Friday, 27 November 2009

Gratitude Friday - what a view.

After comments from friends on Wednesday, I realised not only did I have to draw my view before I leave this apartment in a week's time, but also how blessed I've been to be able to look out at this daily. The finished drawing is here.

I am also thankful to all the friends, both old & new, who came round on Wednesday evening to make my leaving Muscat a bit easier. Thankfully, they were able to share this awesome view at night.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Gratitude Friday: philanthropists

A friend of mine set up a charity, Xmas Torch, a few years ago with this objective
"Christmas is one of the best holidays for many. It is that time of the year that we all try to get time off work and spend it with our families. However there are those that have no idea what is Christmas because for them it is life as usual with nothing different but the same hard life they are used to. All I want to do for these children is give them an unforgettable [time] where they will think of nothing else but let them be children ... It is important for them to know that there is more to life than the problems they face daily."

She is an ordinary woman, like you and I, trying to achieve the extraordinary. She aims to give as many Kenyan kids, living in orphanages, a trip away from the homes with the surprise of a Christmas present for each of them.
Xmas Torch is targeting to gift each child, from ages 2 to 23, a backpack filled with a doll/football; math set; crayons/color pencils; coloring books; pencils; pens; under garments; books; and personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, etc).
Recognising the corruption that unfortunately exists in some countries, the charity Xmas Torch buys the gifts and gives them to the kids themselves, and arranges the outings. This makes sure the donations reach those who need them and doesn't go into someone's pocket.

I think it is important to be grateful to all the philanthropists in the world, who do what they can to help others. Also, with the onset of the Christmas we need to reflect that we may not be able to buy that extra box of chocolates or whatever it is we want, but compared to many in the world we have so much, from choices, to homes, to food we can afford to throw away. Today, I think we should all be thankful for all we have and that when we loose sight of that there are people like my friend who do what they can to make other's lives better. I know I am.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Gratitude Friday 11

Today I am grateful for a lovely day. The weather here in Muscat now is perfect. I started the day having a cuppa with the lounge door wide open as it is finally cool enough to turn off the ac.
After breakfast I went to see the ongoing competition to paint His Majesty Sultan Qaboos. A friend, the artist Jenni Eden, (check out her site here) is competing and her unfinished work is already outstanding - it caught my eye before I even knew it was hers. 

From there I went to the marina, and the kind security guards let me onto the pontoons when I asked to draw there. It was very warm in the sheltered spot I was sat in! I loved the detail on the stern of this dhow so much that I had to draw it. Most of the wobbly lines were caused by the pontoon I was sitting on moving as boats went by, causing my hand to jump. Then it was time for lunch, and I had a lovely chatty lunch with my friend Mark as we planned our SketchCrawl for next Friday. All to soon it was over and time to head home. Such a lovely day, I am so grateful for days like this.

btw I notice my art is now creeping over onto this blog. If you interested in seeing where it should be and more of my art please check out my art blog at artofanomad

Friday, 6 November 2009

Gratitude Friday - hearing

Young boys, originally uploaded by travelingsuep.
What a different world I would live in if I couldn't hear. Yesterday, I went to the camel races in Saham and without the sense of hearing it would have been a very different experience. Carrying a DSLR, I think some people thought I was press and consequently, people, such as these 3 boys, asked to have their photo taken. My pleasure! I'm so pleased I could hear their request.

In the course of a couple of hours, several of the lovely friendly people of Saham came up to say hi and just to chat, or have their picture taken. I had a very interesting chat with the vet who was conducting blood tests on the winning camels - who'd have thought it? I guess if they dope racehorses, why not camels?

As well as hearing giving me the ability to talk to people, I could hear the commentary of the races and the hypnotic Omani chanting in between them. It was a fabulous morning, but so easy to forget our experiences are not just visual.

I am so thankful I can hear and must remember that when I am home. How awful it must be when that ability starts to fail or get distorted.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Gratitude Friday (on Saturday)

My life, during these last few months in this country, is a little crazy; consequently, it is getting more difficult to do this weekly (at least on the blog). This idea of Diana's has shown me just how much I have so much to be grateful for each week.

This week I would like to say thanks to Aleta, who has been a friend here in Oman now for several years, and who is sadly leaving this week. Aleta has been a good friend to me and I will miss her a lot, as I have many fond memories from us getting in the paper (which turned into several times) the camel races, and numerous events. Thank you Aleta. I hope you stay in touch.