Monthly Archives: December 2012

“Andy in Oman” – 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 450,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 8 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.  In its last full week of 2012, this blog had 12,155 views and in the last month it reached 50,237 views.

A big thanks to all the readers out there, whether you are a “silent reader” or an avid commenter.  Amazing that so many of you keep coming back! 😉  A big thanks to the #1 blogger in Oman, Muscat Mutterings, who sends a fair bit of traffic my way. Other high referring sites have been Dhofari Gucci and CatBirdinOman (aka “Nomad in Nizwa“). Cathy has found herself on the top referring sites list AND #1 on the most active commenter list! 🙂 (Sounds like you’ve won yourself a free dinner with the Browns, if you’re interested, Cathy!)   Wishing all of you and yours a blessed 2013 free from harm, worry, misery and defeat  and instead filled with the blessings, provisions, protection and victory of/from God!

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Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

My 2012 in Pictures. Do I need to say more? And you knew this was going to be a multi-photo challenge! Make sure you include picture captions to explain to people what they’re seeing, and experiment with the tiled galleries I love so much. I know it’s going to be hard to narrow down those pictures, maybe perhaps try to share 12 – one from every month?

Pick the best pictures from your 2012 and have those pictures tell everyone about your year.

Loved this visual reminder of God’s blessings throughout 2012!  If not for God’s blessings we would have been “swallowed up” a thousand times over.  “If the LORD had not been on our side, when men came against us, then they would have devoured us alive, when their anger burned against us.” (Psalm 124:2)  But instead, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.” (Psalm 28:7)

A Hymn a Week: “How Happy Every Child of Grace” / “Auld Lang Syne”

I love how this old hymn it set to the music of and gives new meaning to the easily recognized, “Auld Lang Syne“: A Hymn a Week can be followed on facebook and youtube.

If you haven’t heard of “Auld Lang Syne“, it’s the classic “New Year’s song” you hear quite a bit at this time of year.  Here it is sung by Robert Burns with lyrics:One of my favorite versions of Auld Lang Syne has always been from Kenny G with historical events and classic quotes since 1877 on the video as he plays:

Be a Host Family for an International Exchange Student Here in Oman

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Present in over 113 countries and territories and with over 86,000 members, AIESEC is the world’s largest youth-run organisation. Focused on providing a platform for youth leadership development, AIESEC offers young people the opportunity to be global citizens, to change the world, and to get experience and skills that matter today.” (pic and photo from the main AIESEC website)

One of my old students is one of the local committee presidents and has asked me to post a request to any families who may have the space, time and interest in hosting an international student for a few weeks or months (whatever time they can).HOSTFAM-final

From the original French AIESEC stands for “Association Internationale des Étudiants En Sciences Économiques et Commerciales ” (In English: “International Association of Students in Economics and Management)

If you and your family would consider hosting a student, check out (or better yet “fill in”!) the application page at: www.bit.ly/wahahostfamily .  Whether you are Omani or an expat living here, you can become an Ambassador of Oman for students coming to the Sultanate. Why not spread a little love and give back a little to those visiting this country that has been so good to so many of us?! 🙂

More Café’s Friday Brunch at Opera Galleria

friday brunch info

We heard a lot of good things about More Café and specifically about their Friday Brunch (served 11am to 4pm) so we decided to head down to the Opera Galleria this morning to try it out for ourselves. And I’m glad we did!more cafe on 2nd floor

Located on the 2nd floor in the Opera Gallerialeft side of more cafe

This is a pic of the left side of the cafe from the front door.  It’s quite a spacious restaurant!  We arrived at 11:30am and it was quiet with only a few other tables of customers.  Started picking up around 12:30am.  I appreciate the huge spaces between tables so that even when it is busy, it never feels crowded. Fun, vibrant atmosphere.right side of cafe

The right side of the cafe (from the main doors) with the beverage preparation area on the immediate right. Notice my family busily stuffing their faces, haha.salads and more

My wife helping herself to several of the salads that come with the Friday Brunch with the help of one of the chefspot of lentil soup

This pot of lentil soup (3.7 rials on the a la carte menu) was one of my favorite dishes! It was heartier than any lentil soup I’ve ever tried and highly recommended. (A bit salty for mommy but perfect for me!)  Soup (not the pot!) comes with the Friday brunch.  Several options of soup are available.great bread

Just a quick pic of some of the bread available at More Cafe. So delicious!one of my plates

One of my plates to give you an idea of what some of the food is like.  The lamb was so fine and tender.  Actually, all the food at this brunch was of the highest quality (unlike some buffets where you get more “quantity” than “quality”). At one point during this brunch I remember thinking, “If only I were a cow with 4 stomaches.  Then, I could really give this brunch a go!” 😉full table

Just look at the food on our table! The manager wasn’t kidding when he told me we’d need a bigger table as we almost sat down at a regular square table with 4 chairs! Note the cool long table behind ours which seats 14 people.more products

Icecream is one of many products that More Café sells.  We were pleased to hear that icecream comes with the brunch!incredible icecream

The icecream seems almost homemade. They have a special machine that makes it right in the shop for you.  I think there are at least 6 flavors.  My wife had banana and said you could really taste the pure banana in it.  My sister-in-law had vanilla.  The dish pictured here was my awesome chocolate coconut cherry. This was unbelievable icecream!fine art

My favorite artpiece on the wall.  Click here to read “mOre” about More Café’s support for creativity and the fine arts.  The art on the walls is a fine touch to this restaurant.afternoon tea

I’m not sure if you can read the fine details of their “Afternoon Tea” deal running from 3:30pm to 6pm daily.  “Enjoy a delightful selection of cake, mini sandwiches, shortbread and coffee OR tea…”more cafe

Overall, we thought More Café’s Friday brunch was definitely well worth the price they charge.  3 adult buffets (9.5 X 3) + 1.425 OR/Tax for a grand total of 29.925. It basically came to 10 rials each for a total of 30 rials for brunch for 3 adults.  It came with freshly squeezed orange juice and a platter of fruit (watermelon and cantaloupe for us) as well as some fine New Zealand water known as Antipodes.  In addition, I had a regular coffee, my wife had a Cafe Latte and my sister-in-law had a hot chocolate which was all included in the brunch. The service was the best part of the whole buffet.  The staff were extremely helpful and kind especially with our kids and even the Head Chef/Manager, Tyron Lumley, was constantly walking around socializing with customers and making sure everyone was enjoying their food.  This was a very enjoyable experience for us as a family heading out for Friday brunch.  We definitely got “MORE” than we expected at More Café’s Friday Brunch.

BTW, there might not appear to be any “breakfast food” but we were told that you can easily order whatever breakfast dishyou’d like and they’ll cook it up for you. (The regular menu is 16 pages long!)   Have any of you been to More Café?  If so, how was your experience?

Tel.: + 96822022555, Fax.: +96822009622 opera@morecafeoman.com,      Hours: 8am- Midnight, Friday Brunch: 11am – 4pm                                       Website: www.morecafe.biz (including online menu!)