I've now been in Muscat, Oman for almost 3 weeks. Muscat is a beautiful city. The scenery is spectacular, with the white buildings with gorgeous architecture and the dark mountains in the background. You turn around and you see the Gulf of Oman. The other day we went walking on the beach and there are so many shells, you have to watch where you walk! I already have a huge collection of Omani shells. I love walking on the beach looking for shells, so I guess for the next 2 years, I'll have to try to control myself when it comes to which shells I want to take home with me.
Right now it's the hottest time of the year, so I'm told. When you walk out of a building, your skin goes through condensation! It takes about 5 minutes for your body to adjust to the heat but during that 5 minutes, all your exposed skin becomes moist from condensation...sort of like the outside of your glass of ice water but not like sweat. Very strange! In a little over a month it will begin to cool off and for about 5 months, the weather will be perfect. Until then, I am learning to love cool, sheer fabrics and good air conditioning!
I still don't have internet at home and I am anxiously awaiting the shipment of all my worldly possessions from Honduras. I am living in a beautiful home but it's so sterile, so plain and so not me. I need color. I need my 'stuph' surrounding me to feel at home. Bare walls are not pretty. When I arrived in Honduras, both the front and back yards were just grass. I transformed them into a tropical paradise. Fortunately, the same thing exists here. There are plants around the house but the back yard is a fairly large patch of grass. There are also flower beds surrounding the patio that are just about empty (or will be soon). Another gardening project!! It's too hot now, but in a month or so when it cools off, I will begin to cut down on grass and add flower beds for plants that will attract birds and give me some color. A birdbath will look good too. As soon as I get internet at home, I'll add some 'before' pictures to this post. I can't wait to get started!
The State Department tries to be fair in where the Foreign Service people are assigned. If you get assigned to a great place, like Paris or Madrid, you can pretty much figure you're going to get a hardship assignment next. They try to alternate cool place/not so cool place. I think I've been fortunate to have gotten 2 great assignments in a row!
More later...stay tuned for pictures!!