We moved in with our host families yesterday, and I've used more Arabic in the last 18 hours than I have the entire time I've been learning it. I have 4 younger brothers - they are 17, 16, 15, and 12 years old. All their names start with "M" (as does my host father's), so mastering their names has been hard. They don't speak much English, but it's amazing how much we've been able to communicate with my limited Arabic and their limited English. At first I called them "M-1" for the oldest, "M-2" for the 2nd oldest, and so on. I've got it down now for the most part, and I've learned a ton from them already. I also have 2 younger sisters, which I haven't met yet, but I know they are 6 and 2. I share a nice room with the 2 oldest boys. Everyone is fantastic, hospitable, and extremely nice.
Within 10 minutes of arriving I was playing football (soccer) with the neighborhood kids in a construction site, getting beaten every time by people nearly half my age. Their footwork was unbelievable, and judging by my bloodied and blistered feet, my sandals were not the best footwear. When we came back there was a new pair of the shoes the kids wear waiting in my room. They fit perfectly. So far everything is great. Challenging, but great.
The weekend here is Thursday and Friday, so I got picked up at its start. Orientation is over, and classes start on Saturday. As if we haven't dived into Oman enough, now it's time to really get started!