Sun-Catching in the Gulf

Sun Fun

Lil’ Z:  Is the sun a doctor?

Me:  No, Allah is the doctor.  The sun is like medicine.

Sunshine is a part of our daily diet.  We bask in its nutritive and healing effect, like plants in bloom.  Whether sick or well, hot or cold, we all need a healthy dose of Vitamin D and what better source than nature’s own.  Here in the Gulf, we can overdose throughout the entire winter but, ironically, our exposure gets scarce in the summer.  There is no shortage of sun but it’s the heat that holds you hostage.

The season shifted a few weeks ago and we all felt it.  All the long and savory winter, our coming and going was at will, even in the middle of the day.  We didn’t have to yield to the noon sun but now that’s over.  There is no spring in these parts.  We go from winter to hot, then hot to hotter.  Thankfully, the consistent supply of electricity means that just about every enclosed space is air conditioned.  The interspaces are difficult but not impossible.

My biggest gripe with summer in Oman is getting Lil’ Z outdoors while the sun is up.  Many Omanis, especially children, become nocturnal in the summer.  Instead of fighting the day’s heat, they prefer to bear it comatose and stay up late playing in the night air. However, we need sunlight in our lives. Every challenge offers the opportunity for growth and creativity, so here are my top sun-catching strategies.

Breakfast Picnic

Children wake up hungry and that hunger is a great motivator to get ready, get dressed and get out the door.  Instead of losing precious morning hours indoors, take a light breakfast outside.  You have to eat anyway, so might as well soak up a little sunshine in the process and give room for a little outdoor play before your brow breaks a sweat.

Qurm Beach

Early Park/Beach Outings

Instead of sleeping in late on a weekend, it’s nice to pack up the car after dawn and scoot to your nearest outdoor space bright and early.  Last weekend, we had a lovely time at a quiet beach, enjoying the water, waves, and ocean breeze.  You can catch up for missed sleep with a delicious afternoon nap.

Sun Parties

Lil’ Z and I have recently instated daily sun parties where we sit in the sunniest spots of the house we can find and do an activity of her choice.  Sometimes, it’s enjoying a snack, coloring together, or typing words on the computer.  We postpone the household chores for 30 minutes to an hour to enjoy our sun time together.

Sun Snack

How do you catch the sun when the heat is on high?

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