Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Falafel is making me fat....
Well, our first week has certainly been an adventure. We hit the ground running as soon as we landed basically. We got in at 2 am our first day here and, though we were told not to come, we were at the 8:30am meetings that same day. But it was great. It was a good way to get acclimated quickly to the time change. We are each busy working on our tasks within the Ministry of Social Development.
Ryan is working hard on making our curriculum the best that it can be. He has been meeting with many great people to get the ball rolling. He met with a man of the Jordanian Royal Court last night and talked with him for hours about banking and finance in the Middle East. As I write this, he is actually at lunch with an Iraqi international banker.
Well, hopefully this is good news... We might have gotten our luggage back! I have been on the phone with Royal Jordanian Airlines and they said that our bags have arrived in Amman! It better be true! I am still waiting for them to call me so that I can give them my 'address'. Just a quick note, there aren't addresses for your house in Amman. You just tell someone what street you live on and what you are nearby and then to call you when they are close. I know, really helpful. Accuracy at its finest. :) But that's why we love it here.
We have our luggage! It was so funny. We could not get anything done with it. Then our friend called his friend who works in customs at the airport and next thing you know, 30 minutes later, we have our luggage delivered to us! It was crazy! There is nothing like the influence of a friendship than here in the Middle East. Good golly. So we dragged our bags home and we changed immediately into our own clothing and it was wonderful. We feel like human beings again. Not just homeless people :)
I have some pics of Amman to show you all. I have been taking some pictures when I can. I have some from our apartment. The nighttime ones are cool because they show how the mosque minarets are lit up at night with neon green lights. It isn't the best picture, but it should hopefully give you some idea. But the daytime ones are much better. They really show the essence of Jordan. The ones I have from the view from the ministry are really cool because they show my favorite mosque that I have seen so far in the city. It is bright blue and it is awesome to hear the prayer call every day while I am at work here.
It is really easy to be Mormon over here. I have to dress modestly, no alcohol, it is easy to talk about religion with others. The only thing that is super different is the smoking. EVERYONE SMOKES! And when I say they smoke, I mean they smoke like 8-10 packs a day. And they smoke everywhere. There is no such thing as a non smoking zone. They smoke in malls, restaurants when they are making your food and even in hospitals! Talk about unhealthy! It is really hard to be around so much of it. I have to make sure that I am by a window all the time at work because it just overwhelms you otherwise. But other than that, its not that bad. Just a lot of smoke.
The food here is excellent. We have had a ton of falafel and shwarma while here. They are cheap and available everywhere. Falafel is fried chickpeas in a pita with hummus and tomatoes and cucumbers and delicious. Shwarma is similar to a Greek Gryo. It is chicken, lamb or beef sliced thin and served in a pita with hummus and veggies. Sadly though, all these foods are super fatty and make you feel like you just ate a super sized Big Mac.
But we are just loving it here. It is great. I am going to try to figure out the washing machine today... Yet another adventure in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...