At 6:30 Saturday morning I jumped out of bed, only half awake. My stomach was in knots as I made my bed for the last time in ten months (state side that is). My grey yes-abroad t-shirt I had left out the previous night was waiting for me next to an overstuffed suitcase. As I put the t-shirt on I finally no longer had to visualize the fantastic adventure ahead, I could live it at well. I threw a few more things into my luggage for good measure, sunscreen, my electrical chargers, and lastly my final flight arrangements.
After a deep breath I left my home of 15 years for the airport. Luckily with the time restraints I had little time to perseverate on my nerves. My entire family was able to come to the airport with me, even my little sister with her total aversion to waking op before 8. There were many embraces, some teary goodbyes, but no send off could be complete without your brother wrestling you to the ground. This really happened in the middle of an airport. And with that I walked through security, and finally too the gate to await my flight.
I flew from my local airport to Washington DC. From there I met up with our group for the first time since June. There was so much to share and plenty of time, we had three lengthy layovers, which proved to be a great opportunity to explore the airports, which I now more or less consider my self pretty familiar with. From DC we traveled to Zurich and awaited our final leg of the journey to Oman.
From the moment we boarded out flight it was unmistakable where we were going. There were women in long black abayas, large families laughing together in rapid paced Arabic, some European tourists, and businessmen from Dubai. Half asleep, I tried to pick out the little vocabulary I knew from the conversations around me.
So after 28 hours of traveling we arrived in Oman. When I walked out of the airplane at nearly ten at night, the heat here startled me. Even more surprising is the intense humidity. I think many people are under the assumption; the gulf is a desert so it would really have a more dry heat, but that was not the case. But it makes sense geographically since Muscat is right on the ocean.
We obtained our visas and went to meet our program manager and the head of Amideast in Oman outside of baggage claim.
It might have been the time of day, but though there are plenty of people waiting outside the airport to pick up friends family, it is also a popular hangout spot where men talk outside.
After our long day we were all excited to get to some sleep for the next day.