“You can love someone so much...But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”
“You can love someone so much...But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”
After exploring Petra we loaded back onto the bus to Wadi Rum. Once we got there we loaded our stuff onto Jeeps that were from the 1960s. The jeeps rode off the main road through Wadi Rum to our camp where we watched the sunset.
Then we had dinner at the bedouin camp. The tea was amazing! Quenny and I talked to the bedouins. They were extremely nice and had also learned english from the tourist. Since we were in the desert, the view of the stars were priceless. Everyone formed a circle under the stars and listened to the culture of the bedouins. Then, we went on a night hike. Since, I’m a child at heart, our group played tag until we hit exhaustion. The moon acted as our guide, once we climbed up a low cliff people took turns singing. It was very relaxing, afterwards we headed back to the camp.
Everyone moved their mattresses from under the tent into the open where we slept literally under the stars. I saw three shooting stars! Defiantly the best camping experience.
The next morning Jordan, Jessica, Amanda, Alex and I woke up around 5:45am and explored the dessert while we waited for breakfast. After breakfast we went on a jeep tour. The jeeps were seriously old as shit! Our driver looked like he was 12 and drove like a manic. Marks was more entertained watching my reactions than the view surrounding us. Our jeeps took turns racing each other. Through out the day the jeeps would stop at different cliffs and people would climb and explore. My fear of heights def took over, however I climbed a pretty big cliff!
The downfall was that there was no water to drink. We learned quickly that water is a necessity while exploring the desert! Everyone was very dehydrated! Then we had dinner at the bedouins family’s house in the village. They separated the men and women. Of course the men were fed first and we had to wait until their plates and silverware were cleaned before it was our turn. A girl in our group took a picture of one of the bedouin women, the man freaked out and the girl had to delete the picture. Apparently the women don’t want their modesty sold or end up on the internet. The food was okay, I found a hair in my food..I almost through up! Our bus’s AC was also broken so we had to wait for 3 hours, while another bus came.
Overall it was an amazing weekend!
On Thursday around 5pm, we all gathered up and loaded up on the buses. Then, left for Petra which was about a 4 hour drive. We arrived to the 4 star hotel around 9pm. The hotel was so nice. The beds were extremely comfortable, we all thought about staying for the rest of our trip! We ate at a buffet in the hotel and then went swimming in the pool on the roof. It was nice to leave Amman.
The next morning we woke up at 645 am and had breakfast. Then began our journey through Petra, one of the Wonders of the World. Every 5 seconds someone asked us we wanted to ride their horse, camel, donkey, or carriage ride, which costs money. The site was gorgeous! We had a tour guide that walked us through the first couple of hours, explaining the significance of the different structures.
The Treasury is the main building. It was taken over by many including the Greek and Romans, each adding their symbols to the gorgeous structure. The Treasury is only seen in the daylight during one hour in the morning time. Luckily we made it! This one boy who was trying to sell us souvenirs lived in the caves of Petra. He learned English from the tourist, it was extremely interesting. He retrieved his donkey for me to ride. I think I might marry him. haha
We then hiked to the Monastery which was about a 20 min hike. Water was essential. Some people rode the donkeys up, but I was determined to get my workout. At the top we saw the End of the Wold and the Top of the World views. It was amazing! We saw the worlds largest rifts. We could see Israel. My fear of heights def kept me from getting very close to the edge and caused me to feel overwhelmed while climbing up the cliffs.
Pictures really can’t capture the view! We talked to the children to find out where the spring was but it was too late to explore because we had to meet up with our group. The experience was incredible. The more you smiled the cheaper the prices on the gifts were and the more friends you made. I made quite a few since I smile and laugh when I feel nervous, scared, awkward, or happy.
I joined a gym! For the past couple of weeks I have going to the gym after class! It’s really nice! We are limited to the amount of water we can use throughout the week. So the biggest motivation to go to the gym is the shower. The showers are hot and have great water pressure, unlike our apartment’s shower.
The gym has been my way to release stress and frustration…also to train for the marathon thats coming up pretty soon. I am forced to run on a treadmill, which I’ve grown to like. There is a pretty large variety of equipment. It’s pretty funny because the Jordanians go there to socialize. They don’t run but walk on the treadmill, so they look at me like I’m crazy. I usually wear short and a tank top, but today we were told that we need longer shorts. I’ve been wearing the shorts for the past couple of weeks, I’m wearing them tomorrow!
The Manager is nice, he showed me some tips on how to use the equipment. I’ve been trying to get set in a routine..so far it goes one day running 3 miles, 6 miles, 10 miles for a long run, back to 3 miles, and then 5-6 miles. Sometimes I ride the bike afterwards and then weights.
