"there is no sahil."

Monday, October 23, 2006


TO mark the end of Ramadan, here is a photo of the most popular Ramadan sweets, qatief. From about noon on, bakeries and shops on the streets will make the little qatief pancakes on skillets set up outside on the sidewalk, and people will buy boxes of them to take home and stuff with walnuts or cheese and cinnamon and then FRY them. Even my (Christian) family loves em!

SO, now that this blog address has been sent out to the entire JYA class at Smith, I’d like to share with everyone the news that I (gut of steel!) in fact think I have a good case of the parasites. Pretty pleasant. I’ve stuck it out now for about a week in hopes that it was something I ate, but whatever it was that I ate has provided quite the gastrointestinal rollercoaster ride and has not yet relented. The Eid is Wednesday and we’re on vacation as of today, with reservations in Aqaba for Tuesday night, so I’m going to try to get a doctor’s appointment sometime tomorrow or Tuesday A.M. before we leave on the bus from Amman to Aqaba. Wish me luck!

Over the weekend, some friends and I packed into a van and drove to Dana village, home to Jordan’s oldest nature reserve and eco-tourism spot. Every time I leave Amman, I am reminded that over half of Jordan’s population lives there. Dana is one of the attractions that takes up quite a bit of space in the guidebook, and yet it is one street, two itsy bitsy hotels, a tiny information building/guesthouse, and a good few donkeys. We had an awesome time hiking around al-Barra, led by the 15-year old son of our little hotel’s owner, not on a path, just checking out old Nabatean caves and burial tombs. That night at the hotel, a couple of local guys came over to play some music and entertain us. One of them happened to be the one we had talked to at the information building earlier in the day. Small town. On Saturday we hiked down through the first leg of Wadi Dana, stopping to sit with some kids herding goats and smoking cigarettes (they were about 12) and meandering through an olive orchard as well. Just as we made it down Jebel Dana, we had to turn around in order to make it back for school on Sunday. The hike was short, and I know I’ll be heading back there to hike through Wadi Dana to Feinan (16 km) at some point in the spring. Definitely worth going back for.
Driving home, we took the Dead Sea Highway which was beautiful but not what I expected. One end is lined with factories and (maybe) desalination plants, followed by a huge chunk of undeveloped coast, and then the cluster of resorts at the northern end closest to Amman. The best part was that the seats in the van faced each other (Amtrak style), we had a TON of cashews, AND my ipod was employed as the soundtrack. That little road trip definitely brought back some Smith hockey van memories from last year...

Upon my return, a piece of cheesecake was put in front of me (saved from my dad’s birthday on Friday) and dare I say it came dangerously close to reaching American cheesecake standards! Must’ve been that one stick of Philadelphia I saw in the fridge.

Yesterday after class, a few friends took us to a DVD shop in one of the buildings on campus. The girl was closing up the shop, but she opened it back up for us since Mahmoud is apparently a loyal customer or friend. The DVDs are probably all pirated and cost 1JD ($1.41), and they even test them out for you there to make sure they work. I splurged and bought another copy of Lost in Translation since I didn’t bring any movies with me, and I also stumbled across Peter Sellers’ THE PARTY! I know my dad will appreciate that one. Last night as I was falling asleep I started watching Lost in Translation on my laptop in bed, and I had to stifle my laughter as not to wake my sisters in the next room. I had forgotten how plain hilarious Bill Murray is in that movie.

Looking forward to an exciting week.
Keep the emails coming.


Post a Comment

<< Home