Thursday, March 6, 2014


I need to get out for a walk every day because so much of Amman opens up when I do it.

After a morning meeting, I met a woman who is the high school principal at one of the American style schools in Amman. She has not been able to make it to mass for a while so I dropped in on her. It was quite a pleasant time together.

Then I stopped over to see my art instructor and to collect my paintings. He suggested that I come up with a theme for 25 paintings that I can have my own exhibition this year. He likes my seascapes and landscapes so I might work on that as an idea. I also see an opportunity to create change with the painting so I thought of painting cafes with gardens so people can see a beautiful image when they are recreating and spending leisure time. If we create an image, maybe it will come true.

What other ideas do you have for a theme?

Then I went searching for a St. Patrick's Day hat or anything Irish. Nothing. I found a red valentine's day camel. Then I eventually found a green frog that says, "Kiss me." Close enough, but I'll have to do so creating tomorrow to advance an Irish theme for our party.

This evening I went for a walk for exercise. My new pedometer buzzed on my hand when I reached 10,000 steps. I thought I was stung by a bee. What a hoot.

I ran several errands and was able to get my watch fixed. I also found a food store that has some common American products that are absent here, like Smucker's Concord Grape jelly. Very nice! I'm pleased.

I stopped by to visit a man who owns a small hotel. He has four parishioners who work for him. His eyes lit up when he saw me and he said, "I've never met a priest like you who will travel the city to check up on his parishioners." He is a very impressive man.

Yesterday, I went to the Dead Sea hotels to set up Mass for English-speaking workers at the hotel. Sixty work in one hotel and there are maybe eight to ten other hotels. Finally, one of the managers was very receptive to do this. It is going to happen.

I then stopped by a printer store when I am ordering a supply of Sympathy cards. We have no English language resources in Jordan - until now! I've also made six sets of prayer cards featuring the Pope and some Jesuits, with Jesuit prayers on the back.

During my walk, I received a call from a doctor who wanted to take me to a Mardi Gras party run by the Brazilian Embassy. I almost went, but I was too tired from the day. I almost said, "yes," but I said, "next time, when I have a little notice." He said, "Oh, that is too bad. I was hoping for a designated driver." We laughed because it was not going to be me.

Watching the Ukraine situation. I'm optimistic a solution can be worked out. War and force are not answers.

When I almost reached home, my barber gave me Arabic lessons. He's very good and then he went into the back room to get something. He pulled out two photos of himself from very young days. He cherishes those photos. He also had a bottle of sand with his image scrolled into the sand. This is the second time this week photos have been shared with me. I'm enjoying the people on the streets I meet. I stopped by many shops just to talk with some folks. One sees life very differently when we just stop by and say hello.

My dry cleaner and I had a nice conversation. I invited myself to a tour of his operations and he nodded his head and says, "Americans." He didn't want me to see the state of his back room, but I was just interested in seeing the machinery he has. He does a good job with few tools of the trade. We chatted for twenty minutes and greeted others on the street. I should have made cupcakes to distribute to all the people I saw.

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