This family road trip was supposed to happen a week ago, but due to an important school-related activity (a symposium which I am a paper presenter), I made favor to my good friend, Romeil, to extend our visit to this date.
Romeil is my fellow school teacher in Philippines. We are both teaching in two different schools altogether. At first, we were employed in a private university. But later I moved out and got a teaching post in a state college where I have also been appointed as Head of IT department . After a year, he followed and became one of my staff. I describe Romeil as a multi-talented, workaholic, and dedicated person. His positive attitude and sense of humor can turn our working place into a lively and jolly atmosphere in just an instant. He is a kind of man you can enjoy the day by just simply chatting and sharing never ending stories. Above all, our friendship extends beyond the realms of teaching and drudgery of schoolwork.
I even became close to his wife Rubie and pretty amazing kids Berna, Josh, and little Carl. Rubie and I have something in common – cooking, interior designing, making crafts, and most of all, we enormously pour out our love and care to our dear family especially to our children. Once, we were classmates when we took the Caregiving class in Surigao and nurturing our dreams of landing a job in European or Western countries to provide a better life to our love ones. Unfortunately, both of us were not able to complete the course because of many priorities in life. I left Philippines when I’m about to undergo practical internship and later she quit too when she found out she’s pregnant for the third child. When came I home to Philippines in July 2008, I encourage Romeil to try his luck and apply for a job in Oman. A good fortune came to him whe he was offered a technical post in Ibri College of Technology and flew to Oman four months later. Little Carl was only about a month old when Romeil left Philippines.
But to cut the story short, here we are now traveling down the long and winding road. I feel like we are cruising up and down the hills in a rollercoaster motion while my kids are peacefully sleeping beside me. Darkness is about to cloak the area halfway to Ibri. We left home at about 6:30 in the afternoon and Ibri is about two and half hour drive away. I intimately praying for a safe trip and guide Jesse because there are no street lights along the road and we only rely on the reflectors stick on the roadside. However, I am a bit calm because Catherine and Gerry, who are in the other car, join with us in this journey. At one point, there is a security check point where Oman Armies examining each vehicles in the highway. But when they see we have kids with us, they just let us pass without going through rigid inspection. Jesse is relieved in that moment and we continue to drive until we reach the city of Ibri at about 8:10 in the evening.
Moleta family prepared a delicious dinner. We enjoyed the “lutong pinoy” such as ginataang mongo and fried fish that Rubie cooked in her own style. Their little cozy abode was then enlivened with laughter, shrieks, and loud voices because we were all happy seeing each other again after six months (they came to Muladdah in December and stayed for three days with us).
After dinner, we head to Star City Carnaval. It is just a small place with many rides same as you can find in Marah land Amusement park in Qurum, Muscat. The entrance fee is cheaper at 250 baizas for adults and 100 baizas for kids. But few people are in the park. We tour the place and chitchat in an empty open shed whilst kids are playing bump cars and jumping inside inflated castle. After few hours, we return back to their place then went to bed and prepare ourselves for an exciting whole day escapade in Nizwa the next day.