Thursday, May 30, 2013

I guess I'm fitting in

Lately, I've had a number of Jordanians ask me for directions around certain parts of the city. I guess I'm getting to know the city fairly well. I've even told a few about some decent restaurants form which to choose. Last night, I hosted a friend from the States, a former novice classmate, in Amman. It was so very good to see him again. He liked Jordan and being in the Holy Land.

We ate a a restaurant called Canteloupe, which has a roof deck bar and outdoor seating. It sits on the lower end of al-Rainbow Street and has magnificent views of the Citadel - the Ummayid palace and the Temple of Heracles. It is quite a spectacular view.

Today, I chatted with some Syrian refugees who come for a meal and some basic instruction each week. The woman were dressed in black coats over their gowns and their head dressings. I was joking with them because it was 90 degrees Fahrenheit and they looked all bundled up. I also tried to let them know that they ought to try more vivid colors than the basic black they wore.

Their eyes were amazing. They wanted to connect and their smiles were very warm and friendly. They appreciated that I spent some time with them even though we don't know each other's language. They wanted to converse, but my acquisition of their language is too low at this point. Either that or we should learn sign language. It is mostly how we communicate.

There are a couple of sites that I would like to visit soon. One is down at the Dana Reserve, which was just nominated as one of the top places in the world to sleep in the wild. It is the area where Christians had their achilles tendons cut so that they could continue to work, but they could never run or escape. We certainly do terrible things to one another. I was recently told of the great nature reserve by a professor at a university in Rochester, Michigan. Time to make plans.

I also want to go to the Mujib reserve. Some friends tell me it is over the top in fun and adventure; others say the stagnant water is too rich with bacteria to remain healthy. I still might check it out.

I read an article in the paper last week that indicated that cigarette smoking is increasing. That is sad news. In contrast, I just read that some universities and buildings are making their entire campuses smoke-free to reduce the ill-health effects of second hand smoke. Cigarettes sell at one JOD, which is far too low a price to act as a deterrent.

I also read about the ways that sheep and goats are detrimental to the growth of vegetation. Arabia and the Sahara used to have lots more green grass and shrubs, but the over-population of sheep and goats are making the lands into deserts. Bedouins will go wherever they can graze and no one can stop them or would even try to stop them. Apparently, the teeth structure and the way the sheep/goats chew the vegetation prevents the grasses from growing back. They are unlike cows whose teeth tear the grass leaves, while the sheep/goats dead-end the chomped grass. Revegetation is unlikely to occur.

I want to see much better for Jordan. It has great potential.


  1. I'm so glad that to hear this. And Jordan is such an amazing country, I wish that I could return there!

    1. Maybe you can, Fran! It is worth spending a couple of weeks just taking it in.

  2. It is so interesting to hear what Jordan has to offer. I'm considering a trip to Egypt and Jordan next summer with one of my professors at Regis College. Your blog makes it very enticing.

    1. I hope the trip works out for you. I'll get to Egypt this year so maybe the enticement will become stronger.