Friday, May 13, 2011

اليوم الاول "The First Day"

A sign that caught my attention in the Amman Airport

Today was awesome, long, and tiring.  Last night I arrived in Jordan along with two other interns for the program that I randomly met in the Frankfurt airport.  We got into Jordan about 2:00 PM and then spent an hour going through customs and getting our Visas.  After that we were picked up by Annie and one of her neighbos, an Iraqi named Omar.  They picked us up in an old Toyota van and drove us through the semi-deserted streets of Amman blaring Arabic music and driving like maniacs while we talked about the program and I looked out the window and saw amazing mosques and other buildings.  We got into the apartment and I decided I would take a shower before going to bed.  I went into the bathroom and found out, unfortunately, that our apartment has no warm water! This is horrible for someone who loves warm showers as much as I do so I quickly soaped up and then gently splashed the water on myself as I tried to not to scream from shock.  As I got out of the shower I had to dry myself off with my used t-shirt because I had negated to buy a replacement towel in America before arriving.  As I prepared to slip into bed I heard the call to prayer for the first time at almost exactly 4:00 AM.  It was beautiful and something that I was very much looking forward to.
  In the morning we all woke up and dressed in our best to go and meet our internship director for the first time at 9:30 AM. Her name is Rasha and through talking to her I decided that I would spend my internship with the Jordanian Ministry of Social Development not in the office like I originally thought but out in the community where I can improve my Arabic and hopefully make some more friends.  After we left the ministry we went down town where I saw my first Roman ruins just sitting there in the middle of the city.  I also got wonder in and out of little shops selling everything you can imagine and have my first taste of authentic swarma which filled me up and cost me less than 70 cents. It was amazing.  I also found the second foulest bathroom I have ever been in and had to pay to use it!  This sure it isn’t America.  However, everywhere we went I was enthralled by the Arabic signs and the Arabic people.  I know I am going to love this summer.

  After meeting up with our facilitator we returned to our apartment where we spoke Omar the Iraqi for a good 2 hours.  He taught us a lot of Jordanian and helped us learn concepts and work on pronunciation.  At BYU we learn Fusha or formal Arabic, as wall as Egyptian or Amaaya Arabic, neither of which is spoken here.  So, everytime we would ask him a question with words from Amaaya he would say, “No.  That is Egyptian, it is False!”  It was a great conversation we had with him and it really helped me to appreciate Arabic and the learning I will get to do while her.  Finally after unpacking I and two other interns went exploring for a bit and went to the grocery store which was an interesting experience in and of itself.  I did run into a really nice grocer who taught me some new words and said my Arabic was good which by definition means it is horrible but it still felt good. 

Wisit Il-Balad: Downtown Amman
  Overall, I love Amman already and I haven’t even been here for 24 hours let alone a day where I’m not dead tired the whole time.  The people are amazingly nice and willing to help, the language is beautiful, prices are cheap for the most part and I am going to have many wonderful adventures.  Also, I think at the end of all of these I am going to include a fun fact about Jordan.

Fun Fact 1:  Jordanian Driving is a mixture of a little bit of crazy, a dash of danger, and a whole lot of Horn.                


  1. Way to not stand out in your bright purple shirt...

  2. That shower story brings back memories!