Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Driving Through Oman

Today we spent the day driving from Sur to Muscat.... we took our time and enjoy the beauty that surrounded us!!!!
We stopped to capture pictures that were moments in time we didn't want to forget.
We got out of the car to enjoy the beauty of the small fishing shacks lines up along the shore and tried to imagine what the inside looked like and the life of the fishermen in Oman... I'm sure Brad was hoping to find a fisherman outside his hut that was willing to invite him in.... we try to seize every opportunity we can... unfortunately that didn't happen today... guess we have to go back.
I enjoyed driving.... Saudi doesn't allow women to drive but I'm allowed to drive in other Middle Easter countries.... so I took FULL advantage and sat behind the wheel for this 3 hour drive!
We stopped to admire goats... funny how in the States we point out cows and horses.... here we look for goats, sheep, and camels!
Turtle Beach resort wasn't actually in Sur... it was about 20-30 minutes outside of Sur..... THIS....
THIS is Sur....
and I wouldn't mind visiting here for a day or staying the night.  It looks beautiful!!!!
And then we saw this....what could it be?????  Just an average guy cleaning out goat intestines!  Yep... you read that right!!!  He is washing out the intestines in the river!!!  Wild!!!  What we didn't know was that we were getting to see a WHOLE lot more.....
Beautiful buildings
Goats being cleaned
Cows being cleaned
And goats being prepared for slaughter....yep,  just your average day driving through Oman!!! WOW!
I wondered why most of the country had white buildings..I recently learned that when building you are allowed to choose from 4 shades of white to paint the outside of your building... now I understand.  While it doesn't lend itself to individuality... there is something to be said for the beauty of the white against the beauty of the blue ocean!!!  Took our breath away!
There was SO much to take in.  I didn't know I would find 2 tiny goats standing on a rocky cliff beautiful.... until Oman.... and taking in their culture and knowing what these goats stood for.
I also didn't realize how much we have in common with Muslims.... we celebrate/share SO many of the SAME bible stories!  A lot of our differences come in how we celebrate them and which ones we celebrate... for example... the day we drove through Oman they were celebrating Eid al-Adha which honors the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his young first-born son Ishmael as an act of submission to God's command and his son's acceptance to being sacrificed, before God intervened to provide Abraham with a lamb to sacrifice instead... which is why there were animals being sacrificed on the streets today as we drove... in celebration!  There is SO much we could celebrate together if we took the time to understand each other better!
It was amazing to see families gathered together, young and old, to partake in the festivities.  I was so thankful we got to drive through Sur to witness it all... can you only imagine what it would have been like to drive through the streets of all of the villages we drove by?!?  I hope that as we get more comfortable with the culture of the Middle East and as our children get older that we become more adventrous and take the time to stop in and see and explore all that the little villages have to offer... to see the "realness" of the culture... the villages untouched by tourism.... that's where we will really be able to learn and understand all there is to know of our adventures!
The last of the excitement of our driving adventures came when we saw "wild" camels roaming free!!!  There are not cows, horses, squirrels, rabbits, etc to look for....
nope, now we find excitement in looking for other animals such as donkeys, camels,
and goats roaming free in the desert!
We reached Muscat and saw how those in the city purchase their goats to slaughter for Eid.... farmers come into town and sell their livestock out of the back of their truck... bringing their best to be purchased by a family to be brought home to be slaughter and shared with all.  One of the 5 pillars of the Muslim faith is to give to the needy and that is thought of especially during Eid holidays... a family is to slaughter an animal and give at least 50% of it (or what they are able to do financially) to the poor.... so here you can come to pick out the best your money can buy to be shared!
After a FULL day of adventure, we were excited to finally make it to our beautiful Shangri-La's Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa.  Let the fun in Oman continue in Muscat!!!

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