Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What is an SB?

An SB (strange breed) is a person that does things that most people wouldn't choose to do;  things like spending their summer vacation in the Middle East teaching English, eating strange foods on the floor with their hands, and spending time with people who still live like they did 1000 years ago.  Most people we know are scared to experience the things we experienced.  Heck, they are even scared of us, I think.  Our friends ask us about our summer, but they don't really want to listen.  They either don't understand or they are afraid that God will ask them to go somewhere like He asked us to do.  Hopefully this blog will be an outlet for us to tell about our crazy lives, and it might even be interesting to someone.

What do people do for fun in summer in the Gulf?  They take an English class if they are a teenager, especially if an American is teaching.  After all, most of them have never met an American and they really want to hear us speak.  Families make trips to Mecca to do Haag, or to Salalah to try to stay cool.  The summer afternoons in the Gulf often reach 50 degrees (130 degrees Fahrenheit), but this is not a huge problem because everyone stays indoors in the afternoon and naps under the aircon.  School is over by 1pm and most shops are closed by noon.  The first week we were there, we wanted to get out and meet people in the afternoon.  We learned quickly that there was no one to meet until maybe 6pm.

When you teach in the Gulf, the students bring you lots of gifts.  The number one gift is dates, followed by perfume, jewelry, candy, pens, and incense.  Speaking of dates, they are of religious importance to the people there.  They eat them every day, usually at every meal.  In summer, they are usually fresh, and in winter dried.  The coffee there is not usually sweetened, so dates are eaten with coffee to sweeten your mouth.  Everyone has date palms, and everyone eats dates.  It's as simple as that.

I want to tell the story of how we decided to go to the Middle East and more about why we went and what we did there, but I will have to tell the story in pieces.  Hope you will enjoy reading about our adventures.

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