Monthly Archives: July 2010

Salalah – Camel Country!!!

  Yes, camels are very photogenic! They seem to have a  “they are so ugly that they are cute kind of attraction”.  But to many living in the Dhofar region in southern Oman, they are nothing but a nuisance.  Camels are one of the major causes of accidents down in Salalah!  (On the Salalah-Mirbat road)  The free Dhofar map provided by the Ministry of Tourism and available in most of the hotels of Salalah warns, “Beware of camels & cows crossing roads – Slow down!”  So true!  (On the Sadh-Hadbeen road)  (Just outside Hasik coming back to Salalah)  Don’t ever “play chicken” with a camel!  You won’t win!  :-)  (On the extremely rough road from Thumrayt to Shisr and the Lost City of Ubar)  Camels are not just found in shades of “brown” but as you can see above, there are even black camels.  It seems to me that black camels are not quite as common.  One last point about driving in Salalah.  Don’t do like I did and almost swerve off the road to avoid “a pile of rocks” like you see here in this pic.  Those aren’t “rocks”, folks!  :-)

She’s Been Gone Gone Gone So Long…

Any Chilliwack fans out there (ha!ha! Are there any?!) would easily recognize the lyrics to one of their hits, “My Girl“, from the title of this blog post.  (If you’ve never heard it, click on it and enjoy a classic hit from the ’80s!)  In the last 50 days some of those words have popped into my mind as I’ve thought about how long my wife and baby have been gone.  Of course not all the lyrics apply…but some of the words like, “Gone gone gone, she been gone so long, wonder if I’m ever gonna see my girl…Ever since she left me I sure feel all alone…My girl, she was the world to me.  She`s gone away across the sea…She`s gone and that`s a tragedy.  My girl is just a memory.  She been so long anyway.”  Well, that all changed this morning at 3:55am when my gorgeous wife and beautiful baby boy arrived back in the Sultanate of Oman!  Now all is right with the world!  :-)  Gershom Brown with his mommy and his cousin, Athene, during his first trip to the Philippines!  Eyes that sparkle like diamonds!

Al Mughsayl Blowholes!!! Salalah, Oman

These blow holes have formed naturally in the limestone rocks where plumes of water can reach a height of 30 metres or more! Impressive!  Yet another great reason to visit Salalah!  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6xDvM4QEhs  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8si3qZrHQ0

Monsoon Covered Mughsayl Coast

  Video (click here!): Magnificent Mughsayl Coast during Khareef   Many pics of this one scene because I couldn’t get over how gorgeous it was!  http://www.youtube.com/user/hheellooo7#p/u/4/IPTdVdKkR34

Solitary Man, Solitary Moments–>Family Man, Shared Moments

  I was watching this Indian gentleman chatting on his cell phone with the beautiful backdrop of the Salalah coast and I was thinking about how poetic it looked.  (You might have to zoom in to get a good look!)  I found myself wondering who he might be talking with.  Could have been anyone.  But in my own situation of missing my wife and baby who have been gone for 45 days, I imagined that he was in awe of the beautiful scenery and so he felt compelled to call the one person in all the world that he wished he could share it with.  This is how I felt during my trip to Salalah.  I kept thinking, “If only my wife could be here to see this!”  Other times, like during museum trips and dangerous driving, “Che really wouldn’t enjoy this!”  There were several times during my trip when I simply had to call my wife and share something beautiful I experienced with her or simply to hear her voice.  I guess that’s the point I’m trying to make.  Life seems so much better when shared with someone/people you love.  (Same man croaching down talking on his cell phone 10 minutes later) 

Of course we all have thoughts/feelings/experiences which can never truly be shared with another.  Those “solitary moments” are between you and God.  I think that’s mainly the point in this Bible verse: “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.” (Proverbs 14:10)  In 1990, I left home for the Canadian Armed Forces and this began my “solitary life” where I really felt “on my own”.  The more years away from my family, first in the military, and then years overseas teaching English, the more I felt the distance growing, physically as well as emotionally.  It has come to the point where I don’t feel compelled to return to visit home at all.  I remember one of my family members writing in an email that I’ve been gone so long that I’m rarely ever even thought of.  I always thought that my theme song was “Solitary Man” by Johnny Cash.  I always played with the idea of sharing my life with another but I refused “to settle” as I saw so many others do.  I pledged never to marry unless I found the woman that I could easily share my life with without any regrets or looking back.  Like Johnny Cash sang so beautifully in that song, “Don’t know that I will but until I can find me a girl (the 2nd time he says “the” girl!  :-) Exactly!) who’ll stay and won’t play games behind me, I’ll be what I am.  A solitary man.  Solitary man.”  So, those solitary days have come and gone.  Now, only by the grace of God, I am with the only woman I could ever imagine sharing my life with.  How life changes!  A single friend at church asked me the other day, “Do you feel like you have more freedom and more peace and quiet since the family left?” and the answer is a resounding “NO!”  I feel like part of me is missing.  Like a hole in my life.

The wife and baby return in exactly 28 hours.  I will feel complete again and it will seem once again that all is right in my world!  This is how God intended life to be lived!