The gym plays about 3 songs and its like being in a American club. I guess that works too. Oh and before we leave after taking a shower we must blow dry our hair..In their culture if a woman has wet hair it symbolizes that she just had sex.
There is a pool but is really expensive..I’m working on a plan to sneak in!
Jordan is a very modern Arabic country, so the Saudis come to Jordan during the summer to do their fantasy..sexual adventures. Well for the past couple of weeks, Russian prostitutes have been found leaving our apartment building. So why bring this up?… Well the Russian prostitutes have long blonde hair and light skin. Does this sound familiar?
Yup, for the past week I have been accused and looked as if I was a Russian Prostitute due to the similar characteristics. On the way home from dinner at a really nice restaurant a car slowly followed us up the street, then waited at the top by our apartment. He was waiting for us to make the next move, he wasn’t prepared for my not so nice words.
Then the next day my friend Amanda and I, who also has similar characteristics, were walking to the grocery store. A woman yelled out from her car, “how much?” Another woman on the way from the gym held down her horn as she drove beside us. My love for Jordan has been dissolving.
Last Thursday, a group of us bought some liquor and drank in our apartments. Its very expensive here. I’m pretty sure the owner of the liquor store thinks I’m an alcoholic after our many trips for wine. The Jordanian wine is actually pretty good. Afterwards we went to a bar on rainbow street. Rainbow street is a more liberal place where there are more Christians than Muslims. You will find a girl in a mini skirt and a tank top on Rainbow street.
On Friday we went to a Roman ruins castle, Madaba, Mount Nebo (where Moses traveled right before dying) and then finally to the Dead Sea. It was an awesome day. You really do float in the Dead Sea. We applied the mud there, which is supposed to be great for our skin. They actually sell the mud in the US for around $30. I want to go back and bring a bunch of it back home. It was pretty hot at the Dead Sea but we arrived later so the weather was enjoyable. The water looked like olive oil, you could see the salt. I dared Tyler to do a summersault in the water. He’s retarded for listening and his friend had to pour fresh water on his eyes because he couldn’t open them! I might be a horrible person, but at least I found entertainment in it!
School’s not that bad. I have class from 8-12. It’s about a ten-minute walk from my apartment to the school. I forgot quite a bit of Arabic, so I’m currently recapping and learning new things. I like both my teachers. My first teacher is Huda she just graduated from college! She is hilarious and forces us to talk, she teaches for two hours and then Omar teaches for 2 hours. There are 8 students in my class and we sit around a small table in a pretty small classroom. I really need to study quite a bit because I am behind according to some of the other students. Most of are class is in Arabic, we learn a chapter every other day. So you can only imagine how much vocab I have to know. way too much!
The first week was spent exploring since we didn’t have class until that following Wed. We went to a historic castle, it was a lot of fun. However, it was very hot, it was cool in the castle but miserable once you left.
My whole floor is basically ROTC students. Everyone has been expressing which branch is superior to the others. AF of course.
My friend and I started working out on the roof because we were determined to stay in shape. We wore tank tops and shorts. The guests at the Jerusalem hotel next door watched us creepily. Oh well. We searched for a gym and were determined to go swimming. We snuck into a holiday inn and were able to work out in their gym however was caught trying to use their outside pools. Oops
That weekend we went with our local friends to the Balad. Its like a huge flea market located downtown Amman. They negotiated the prices for us and even paid for some of our stuffs. Way to hospitable, they wouldn’t take our money and were offended when we offered. Afterwards they bought us ice cream and took us to meet their family. His son has a master in English and translated some conversations for us. We had Arabic coffee, which is amazing! So STRONG!
Later on that week they invited us to their house again for dessert. The picked us up and fed us a tray of fruit along with coke and coffee. We call him “big daddy” On the way home he stopped and we tried halede, it tasted like a funnel cake. Soo yummy!
Before coming to Jordan I was never really nervous. My only concern was where to go once I arrived. My plane arrived around midnight. As I was waiting for my bag, I saw the whitest kid and knew he was studying abroad. I was correct, we bonded quickly aka his name is Mike. Luckily there was a guy waiting from Qasid, the program I am participating in. We were shuffled into a taxi with 2 other students and was taken to our apartments for the next 10 weeks.
I was the first one in my apartment so of course I chose the bedroom with a king size bed. By this time we arrived it was 2am, we weren’t tired so decided to explore. We passed a cafe filled with only guys smoking and watching the soccer game. Of course they stared at us, especially being the only females out and about.
After walking for a while we stopped at a cafe by Qasid. We were very welcomed. This guy called us his family, so we hung out with him along with the cafe manager. They brought us tea, water, and coke. They wanted us to practice our Arabic with them. They called me Jane Fonda!