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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 37, Sunday - Muscat

Today is my first day at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), where Uncle Rashid works. We dropped Shetha off for classes first and then headed to his office. After a brief tour I was taken to “my” desk, here it is:

View from my desk
Uncle Rashid heads the Centre for Community Service & Continuing Education where I will be job-shadowing in the marketing department for the next two weeks. I will be working with Marwa, who heads the department and who I know from a few years back.

Marwa came to Seattle four years ago as one of the chaperones with a group of female students from SQU. I helped as sort of a chaperone/local guide with this group for their two week trip, so it was nice to see her after so many years. Another person I know here is Hameda, who also works in the same office and who I met three years ago when she took my sister and me to a wedding here in Oman. It is fun to see familiar faces and everyone wants to make sure I have a good time.

On a personal note, I love the fact that there is a tea station just outside our office (if you know me, you know how much I love black tea with milk and sugar). There are also dates which Shetha tells me are grown on the university campus. The university’s College of Agriculture has a farm on the campus where they grow various plants and keep some cattle. They sell fruits, vegetables, milk, cheese, etc. from the farm and it is very popular because of its quality and freshness.

Settling in today, so not too much to write about, other than the fact that everyone here wants to make sure I enjoy myself and have everything I need. They are always asking if I need anything or if they can take me somewhere, which is so nice of them. As with people from this region in general, everyone is so generous and kind to me.

I sit in an office with three other people, and the gentleman in this office gave me a very pretty water glass to welcome me to the office. He told me that they each have one, so now that I am here I am part of the office and should have one too.

Tonight I was supposed to move into faculty housing at the university, but - something also typical of the region - schedules are flexible and I will be moving in in the morning. :)

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