Charlotte Allen, Autumn term 2016

Submitted by admin on 29/03/2018
Person Name: 
Charlotte Allen

I had an incredible three months in Oman and would like to say thank you to all who made the trip possible. The experience taught me about myself and my place in the world; giving me insight into Omani culture and allowing me to become familiar with a new landscape. Working and living at The Sultan’s School was rewarding as we were able to help staff and students, alongside building friendships. The community made us feel extremely welcome and gave us advice on the logistics of navigating a new country, as well as where to visit, camp and swim.

 Helping with lessons was a joy. The children were friendly and enthusiastic - and keen to teach me some basic Arabic! I developed my leadership skills and now feel more confident communicating with a range of people, from children to teenagers to colleagues. Overall, the National Day celebrations were the highlight of my time at The Sultan’s School. The sheer excitement of pupils and staff to commemorate the achievements of the country was moving. A schedule of poetry readings, singing, processions and dancing, coupled with the fantastic colours of national dress, made for a memorable day.

Beyond life at school, the other gap year students and I explored Oman as much as possible. Every weekend we would visit somewhere new. During the National Day Holiday, we were lucky enough to take the ferry from Muscat to Musandam, swim and cruise through the azure fjords and camp for a couple of nights, before returning to Muscat. In the same week, we drove to Salalah and spent a few days visiting beaches, mountains and villages in Dhofar. Travelling such great distances made me appreciate the country’s varied scenery; wherever we went there was always something beautiful and interesting to observe, be it a sink-hole or a hidden wadi, and all set against a sun-drenched backdrop. Perhaps my most memorable experience, was the night we spent camping in Wahiba Sands. I have never experienced such silence, nor seen so many stars in the night sky!

The generosity of the Omani people we met as we travelled throughout the country made our experiences so much more comfortable and enjoyable. When our car broke down we were quickly whisked away for refreshments and when we hitch-hiked we were shown a few secluded swimming spots. This kindness was uplifting.

All in all, I would like to thank the Society for creating such an inspiring scheme and for administering a valuable and varied experience. This experience has changed me. I am already looking forward to when I can visit Oman again in the future.