Sunday, February 23, 2014

Some parts of my day

The drive to church today was detained for a while as a herd of goats was crossing the street. I certainly would not want to be a goat-herder or shepherd in the inner city. Few would give you much room for your livelihood.

Well, the move to the new church location is proving to be quite good. It is peaceful and restful for the congregation and many say that there is a sweetness about the area. I'm glad they are receiving it so well.

I had a restful couple of days at Tala Bay south of Aqaba earlier this week. The temperatures were in the mid-80s and the location was simply perfect. It seemed very tropical at the hotels who seem to do everything right. I'm told that Egypt, just across the sea is able to undercut many Jordanian prices.

I very much like walking the streets. I pass by a group of soldiers each night as they guard a ministry building that I pass on my way to the Messiah chorus rehearsals. They seem to like to connect with me. I think I sing too loudly as I listen to my IPod and they find western music a curiosity. Also, a number of hijabed women who come to the Center are very happy to connect. They are very pleasant and cheerful. Many come to take classes as part of the Jesuit Refugee Services, but they do want to establish a friendly connection. That is quite nice.

I have my first painting exhibition this Thursday night at our Studios. I have three portraits in a display called "Faces." The mayor of Amman will open the ceremony and many artists from the Middle East will show their products. It is quite exciting.

After mass the other day, a group of Arabic speaking Catholics came into the church for a baptism. They knew English fairly well. I chatted up the grandparents and held the baby. Then the parents came in and we chatted. All the while, the baby was not smiling. I remarked about it to the dad, who said, "He's Jordanian. We do not smile." We all had a great laugh.

I told a few people that I'm trying to introduce a new fad to Jordan. It is called "the unexpected smile."

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