Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Hashemite Kingdom: Week 2

Another busy week on the other side of the world...

Well, it has become like home here. We go work at the Ministry and go out at night to be with friends.
We have met some amazing people here. Muhammad, the Egyptian that we met who works at our favorite falafel shop is such a sweet heart. We just love him. Ryan has been teaching him English at night when we can. He picks up on it quickly. It is fun for me to go because it teaches me Arabic at the same time. So, I like to go and Muhammad and I have a lot of broken conversations. It's really fun.
Ahmaro, a man who works at the Ministry is this short little guy who has invited us to dinner a few times. We have so much fun with him and his family. He is the one next to Ryan.
Ahmed, another worker here at the Ministry LOVES RYAN! Everyone does here. Ahmed is so sweet. He is always feeding Ryan. He can't treat me the same way because of custom but as I am writing this, a very sweet woman here just gave us all cookies. OH SO GOOD!
Yazeed, a Jordanian working with us here at the Ministry. He is a guy our age studying architecture at the German University here in Amman. He is such a hard worker and always so willing to help us out whenever he can. This is him below. He and Ryan work on teaching together along with our next friend...
Khalil, another Jordanian working with us at Zaytoon International. He is actually a BYU student! He and I had Islam and the Gospel together during this past winter semester. Fun guy. He is very excited about the work we are doing here and he makes a great teacher.
Last week we had a great little adventure with Loren and Brendan, two guys from our group. We went and stopped by their house yesterday and they invited us to go with them to West il-Balad. This is just the downtown on Amman. It is VERY Arab. We went to this little hole-in-the-wall 'restaurant' called Hashim's. It was very delicious. We had fresh hummus (of course), foul (pronounced fool but it's just beans that are seasoned with garlic and parsley and stewed for a while.. delicious), fresh hot pita bread, fresh sliced tomatoes and hot falafel and mint and you make your own pitas at the table. OH SO GOOD!

Then after that meal, we went and got dessert. We had kunafa which is a cheese layer that is sweet but has the texture of mozzarella and then it is covered with a layer of sugar which is then burnt like a creme brulee and then has a simply syrup poured over it. It actually defies all the laws of what good food should be. Honestly, when I saw it, I was having a hard time understanding why people eat this because it looks so odd. But then I took a bite and my mind went into a weird mode of loving it and then hating it. It was so overly sweet I swear it put me in a sugar coma. But it was so good and creamy with the cheese. All in all, weirdest dessert but also so tasty. Sorry I didn't take a picture of it. But here is one from the internet.
Next we walked around the streets of West il-Balad. They are so small and compact and there is someone selling something on EVERY corner of it. But the shops are decadently amazing. They are filled with burlap sacks of grains and herbs and pastas. It was beautiful. The butcher shops were so fun to walk by and see the fresh meats. We got to see a lamb's head just sitting in the window. I was certainly glad to have 3 men around me at all times. American women get stared at all the time here. Ryan was a great husband and protected me. But lastly we went into this beautiful little restuarant on the top of a shanty and had an amazing drink of lemon juice mint and some ice blended into a slushie type structure. It was tart and refreshing and wonderful on a hot summer evening here in Amman. It was so good! I do not know what it was called. But good golly it was the Arab version of a mint julep. It was so good. Again, no pictures because of custom but maybe another time.
We got to walk around some old Roman ruins tonight as well around downtown. They were beautiful. We also got to see King Hussein's Mosque. It was interesting, it reminded me so much of the temples of time of Christ... There were people selling goods inside the mosque courtyard... But it was beautiful. We really enjoyed it.
Well, work has been going well. We are loving teaching the youth and they are working hard on their community projects. They are sweet children who are picking up English well. Hopefully they continue in their hard work!

More to come soon! Love from Jordan!

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