"there is no sahil."

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

the last one

July 9, 2007

Since I’m writing this at 1am on Monday, July 09, 2007, I have four days to go. I don’t think my departure could come any sooner; I’m ready to go home. It will be sad to say goodbye to my family here and to a few friends, but I truly am the only one left.

A lot has happened over the past couple of months but I am very much in the mode of time-killing and pushing myself to study until Thursday when I leave and it would just be bad for me to write about my time in Jordan lately right now because it would undoubtedly have a negative, bitter spin, and that would be a disservice and it will be better for me to write about later.

After school ended I took off to Israel and Palestine with my friend Jesse and we had a blast; later on other friends joined up with us and we spent time with our friend Ahmad and his family who are Arab Israelis in their town near Akko in Israel. Spending time with them showed us another side of the Arab Israeli existence and we were just so lucky to have been welcomed and taken care of by a warm family for a few days after an exhausting couple of weeks in monotonous Amman and swimming in the ocean was beautiful.

When I came back from vacation, I started studying at Qasid, a private language institute, one-on-one with a tutor. This is what I decided to do after considering a lot of different options for the summer and I’m very happy about it. It renewed my motivation and I’m definitely looking forward to tracking down the Portland Adult Education Arabic instructor or someone from USM with whom to study intermittently when I get home. Staying focused and motivated in terms of doing homework and studying outside of class as much as I need to has been really difficult lately despite not having distractions, just because I’m so close to the end and I’ve been doing this since August.

When I come home on Friday, I will have been in Jordan or away from home for 5 weeks short of a year. Hard to believe. My good friend Jill Abromowitz has been in South Korea on a Teaching Fulbright for the year, since July of last year, and I was on her email list for weekly emails about what she is up to, and funny stories about her life in Korea. This week she went home and ended the series with a final email from home in Ohio, and it just struck me as coincidental that we’re both ending things the same week and of course like anyone who was abroad this year have a lot of the same thoughts and feelings on the experience.

The last bit of time here has been bittersweet, as leaving will be, and like I said I’d rather not summarize my feelings or draw any monumental conclusions on Jordan, Arabs, Muslims, Iraq, Palestine, the Clash of Civilizations or anything like that now because it would take too long and it would be depressing. Ask me in a month and I’ll tell you.


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