Day 14: Reflections

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We are back! The Oman Field Academy has returned to Ross School and we are currently sitting on campus preparing final projects, sharing pictures and memories. We are tired but are still so thrilled with our experiences in Oman and the UAE. The people that we met along the way and the experiences we had changed the way we saw the Middle East and the country of Oman. As teachers, we were impressed with our Ross students beyond words. They were great to travel with and so interested in the world we were exploring. We could not be happier with our experiences and cannot wait to share these memories with the Ross community now that we are back.

Signing off,

Kevin, Anna, and Kyle

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It’s a big cultural shock arriving back in New York. The Oman Field Academy drastically influenced how I view Islam and the Middle East. Being at the Mosques and villages talking to the natives made me question and eventually forget about the news we read about those places every day on social media. I realized that the Middle East is not one big thing, but many different cultures and practices that change every place you go. Talking to the Bedouins in the desert was probably the best part of the trip. We sang and talked about all our home countries comparing them. My best memory of the trip are the people I met. Omanis are known for being really receptive and great hosts. Everywhere you go they will offer you coffee and fresh dates to welcome you. The people spoke honestly and personally about their faith and religious practices. It was great to listen from a genuine source and have a personal perspective on how it’s like to follow Islam and live in that culture. I had a lot of misleading information about their tradition that I had to immediately let go off when we first saw what life there is really like. I have never heard anybody speaking about their religion so openly and intimately like I did in Oman. I understood that the faith and the cultural practices are different things, and each person values different practices.

– Melissa I. ’18

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This trip has been one of the best memories of my life. We had so much fun and learned a lot at the same time. Oman was a great place for this Field Academy. It was beautiful and historical – the perfect combination for us. Going to Oman, we experienced a great adventure. We did a lot of different activities. We went to Wadi Shab for river swimming and hiking, the Wahiba Sands to experience what is it like living in the desert, Khasab to snorkel and in the end, experience a whole day in one of the world fanciest cities, Dubai. All of these while learning the cultural background of the people and places along the way. We appreciate our chaperones for this beautiful and wonderful trip.

– Karsten C. ’18

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Over two weeks traveling in both Oman and UAE, we finally came back to Ross yesterday. This trip was so much fun and every activity in this trip is unforgettable. If I have to find out my best memory of this trip, I definitely would like to choose the time that we were sailing the Gulf of Oman on an Omani Dhow. We spent two days on the ocean and slept overnight on a beach. It was an amazing memory for me because it was my first time to spend such a long time on a boat and camping on a beach. Even though I did not swim in the ocean, I saw wild dolphins and many fish on the boat. The view along the ocean was magnificent. Camping on a beach, we stayed in the tents without lights but full of flies. The surroundings were difficult but we were talking and playing and having fun around a bonfire. In a word, our trip is the best and I will not forget it.

Ziqing S. ’17

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