Thursday, September 26, 2013

Anniversary Week

September 20th marked my arrival anniversary in Amman and what a year it has been. One year ago, I was still jet lagged and getting ready for a weekend of Masses and I had no idea where I was driving. I was in a daze, but I navigated well enough.

A year hence, I'm still in a daze. I find myself still in a deconstruction phase, but I am beginning to build impressions and make judgments, all the while holding out the possibility that I am wrong in my conclusions. I've come to meet some of the most interesting and nicest people in Amman and that helps me to put together a new worldview.

Early this morning, I skyped a friend in San Francisco. He was very generous because it was 1:00 a.m. his time for a hour. What a blessing to do so, but the poor man lost valuable sleep. I owe him one.

I went to Dozan wa Awtar rehearsal this week in preparation for our Christmas concerts. It is nice to be getting ready for a happy occasion. I also auditioned for a play and I was accepted - much to my surprise. I was told I have humor and energy. I also learned that some others did not make the play. I feel bad for them, but also honored to have received a part in it. We'll be doing some dancing and singing - new ventures on my part.

I am walking to rehearsals, which only takes about 35 minutes each way, but walking in this city is an adventure. Pleasantly, on the way home last night, I met a puppy and her owners who were out for a walk. Dara, the puppy (and my sister's name) is a five month old German Shepherd. She had no idea what to do when she saw me because she was so afraid. She was more afraid than I to walk on the streets. After a while, she warmed up to me and nibbled on my arm as she is teething. I was so happy to see a dog on the street because most Muslims think dogs are unclean. I think they just don't want to have to deal with the dog's daily waste.

I went to paint class twice this week. I started two new paintings and the size is impressive. The canvasses are two feet by three feet (or larger), but it requires a lot of paint for the background. My instructor very much likes what I am doing and he seems to light up when I come into the studio.

He invited me to participate in an October project in which artists will create five different portraits in different techniques. The paintings will appear in a gallery and he will create a booklet to showcase the artwork. It sounds interesting. As I approached the studio, I saw my art work pressed against the window on display. I chuckled.

This morning I received a response to an email I sent eleven months ago to an art studio. They said they were slow in responding. I didn't notice! Ah, life in Jordan.

Oh, I completed the first draft of a book on prayer. One hundred and four pages, but now the editing begins.

The construction renovation of our residence is nearing completion. After living out of two boxes for nearly four months, I may be moving back to a room in the Jesuit Center within two weeks. We were told September 15th would be a long shot date for everything to be completed on the interior. I never believed it. How could I? Anyways, progress is happening.

The weather is still in the 80's even though it is autumn. We saw 'fall' in New England. I miss the smell of apple orchards and crunching brilliantly colored leaves as I walk through forest glades. To ease that part of homesickness, I will have a day where I make autumn and Halloween greeting cards.

All is good. Peace reigns. The parish is doing well and small steps forward are like milestones. All is good. And we have a Pope who loves us.


  1. Happy one year anniversary! What a great and busy year you have had! Lots of accomplishments in so many different areas. And I really like your closing sentence. Blessings and prayers.

    1. Yea! Yes, we do have a Pope who cares for us. Alleluia! Alleluia!

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    1. Thank you, Kevin. Welcome to the online community. May your life be very blessed.