Daily Archives: June 6, 2012

Still in Awe that I’m Her Pa!

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
You formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—You’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
You know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, You watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before You,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.” (Psalm 139:13-16, “The Message“)

Tomorrow our little princess turns 2 months old! Hard to put into words what a joy this little one is in our lives.  I think even my most “non-religious” readers will forgive me if I take this moment to break forth in praise!  🙂

In Old Testament days, Psalm 100 accompanied a “thank-offering” (Leviticus 7:12) that one presented when God had especially answered a prayer or given a great deliverance. Quite appropriate in this situation, me thinks!  Now that the Law has been accomplished of course there is no need for me to round up an order of unleavened cakes with oil! 😉  Instead, I offer up the sacrifice of praise.  Thank You, LORD, for your unmerited, unearned and undeserved grace in our lives. To You alone be the glory!

Surviving the Summer Heat in Oman

45 degrees Celsius (or 113 Fahrenheit for you Americans out there)  is a pretty good day here in the Sultanate during the summer.  Sometimes it gets above 50 degrees!  Many expats use their 45-60 vacation days (depending on the conditions of ones contract) to escape the heat and who can blame them?! 

This summer is supposed to be even hotter than usual.  Many of you readers from within the Sultanate (my largest readership!) may have heard of this warning from the government:

“Civil Defence Notice – The Civil Defence has given notice that within the next few weeks temperatures will go up to as high as 50 degrees Celsius. Drivers are asked NOT to fill your gasoline tanks to maximum. The high temperatures can over heat your gasoline tank. This memo serves only as a reminder and precaution for everyone.”  I thought this was a hoax at first but it seems to be legitimate.  It can get that hot here!  Apparently, the UAE Defense Ministry has advised all car owners in the UAE not to fill car petrol tanks full because for the next few weeks temperatures will shoot up to 53-54 degrees and thus can cause the fuel tank to burst!

I was thinking of making a list of things to do to survive the summer heat but there’s really no need to reinvent the wheel.  Another blogger (who has left us for greener pastures), “Other Oman”, wrote a brilliant list list of how to survive “Summer in Muscat with Toddlers”.  It’s not only helpful for parents but is good advice for anyone who is in Oman over the summer.  It was written 2 years ago but it’s just as appropriate today as it was then.  Here’s another general list of how to survive the summer heat from ehow.com.

I hope you’re all enjoying your summer!

Omantel Problems Solved with One Trip to HQ

This morning, it seemed as if all my Omantel problems were close to being sorted out and I simply had to wait for technicians to come to my house.  That all changed when talking to an Omantel helpline agent (accessed by dialing 1300) this morning who said I owed 100 rials from last year for the previous account that they mucked up.  I knew that was nonsense because I have often asked and confirmed whenever talking to Omantel employees whether the account had in fact been paid and terminated.  I was guaranteed that the final payment of 77 rials on May 4th would be the last I’d hear about the matter.  Now this new guy I’m talking to this morning tells me I still owe 100 rials?!?!   In fact, that account had never really even been activated in the first place.  Well, enough was enough and I finally decided to do what several people have suggested is the best solution to any serious Omantel problem – I visited the Omantel Headquarters on the Nizwa road on the way to SQU.

If you have serious issues with Omantel, I highly recommend you visit HQ if you have the time.  It seems they can get more done there, especially if you bring in all pertinent paperwork and previous bills with you.  The main entrance facing the Nizwa Road does not open up to non employees from the outside so instead of standing there trying to push on the big glass doors, you better enter on the left or right side of the building.

Check in with reception of course and they’ll have someone come down to get you a visitor’s badge and take you upstairs to try and sort through your problems.  The security of this building is quite impressive.  Only employees with the correct electronic ID cards are able to use elevators to avoid having people roaming through the halls.  Interesting.

After an hour of sitting down and going through the whole mess with one of the team leaders, Adil Araimi, paper by paper, step by step, I was assured that technicians would be at the house within 24 hours to install the internet.  True to his word, 2 Pakistani subcontractors came to my home 1 hour later after calling to confirm the address.  With a few phone calls and administrative touches, my internet was reconnected within 20 minutes.  I forgot just how fast Omantel connection is!  Yippee!!  The cheapest unlimited package is 20 rials at 2 mps but I signed up for 5mps at 25 rials/month.

I signed up for 5mps and this is quite far from it (from speedtest.net) , but I’m not about to rock the boat now that everything’s up and running.  Now it’s just a matter of waiting to see “what they decide” about the so-called billing problem of trying to charge me an extra 100 rials next week…To be continued.

A big thank you to Mr. Sythe at Muscat Mutterings for the support/suggestions, Jalal Al Addullatif for his help in getting things sorted out and ultimately to Adil Alraimi for getting things done today.  Incidently, this week is “Customer Care Week” at Omantel! (June 2-6th) Perfect timing or what?!  😉  I know there are a lot of dedicated employees working at Omantel.  I really hope for the sake of those trying desperately to get internet hooked up in the internet that they can fix all communication problems that seem to exist when dealing with different departments.  This past week the CEO of Omantel, Dr. Amer al Rawa, won a prestigious award for “Human Resources”.  Good for him and the company.  Now if only they would work even harder on customer service.