Hello Everyone! I apologize (once again) for the long gap between blog posts. First, let me assure you that I am healthy, happy, and safe here in Oman. Like much of the world, we are now living with numerous social distancing practices to delay the spread of COVID-19. For instance, all churches, mosques, gyms, parks, beaches, and other public gathering spaces are now closed. Travel into and out of Oman is heavily restricted, and all those entering will be quarantined for two weeks. At Al Amana Centre, we have postponed all of our groups and programming.
As someone who thrives with alone time, I am actually looking forward to having more time to read, study Arabic, and journal. In this blog post, I will not attempt to summarize everything from the past three months, but here are a few key moments:
- On January 10th, Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said died after 49 years of leading Oman. The country and world mourned this loss, and the grief was palpable here. This was the first transition of power is most Omanis lifetime, so nobody knew exactly what to expect. However, the transition was incredibly smooth and peaceful, for which we are all grateful.
- In February, I travelled quite a bit. I attended the Gulf Churches Fellowship Annual Meeting in Kuwait. Then, I participated in a workshop on Safe Migration in the Gulf in Dubai, and finally, I spent five days at Annual Synod in Abu Dhabi with the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf. I could write an entire post about each of these experiences, and maybe I will now that I have more time…stay tuned.
- I also travelled to Zanzibar in February to visit with my PARENTS AND BROTHER! That’s right! The Wright family met up in Zanzibar for a week of vacation that included sightseeing, snorkeling, learning to cook Zanzibari food, and lots of quality time sharing stories and catching up. I had not seen my family since August, so this reunion was long awaited. For those who don’t know, Zanzibar was part of Oman for a long time (1698-1896) until the British gained control of it as a protectorate. And even then, it was considered a sultanate until it declared independence in 1963. Then in 1964, Zanzibar united with mainland Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania. I was shocked at how many similarities I noticed between Zanzibar and Oman. Their histories and cultures are deeply connected.
- While volunteering in Oman, I have continued on the path toward priesthood in my home church, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. I interviewed with the Committee on Priesthood and Bishop Jennifer Brooke-Davis over Zoom, and I am excited to report that I have been granted postulancy (meaning the next step in the process). I also have been applying to seminaries for Fall 2020, and I am excited to report that I will be attending Yale Divinity School on a full merit scholarship! I received news of my admission earlier this week, and it was a much needed piece of good news during an otherwise stressful period.
More posts and pictures will come SOON!
Peace and blessings,