas this year. Because I’m not getting a diploma, I have to take mine at school. It was metaphorically heartbreaking to have to leave them, and I hope to see them again before I leave!

For our last day of Arabic class, Noah wore a dishdasha and Bailey and I wore abayas (Jaira was sick, meskina!). And then there was the adventure of Bailey and I at the American school, also in abayas, to return some books to the library there.

Not a group wedding, btw. 

And yes, it is indeed 50 degrees Celsius. I would have thought that what would surprise me was the fact that I could live in that and not die, but not so! It honestly does not bother me too much. Of course, it’s hot and I get sweaty and such, but it’s not totally unbearable. This is coming from a girl who feels overly warm when it hits 80 every year. I guess it’s the same as how I learn to deal with the frigid January weather of the upper Midwest.

Annnd, to close up and make up for the lack of blog posts, here are some more pictures from our trip to Salalah!