Matty’s birthday, a couple of trips to the interior, Red Arrows over Muscat, and Canadian Thanksgiving…
It was a busy couple of months getting back into normal routine. James started a new school which is called The American International School in Muscat, TAISM for short. The switch to an American middle school, which is more like junior high in Canada, from elementary school has been a bit of a challenge, but after the first few weeks he has started to enjoy being a bit more independent. In TAISM the onerous for learning shifts more toward the student then from the teacher/parent, which James is still getting his head around. All in good time.
James and Matty both started Judo, much to Ethan’s chagrin as he would love to be there too, but the minimum age is 7. The boys are loving it and most of our friends have kids in the class too which means there is always someone to talk to during pick-up and drop off time.
Matty’s turned 10! We had a paper airplane party with about 10 kids invited. It was a 2 hour gong show but Matty had a great time. About half the kids wanted to play with our Lego and half played with the airplanes, depending on their interest. Meal time was a bit of a gong show as we had many different nationalities at the table all with different traditions related to table manners and tastes.
I went to the interior a few times during these months for audits and design reviews. It was an interesting time of seeing some of the other assets in PDO as we do these reviews as “cold-eyes reviews” meaning you go somewhere that you are less familiar with. This helps with seeing the normalization of deviation problems but also lets the reviews learn best practices from the other groups as we are all trying to work toward the same standards. I went to one of the older sites which has a camp that been in place for 30 years. These camps slowly evolve and become oasis’s in the desert with continuous application of irrigation and gardening maintenance. The one camp had a bird sanctuary, bamboo groves, tress whose leave smell like “rotten soap” (Not really sure how to describe it) and a pool.
Both times in the interior the Omani’s treated us to traditional goat and rice which is eaten sitting communally around a large plate with your hands. One group I went with boiled the food over a wood fire out in the Wadi while the other group had it prepared in the camp kitchen. I really like the taste of the meat and the experience of eating together, though I really don’t like the liver and haven’t been brave enough to try cooked goat brains. To get the brains out of the skull one technique is to put rib bone up the “neck hole” of the skull and wiggle it around. Shaking the head will let the brain bits fall out for eating. Maybe next time.
October was the start of 2 months of computer problems… some still not fixed.
The UK airforce aerobatics team the Red Arrows did a show over Muscat which we could watch from the Anderson’s house. The jets would fly over the house on the way to their primary exhibition spot about 1-2 km from the house at Shatti beach. The Anderson’s house is on a hill so they had to fly quite low over our spot which was loud and fun.
The Canadian Social club organized a Thanksgiving dinner at the Dolphin Club in Muscat which we was really tasty and attended by at least 100 people. They almost got the stuffing right too Seems like stuffing recipes don’t translate to Indian which is the predominant nationalities of cooks here. It was nice that the Social Club could organize the Thanksgiving dinner which the PDO Club Canadian Section normally does but couldn’t this year because the Club is undergoing re-development they were unable to commit to providing the food.
Some other pictures from life here in Oman.