Friday, February 11, 2011

Beauty in The Hidden

It has been far too long since I have posted on this blog!  Over a month ago, I wrote my last purge of heart and a lot has happened. I have settled into my new job, but it has created some difficulties.  I don't think my supervisors think I could ever overcome these "issues" or maybe they just don't care to talk to me to see if I have overcame already.  There is one skill I have learned and that is to just take everything out of the mouth of someone from the UK with a grain of salt.  It's amazing the gap of cultural understanding even between western cultures.  At least I have learned a lot about myself and my own faults through teaching.  I love my first grade class and all that I teach them! I have found out a lot about my strengths and even more about my faults.  It's all really just a huge lesson in trial and error.
The gorgeous valley of Wadi Shitta

I've gotten sick a few times in the last month, mostly due to the over exposure to children and the fact that I don't have the immunity of a Jordanian.  Being sick in a foreign country without your family is really tough.  It makes me pine for Minnesota like no other.

Aside from physical illness, I am learning that Jordanian's beauty is really hidden in its wadis and small farm villages.  Mohammad has been the best tour guide showing me Wadi Shitta (Rain Valley) and Iraq Al-Amir.  Both are breath taking places. But it should be noted that  I felt something incredibly spiritual in Wadi Shitta.  I asked around and heard that it was known for it's pottery in biblical times, perhaps some of the prophets stops through the area during their travels?  Regardless, the feeling which overwhelmed my heart and soul paralleled to the spirituality I felt while living in Bethlehem in the summer of 2009.

Ancient palace in Iraq Al-Amir
Iraq Al-Amir was a very small farming village... but it's unique.  It has an old castle there and a few caves created in the Ammonite period (that's like 200 BCE - crazy old!).  I love that I have someone in my life that thinks my random, detailed and particular questions are insane but still listens to them.  Mohammad will stand there at the edge of an ancient palace's compound and ponder about how a once ancient town was probably built just outside the rock wall that lined the property.  The townspeople probably lived here, and the cemetery could have been over there, and from the caves in the side of the mountain were probably for torture (I mean, we are in the middle east right?), and that pigeon house several meters away was for there old messaging service to neighboring villages.  It's pretty awesome to just imagine a world you have no knowledge about just like you're 8 years old again playing in the backyard.

We also spent at least 10 minutes talking about how awesome it would be to have a time machine to be able to know what this place was like instead of relying on our ridiculous child-like assumptions.  Or a device that would be like a real life rewind button where you could just hit a button and stand there watching how time has changed the land around you  But I think my favorite part of our Friday day-trips are the stories Mohammad tells me about his father and how he came to know about the little hidden treasures of Jordan.  How he and his father would go out driving together and discover the places then bring the rest of his siblings the next weekend.  Maybe my favorite part of this particular adventure was the fact that when we drove up to the bagillion year old building, we're greeted by 4 old men just sitting around their pick up and how the old sheikh with the Jordanian keffeyeh around his head as the one key to the metal gate on the front of the 2,200 year old stones.  As we were leaving 5 or 6 shabbab (young guys) were sitting at the exit as we were leaving just to see something different for once.

So, I've had some really amazing experiences here in Jordan the last month.  I really love how this post originally was going to be purely about how I really think I want to go home this summer and stay there turned into me pouring out my heart about how much I love it here.  This whole living abroad thing is an effin' roller coaster, man.