On Saturday morning, May 2, 2015, everyone was ready for our visitors. The parking attendants had prepared a special parking spot in front of Pioneer Hall, where we could be sure their car would not make an unplanned trip into Mexico.
When our Omani’s arrived, a phone call would go out to our racing committee members who would leave whatever they were doing in order to greet them. They then would be in the hands of our Racing Committee Chair for a tour of our museum, and after that in the hands of our volunteer host couple.
After ensuring that everything seemed to be going according to plans, I returned to my post to meet my volunteers, making sure they were present and knew where to go and what to do.
Our friends needed to leave after the third race, so it was planned that I would meet them on the track to receive a gift they had brought with them for Sonoita’s 100th Anniversary. Because of the crowds, I used my walker to hobble out to the track. Tom followed along in case I couldn’t maintain my balance in the loose, uneven soil.
General Alshahwarzi then presented us with a lovely statuette in honor of our 100th Anniversary. The rains began immediately and the gift was swiftly carried away to the offices and locked in the museum showcase for safe keeping.
Since our Omani’s were leaving immediately, we said our goodbyes, exchanged hugs, and mumbled promises about meeting again. So, this, then, was the story of how we were touched by a little nation on the other side of the world. While they were merely making a delivery, we bonded with our guests and their country.
For me, this was the beginning of my love affair with Oman. It has led me to research the web and assemble a comprehensive collection of books on the history, culture, politics, personages, religion, and language of Oman. I habitually wake up for a couple of hours during the middle of the night and research the web on whatever topic I am pursuing at the time. Unfolding the mysteries surrounding Oman has been fun and fulfilling. I have learned to love the largely-unknown and unappreciated country.
And now, in 34 days, we will board an airplane for the Gulf and meet Oman and its people in person for the first time.