Monthly Archives: March 2009

The Only Security in Our Insecure World

eagleswings  From a painting we got at The Bible Society Store which now hangs on our dining room wall – The complete verse from the King James Version: “He shall cover thee with His feathers and under His wings shalt thou take refuge: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:4)

What’s that Spaceship on the Hill?! Al Riyam Park in Muttrah, Oman!!

incenseburnerandtree  This giant incense (frankincense) burner is a well-known landmark in Oman.  I’m sure many tourists wonder just what it is when they first see it!  It’s located in an incredibly beautiful family/childrens park called “Al Riyam Park” and is located in Muttrah as you drive along the coast past the Muttrah Souq and the forts on your right. incenseburnercloseup  Here’s a close-up of the giant  frankincense burner on a very cloudy day. (Thursday, March 26th)burneroncloudydayrulesrulesrules  I just love signs like this!  I especially love point F which gives the image of humans using giant “litter boxes” (like kitty litter boxes) to do their business in, ha!ha!myloveonabench  There are many benches for visitors here at this lovely park (which has no entrance fee!) and so many places to have a picnic on the grass.rainwater  This was from the rain just hours before.  Yes, it rains here from time to time!Myhoney  Peekaboo! chewithbushes  As you can see, there are many wide, green areas at the park.meandburner greatview  Check out the gorgeous view in the background of the cliffs on one side of the park with the sea  and Muttrah Port on the other!  This park is terraced and has a space of over 100,000 square meters!rest area  Check out that nice rest area!becarefulforcrocodiles  You should be warned that there is a crocodile that has been spotted in this park and is known for devouring the occasional tourist or two! (with a particular craving for silly Canadians!)cheandcrocodile  Looks good enough to eat!Andyandgiantpineapple  I personally think that “James and The Giant Peach” is one of the best children books ever written.  Many people are unfamiliar with Roald Dahl’s less successful sequel, “Andy and the Giant Pineapple”.  :-)cheandgiantpineapple  The pineapple of my eye! ha!ha! :-)cheandamusementparkentrance  Che at the entrance to “Riyam Amusement Park” which is located near the top of Riyam Park.  No entrance fee here and plenty of amusement rides for the kids!  Here is a list of the rides and prices to give you an idea:amusementridepricesexampleofsomeridescheandtraintracksRiyamRA  This is the “Water Pitcher Monument” located at Riyam Roundabout.  This is where you turn to get to Riyam Park.RiyamRoundaboutandPort  Riyam R/A with Muttrah Port in the backgroundaseveningapproaches  One last photo while we were leaving the park.  The incense burner lit up just minutes before we left.  By the way, that is just a replica; it doesn’t actually light incense!  I must have driven by this park dozens of times during the last year but this was our first visit.  Definitely worth parking the car and taking a look around!  Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour of Riyam Park!  :-)

Haircuts, Barbers, the Cost of Living in Oman and the Ever Worsening Economic Crisis to Grip the World!

THEN… IbriBarber  AND NOW… citybarber  Oman has come a LONG way in the past 40 years since Sultan Qaboos began ruling.  That goes not only for education, industry and infrastructure but extends even to the simple necessities of life such as GETTING A HAIRCUT!  There seem to be barbershops everywhere!  Almost every barbershop in Oman has either Indian or Pakistani barbers (and the occasional Filipino).citybarberpricesWhen I was in Canada on vacation, I remember my 2 brothers, Mark and David, discussing a great deal in Terrace, BC for a $15 haircut. I told them that that is nothing compared to 1 RO (or about $ 3.20 for a haircut) here in Oman!  Some things in Oman are INCREDIBLY cheap!  Another quick example of why living in Oman is so awesome!gas pricesThat’s 3.6 Omani Rials or about 11.5 Canadian dollars to fill up my tank! (20 months later in Jan. 2011 it’s now 5RO to fill up my tank)  (And that’s “super unleaded”-even cheaper for “regular”!!!)  With prices like THAT, you never have to worry if this happens…emptytank  Empty tank of gas?! At only $11.50 CAD (now $15 Canadian Jan. 2011), fill ‘er up!!!  For those of you who are paying WAY too much for gas elsewhere… cheerup  The book of Revelation in the New Testament describes 7 seals which represent the beginning of Christ’s judgment of unbelievers on the earth during the Tribulation period.  (The purpose of the Tribulation period is to punish unbelievers for their sin and rejection of Christ and to bring the remnant to faith in Christ.)  The 3rd seal represents inflation and famine.  “And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.” (Revelation 6:6)  The balances or scales are related to commerce and trade.  The word penny, better transliterated “denarius“, represented about one day’s wages.  Wheat and barley were considered necessities of life.  A measure was about one quart.  The price given is about 10 times what was normal.  The command hurt not the oil and the wine may indicate a restriction on the effects of the famine in this early part of the Tribulation.  Here’s a must see video a friend told me about on facebook – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62Vsgl6SUZ0&feature=player_embedded

….OK, back to barbers in Oman…If you are looking for a great/cheap barber in Muscat, I highly recommend City Barber which is located on the way to Crowne Plaze.  First, pass by the Qurum Natural Park and continue straight through the next roundabout.  As you approach the next curve in the road (to the left), you will see this mosque (Abdullah mosque). (You will not see this mosque in 2011 as it’s currently being reconstructed!)abdullahmosqueTurn right just after this mosque and you can find City Barber-next to Muscat Pharmacy, behind the Fisherman’s Lodge Restaurant and next to Qurum Clinic with Dr. Smita Lulla.citybarberbarber This is my regular barber!  If you end up going here, make sure you tip well!!!  Here’s today’s Bible verse on haircuts:
“Doth not even nature itself teach you that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” (1 Corinthians 11:14)

I would be EXTREMELY surprised…

if anyone could guess what this is a picture of exactly!omanidecorationofWHAT?  25 RO gift certificate from the Ruwi Word of Life bookstore to anyone living here in Oman who can guess…

Where Are My Students from? All over Oman!!!

I seem to have students from every corner of Oman this semester which is nice.  On the map below, 3 different colors represent the hometowns of my students from my 3 different classes.wheremystudentsarefrom  I have students from Nizwa (6), Muscat (6 including 2 from Qurum, 1 from AlKhuwair and 1 from Al Mwalh), Sumill/Samail (4), Ibri (4), Bahla (3), Rustaq (3), Salalah (3), Manah (2), Birkat AlMouz (near Nizwa), Al-Mudhaibi, Al-Khabourah/, Al-Molddah (near Rustaq), Al-Kamil, Al-Wafi, Sohar, Sur, Al-Swiq, Al-Moudhabi, Saham, Ial’aan Bani Bu Ali (near Sur), Nakhal, Al-Hamra, Liwa,  Izki, Al-Seeb/Al-Hail and I even have one student from the kingdom of Bahrain!biggermapofstudentshometowns  Here is a larger map of Oman (notice the few dots near the bottom representing my students fromSalalah :-))RegionsofOman  This is a great map I saw in the Museum of Al-Zubair which shows the 7 different regions of Oman and a little about what they are known for.  I think I have students from every region of Oman except for Al-Wusta which is in the middle of Oman. 

If someone were to ask me what I love most about Oman I would have to say, “My students are the Oman that I love!!!”